Faculty of Veterinary & Agricultural Science
The University of Melbourne
Parkville, Victoria 3010 Australia


The Group Directors:
Professor Mohan B Singh                           Professor Prem L Bhalla
Phone: +61 3 8344 5051                            Phone: +61 3 8344 9651
mohan@unimelb.edu.au                             premlb@unimelb.edu.au

The Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Laboratory at the University of Melbourne offers an exciting and stimulating world-class environment for research, education and training in plant molecular biology and biotechnology. Programs cover the broad spectrum of research using modern techniques to genetically engineer pasture, vegetable and horticulture crops for future agricultural and environmental needs.

The group is internationally recognised for its work on improved food crop quality, allergies, therapeutics and diagnosis, and has attracted numerous prestigious research grants and awards, including major Australian Research Council (ARC) funding through its participation as a core partner in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research.

Post-doctoral positions now available
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Post-graduate student opportunities now available
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The plant molecular biology and biotechnology group:

  • Developed the world’s first hypoallergenic ryegrass using genetic engineering.
  • Challenged the established paradigm on plant stem cells showing that Arabidopsis based regulation models can’t always be extrapolated to other plants. Discovered a novel marker of stem cells.
  • Reported a novel repressor protein in controlling germ line gene expression.
  • First proof of flowering plant male-germ cell specific histone variants suggesting their distinct function in genome imprinting and epigenetic control of post fertilization developmental events.
  • The first to identify Bcp 1, a gene that is essential for male fertility in flowering plants. This gene is being used to develop new hybrid seed production system for crop plants.
  • The first to identify and clone the major allergenic protein from ryegrass pollen. This discovery is being used to produce a vaccine against grass pollen-induced hay fever.
  • The first to identify male gamete specific gene expression and gamete specific promoters in flowering plants.
  • World’s first report of successful tissue culture based micropropagation system for macadamia.
  • Produced modified forms of grass pollen allergen for hay fever immunotherapy.
  • Wins competitive research funds
  • Wins prestigious awards such as Royal Society of Victoria Research Medal, Frederick White Prize of Australian Academy of Sciences and the CSIRO Medal.


The University of Melbourne Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Group