IPSR Professors visit leading Australian plant research centers

IPSR aims to develop closer ties with the world-leading institutes in plant research. For the second “get to know each other” visit, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG: http://www.acpfg.com.au/) and Waite Research Institute (WRI: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/wri/), University of Adelaide (UA) were selected as one of the excellent world-leading facilities involved in plant science.

On March 7-12, 2015, Prof. Kazuhiro Sato (Group of Genome Diversity) and Prof. Minoru Murata (Group of Nuclear Genomics) visited the headquarters of ACPFG located on the Waite campus, UA, Adelaide, South Australia. The former CEO of ACPFG, Prof. Peter Langridge, and Professor Emeritus Geoff Fincher, have made kind arrangements for the two IPSR members to discuss research work and future collaborations with the ACPFG staff.

ACPFG is an Australian company that manages a large number of research programs, mainly in wheat and barley crops. Excitingly, more than twenty members joined in the discussions, and most of them, including the present CEO, Dr. David Mitchell, have shown interest in the future research collaborations with IPSR at Okayama University. Because some of the members share their office as faculty members of the University of Adelaide, short-term exchange programs for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were also considered. This international link might help to develop new cereals tolerant to environmental stresses, such as salinity and heat, which are common stress factors in Australian agriculture.

Interestingly, the Waite campus of UA (originally the Waite Agricultural Research Institute), where the ACPFG headquarters are located, was already established in 1924. It was founded as world class research facility with bequest of 300 acres of land and Urrbrae House from the Australian pastoralist and philanthropist Peter Waite, similar to Cornell University Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (est. 1924 by contribution of William B. Thompson) and our institute, IPSR (est. 1914 by Magosaburo Ohara).

The building of the “Plant Accelerator” offering state-of-the-art plant phenotyping tools and services

Inside of the “Plant Accelerator”, Prof. Kazuhiro Sato (IPSR) and Dr. Nick Collins (ACPFG)

Salt lakes studded in the middle of Australia