Summer studentships with CSIRO Plant Industry


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Current projects

Applications for the 2013-14 Summer Student Program are now open and offer the following projects around Australia. Applications have closed.

Click on the links to read more detail about the 2013-14 projects.

Past projects

In the past, the following projects have been offered:

Summer Student is seen through window looking at a wheat head (the grain filled part of the wheat plant).

Summer students work on a broad range of projects

2012-13: CSIRO Food health and Life Sciences

CSIRO Food Health and Life Sciences projects in 2012-13 included projects in:

  • Adelaide, South Australia
    • How do grapevines survive when it is hot and dry?
    • Talking to my feet: messages from grapevine leaves to the roots and back again.
    • Why does light make red grapevines more purple?
  • Brisbane, Queensland
    • How does a pathogen cause disease: the role of small secreted pathogen proteins in plant disease.
    • Sugarcane: comparing developmental stages with confidence.
    • Investigating the link between flowering time and disease in plants.
  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
    • Screening for adaptive genetic diversity in Eucalyptus pellita (red mahogany).
    • Characterise genes controlling amylose content in oat (Avena sativa).
    • What holds plant cell walls together?
    • The role of the circadian clock in sensing the passing of the seasons.
    • Spatial structure and the evolution of disease resistance.
    • Diversity of soil cellulose and chitin degradation genes.
    • Species boundaries in the billy buttons (Craspedia, Asteraceae).
    • The ultimate protein toolbox: Building a three-in-one protein quantification standard.
    • New technologies uncovering critical pathways in plant lipid metabolism.
  • Narrabri, New South Wales
    • Quantifying nitrous oxide emissions from crop foliage

2011-12: CSIRO Plant Inudstry

CSIRO Plant Industry projects in 2011-12 included projects in:

  • Adelaide, South Australia
    • Interaction of plant plasma-membrane proteins which have opposite roles during powdery mildew infection.
    • Does the ‘red’ gene (VvMYBA) control flavour metabolism in grapes?
  • Brisbane, Queensland
    • Flowering genes in sugarcane.
    • Does resistance among resistant genotypes differ at different stages of crown rot infection?
    • Fingerprinting photosynthesis in sugarcane.
    • Mobilising the reserves – vegetative bud germination in sugarcane.
  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
    • Fuzzy and fluffy: control of the initiation of cotton fibres.
    • Phylogenetic delineation of a species complex within a widespread Australian thalloid liverwort: Asterella drummondii.
    • Wheat alpha-amylases expression characterization during seed development and germination.
    • Molecular phylogeny of Australian Ozothamnus (Asteraceae) and relatives.
    • Genes regulating cereal spike architecture.
    • Wheat Stem Rust Effectors – Candidate Genes and Functional Assays.
    • Pathways for mobile silencing signals in plants.
    • Genotypic variation in cold/high light induced photoinhibition in wheat.
    • Making an Impact: Promoting CSIRO science.
  • Perth, Western Australia
    • Wet feet: how cotton leaves respond to waterlogging.
    • Stopping fertiliser loss: Impact of nitrification inhibitors on newly discovered ammonia oxidising microbes.

2010-11: CSIRO Plant Industry

CSIRO Plant Industry projects in 2010-11 included projects in:

  • Adelaide, South Australia
    • Influence of combined heat and water stress on carbon allocation in mature grapevines.
    • What makes red wine taste "fruity" or "green"?
    • Does the ‘red’ gene in grapes influence the flavour of wine?
  • Brisbane, Queensland
    • Characterisation of Eucalypt species for bio-fuel production.
    • Genotypic variation in expression of carbohydrate metabolism genes in response to water.
    • Variation in expression of nitrogen metabolism genes in high and low WSC lines.
    • Investigating factors that control the fate of sugarcane seed in the environment.
    • The effect of high temperature on wheat yield.
  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
    • Mapping and analysis of endemism of the Australian bryophyte flora.
    • Do wheat disease resistance genes Sr2 and Lr34 influence each other? 
    • Genes regulating cereal spike architecture.
    • The Evolution of Polyploidy in Acacia: Is polyploidy correlated with the expansion of Acacia lineages into arid Australia? 
    • Pathways for mobile silencing signals in plants.
    • Expressing artificial miRNAs in fungi.
    • Why are some agrobacteria better genetic engineers than others?
    • Why do hybrid plants grow bigger than normal? - Identifying early developmental traits associated with hybrid vigor (heterosis).
  • Perth, Western Australia
    Dynamics of soluble carbon in irrigated cotton-growing soils.

