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BSc in Biology (Macquarie University)
PhD candidate (Southern Cross University)
Research interests / background
Since graduating from Macquarie University, with a Bachelor of Science, Helen has been involved with a number of research projects including work on footrot in sheep and cattle at the CSIRO Division of Molecular Biology, the role of plasminogen activator inhibitor in blood clotting at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, cancer biology at the Garvan Institute and the use of PCR for the early detection of diseases such as CMV, tuberculosis and golden staph (MRSA) at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Helen joined the Southern Cross Plant Sciences in 2002, bringing her technical experience to a number of projects including SNP detection in wheat using pyrosequencing, CAPS markers in barley, genotyping of 1000 Russian wheat landraces using 21 SSR markers and working with the gamma irradiated mungbean and lupin populations developed at SCU.
Currently, Helen is finalising her PhD investigating a gamma irradiated sorghum population to identify genetic variation in starch synthesis genes. Sorghum is an old crop originating in Africa some 8000 years ago that is well adapted to hot and dry climates. However, sorghum has lower starch and protein digestibility and some missing amino acids that make it a good candidate for crop improvement through mutagenesis. Any crop improvements in sorghum would benefit both the nutrition of the developing world where sorghum is a staple crop, better nutrition as an animal feed, and as a potential biofuel crop.
During this work, individuals from both the mutant population and a collection of diverse germplasm were sequenced. Sequence variation was found in several starch synthesis genes that could distinguish different sorghum phenotypes, e.g. with high or low gelatinisation temperatures, high fibre content and starch content. This information has the potential to be applied in varietal identification and plant breeding programs of sorghum for food, animal feeding, bioethanol and industrial uses.
- Hill, H., L. Slade Lee, et al. (2011). "Variation in sorghum starch synthesis genes associated with differences in starch phenotype." Food Chemistry(0).
- Chen, Y., L. S. Lee, et al. (2008). "Rough texture of mung bean (Vigna radiata L.) first true leaves induced by gamma irradiation." Plant Mutation Reports 2(1): 39-43.
- Jilal A, Grando S, Henry RJ, Lee LS, Rice N, Hill H, Baum M and Ceccarelli S (2008) Genetic diversity of ICARDA's worldwide barley landrace collection. Genetic Resources & Crop Evolution DOI:10.1007/s10722-008-93222-1
- Chen Y, Lee LS, Luckett DJ, Henry RJ, Hill H, Edwards M (2007) A quinolizidine alkaloid O-tigloyltransferase gene in wild and domesticated white lupin (Lupinus albus). Annals of Applied Biology 151(3):357-362
- Ablett, G, Hill, H & Henry, RJ (2006) Sequence polymorphism discovery in wheat microsatellite flanking regions using pyrophosphate sequencing. Molecular Breeding 17:281-289
- Hill, H., L. S. Lee, et al. (2011). Variation in Starch Genes explain differences in starch Phenotype in a USDA Sorghum Germplasm collection. Journal of Cereal Science, Royal Pines- Gold Coast.
- Hill, H., L. S. Lee, et al. (2010). Variation in starch genes explain differences in phenotypic properties in sorghum. 2010 Australian Summer Grains Conference RACV Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast.
- Hill, H., L. S. Lee, et al. (2010). Variation in starch genes explain differences in phenotypic properties in sorghum. 1st Australian Summer Grains Conference. B. George-Jaeggli and D. J. Jordan. Gold Coast, Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation.
- Hill H, Lee LS and Henry RJ (2008) Identification of novel starch traits in Sorghum. 58th Cereal Chemistry Conference, Gold Coast, Australia. 31 August -4 September 2008.
- Hill H, Lee LS and Henry RJ (2008) Identification of Novel Starch Traits in Sorghum bicolor: A Reverse Genetics Approach. FAO/IAEA International Symposium on Induced Mutation in Plants, Vienna, Austria. 12-15 August 2008.
- Strelchenko P, Street K, Mitrofanova O, Hill H, Henry R and Mackay M. (2008) Comparative assessment of wheat landraces from AWCC,ICARDA and VIR germplasm collections based on the analysis of SSR markers. 11th International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Brisbane, Australia. 25-29 August 2008.
Updated: 31 May 2012