Dr Crispin Howitt: improving the quality of cereals
Dr Crispin Howitt leads a research group that is exploring the genetic basis of cereal quality.
5 September 2007 | Updated 31 October 2011
Dr Crispin Howitt is Group Leader of the Cereal Quality Group within CSIRO Plant Industry's Metabolic Engineering of New Plant Products program. The research group is exploring the genetic basis of cereal quality.
The group's aim is to improve the product quality attributes of cereal crops, with the major focus on wheat.
A multi-pronged approached is used to both identify genes that contribute to product quality and manipulate their expression levels. This approach encompasses:
After completing his doctorate investigating the respiratory pathways in cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), Dr Howitt accepted a postdoctoral position in the Department of Plant Biology at Arizona State University, USA, to study the interaction of photosynthesis and respiration in cyanobacteria.
A multi-pronged approached is used to both identify genes that contribute to product quality and manipulate their expression levels.
He moved to CSIRO in 2000 to work on a project to manipulate starch structure and function, by incorporating bacterial starch binding domains.
In 2002 Dr Howitt moved into the area of cereal quality and he is now involved in a number of projects to alter product quality and functionality by manipulating the composition of the grain.
Dr Howitt was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the Australian National University, Canberra, in 1991.
He completed his Doctor of Philosophy, also at the Australian National University, in 1996.
See a list of recent scientific papers by Dr Howitt in his publishing history.