2009-10: CSIRO Plant Industry

CSIRO Plant Industry projects in 2009-10 included projects in:

  • Adelaide, South Australia
    • Investigating 'age-related penetration resistance' to the powdery mildew pathogen.
    • Probing the role of RNA interference during early seed development using viral suppressor proteins.
  • Brisbane, Queensland
    • What controls variation in expression of carbon metabolism genes and consequently their contribution to yield-related traits in wheat.
    • Predicted effects of climate change on wheat development and flowering time in wheat genotypes.
    • Modelling scenarios for biomass opportunities in sugarcane.
    • Innovative methods for estimating transgene dosage in sugarcane.
    • Investigation of critical genes underlying metabolic changes in photosynthesis and sucrose synthesis pathways in wheat response to climate change.
    • Network analysis of genes determining vascular wilt disease.
    • Probing the role of RNA interference during early seed development using viral suppressor proteins.
  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
    • Near infrared imaging techniques to determine water uptake by Brachypodium distachyon roots.
    • Genetic variation of the vulnerable Leafless Tongue Orchid (Cryptostylis hunteriana).
    • Does resistance to pathogens make plants less fit? Evolutionary consequences of having inducible defences.
    • A new source of stem rust and virus resistance for wheat.
    • Are bitou bush and bone seed hybridizing in Australia? 
    • Where are you? An investigation into the abundance and localisation of the cereal flowering switch protein.
    • Effects of summer moisture regime on dormancy, hormone expression and apex structure in Dactylis glomerata L. (cocksfoot).
    • How do cereals plants remember winter?
    • Light perception and flowering in barley.
    • Impact of soil chemistry on colonization and infection of cotton by Fusarium.
    • Characterisation of triacylglycerol assembly genes.
    • Are wheat resistance genes also effective against root symbiotic fungi?
  • Narrabri, New South Wales
    • Defining physiological, agronomic and nutritional advances in modern cotton cultivars.
  • Perth, Western Australia
    • Difference in early vigor in canola genotype and its relation to seed yield.

2008-09: CSIRO Plant Industry

CSIRO Plant Industry projects in 2008-09 included projects in:

  • Adelaide, South Australia
    • Investigating 'age-related penetration resistance' to the powdery mildew pathogen.
    • Where are my vitamins? An investigation of carotenois changes from vine to wine.
    • Identification of thermally released wine flavour and aroma compounds.
    • Which chalcone synthase gene makes colour in grapes?
    • The role of RNAi during early seed development in Hieracium and Arabidopsis.
  • Brisbane, Queensland
    • Molecular mechanisms of Fusarium wilt resistance in the model host Arabidopsis.
  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
    • Deletion mutants in a wheat gene.
    • Does genetic delineation exist between eastern Australian Helmut orchids?
    • Cloning the cotton acyl synthase II (KASII) genes for genetic improvement of the nutritional value of cotton seed oil.
    • Genetic diversity of the invasive weed Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey locust) (Fabacae) in native and weedy environments.
    • Summer dormancy in Dactylis glomerata L. (cocksfoot) - Structural changes and hormone expression associated with dormancy.
    • Chemical enhancement of frost tolerance in cereals.
    • Regulation of the flowering time gene FLC by a plant hormone.
    • The importance of rhizosheaths of pasture plants for root-soil contact.
    • How does the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans infect intact canola roots?
    • Mechanisms of Sr2 rust resistance.
    • Tracing transport regulation in plants.
  • Merbein, Victoria
    • Interactive effects of drought and temperature stress on grapevine physiology.
    • Control of Arabidopsis reproductive development by plant hormones.
  • Perth, Western Australia
    • Plant bouncers: letting the good guys and keeping out the trouble makers.