Research Summary

Rice is a key crop in the world food system supplying the major source of human dietary energy for half the human population. Worldwide rice consumption is increasing at 2% a year, presenting significant challenges to the rice research community. Southern Cross Plant Science has participated in rice research which has elucidated the link between gene sequence and rice grain quality, examined the physiology and genetics of nutrient utilisation efficiency and tolerance to abiotic stresses, identified patterns of genome variation across cultivated rice and characterised wild rice resources.

Current research interests include:

  • Rice grain quality
  • Rice phosphorus metabolism
  • Australian wild rice genome and trait characterisation
  • Molecular marker discovery for rice breeding
  • Iron toxicity tolerance in rice
  • Abiotic nutrient stress tolerance in rice


  • Australian Research Council
  • AgriFutures Australia
  • Global Rice science Partnership (GRiSP)
  • Prof. Robert Henry, University of Queensland
  • Dr Matthias Wissuwa, Japan international Research Center for Agricultural Science
  • Dr Russell Reinke, International Rice Research Institute
  • Dr Peter Snell and Dr Rachelle Ward, Yanco Agicultural Institute.

Research outcomes

  • Identification of the major gene for fragrance in rice
  • Genetic control of rice starch properties
  • Resolution of Australian wild rice taxonomy
  • Insight into genetic and physiological mechanisms of plant phosphorus use efficiency


Dr Terry Rose: terry.rose@scu.edu.au


Rose T J, Wissuwa M (2012) Rethinking internal phosphorus utilization efficiency (PUE): A new approach is needed to improve PUE in grain crops. Advances in Agronomy. In press

Rose, M T, Rose, T J, Pariasca-Tanaka J, Yoshihashi T, Neuweger H, Goesmann M, Wissuwa M (2012) Root metabolic response of rice (Oryza sativa L.) genotypes with contrasting tolerance to zinc deficiency and bicarbonate excess. Planta. In press

Rose T J, Rose M T, Pariasca-Tanaka J, Heuer S, Wissuwa M (2011) The frustration with utilization: why have improvements in internal phosphorus utilization efficiency in crops remained so elusive? Frontiers in Plant Nutrition 2, 1-5.

Rose M T, Pariasca-Tanaka J, Rose T J, Wissuwa M (2011) Bicarbonate tolerance of Zn-efficient rice genotypes is not related to organic acid exudation, but to reduced solute leakage from roots. Functional Plant Biology 38, 493-504.

Daniel L. E. Waters, Catherine J. Nock, Ryuji Ishikawa, Nicole Rice, Robert J. Henry (2011) Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.66

Ardashir Kharabian-Masouleh, Daniel L. E. Waters, Russell F. Reinke, Robert J. Henry. (2011) Discovery of polymorphisms in starch-related genes in rice germplasm by amplification of pooled DNA and deeply parallel sequencing. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2011.00629.x1.

Rose T J, Pariasca-Tanaka J, Rose M T, Fukuta Y, Wissuwa M (2010) Genotypic variation in grain phosphorus concentration; and opportunities to improve P-use efficiency in rice. Field Crops Research 119, 154-160.

Widodo, Broadley M R, Rose T J, Frei M, Pariasca-Tanaka J, Yoshihashi T, Thomson M, Hammond J P, Aprile A, Close T J, Ismail A M, Wissuwa M (2010) Response to zinc deficiency of two rice lines with contrasting tolerance is determined by root growth maintenance and organic acid exudation rates, and not by zinc-transporter activity. New Phytologist 186, 400-414.

Pariasca-Tanaka J, Satoh K, Rose T J, Mauleon R, Wissuwa M (2010) Stress response versus stress tolerance: A transcriptome analysis of two rice lines contrasting in tolerance to phosphorus deficiency. Rice 2, 167-185.

Cuevas, R. P., Daygon, V.D., Corpuz, H.M., Nora, L., Reinke, R.F., Waters, D.L.E. and Fitzgerald, M. A. (2010) Melting the secrets of gelatinisation temperature in rice. Functional Plant Biology, 37:439-447.

Fitzgerald TL, Waters DLE, Brooks LO, Henry RJ (2010) Fragrance in rice (Oryza sativa) is associated with reduced yield under salt treatment. Environmental and Experimental Botany 68: 292-300.5.

Kasem S, Waters DLE, Rice N, Shapter FM, Henry RJ (2009) Whole grain morphology of Australian rice species. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilisation 8:74-81.

Fitzgerald TL, Henry RJ, Waters DLE (2009) Betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase in plants. Plant Biology 11: 119-130.

Henry RJ, Rice N, Waters DLE, Kasem S, Ishikawa R, Dillon SL, Crayn D, Wing R, Vaughan D (2009) Australian Oryza: Utility and conservation Rice doi:10.1007/s12284-009-9034-y.

Masouleh A, Waters DLE, Reinke RF, Henry RJ (2009) A high-throughput assay for rapid and simultaneous analysis of perfect markers for important quality and agronomic traits in rice using multiplexed MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry. Plant Biotechnology Journal 7: 355-363.

Bradbury LME, Gillies SA, Brushett D, Waters DLE, Henry RJ (2008) Inactivation of an aminoaldehyde dehydrogenase is responsible for fragrance in rice. Plant Molecular Biology 68: 439-449.

Fitzgerald TL, Waters DLE, Henry RJ (2008) The effect of salt on betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase transcript levels and 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline concentration in fragrant and non-fragrant rice (Oryza sativa). Plant Science 175: 539-546.

Waters DLE, Henry RJ, Reinke RF, Fitzgerald MA (2006) Gelatinization temperature of rice explained by polymorphisms in starch synthase. Plant Biotechnology Journal 4: 115-122.

Bradbury LMT, Fitzgerald TL, Henry RJ, Jin Q, Waters DLE (2005) The gene for fragrance in rice. Plant Biotechnology Journal 3: 363-370.

Bradbury LMT, Henry RJ, Jin Q, Reinke RF Waters DLE (2005) A perfect marker for fragrance genotyping in rice. Molecular Breeding 16: 279-283.

Qingsheng J, Waters DLE, Cordeiro GM, Henry RJ, Reinke RF (2003) A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker linked to fragrance in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Science 165: 359-364.