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Career Summary

Qualifications

  • PhD, James Cook University, 13/05/1989

Research

Research keywords

  • C4 photosynthesis
  • Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy
  • biofuels
  • carbon partitioning
  • plant sugar transporters
  • sorghum
  • sugarcane

Research expertise

The research area that I have operated within since the beginning of my postgraduate studies is broadly encompassed by C4 photosynthesis and carbon partitioning.

Between 1993 and 2007, a major focus of my research has been the development of a fundamental understanding of carbon metabolism/ photoassimilate partitioning and more specifically sucrose transport processes at the more detailed cellular level in the key food and biofuel crop sugarcane. By the application of a directed EST sequencing approach undertaken on the major sucrose storage organ in sugarcane, the stem, a number of ESTs encoding novel transporters were identified and full length cDNA sequences isolated. Three putative hexose transporters have been immunolocalised to the phloem of maturing internodes of the stem and an increase in expression of these transporters coincided with the logarithmic increase in sucrose concentration. The single sucrose transporter identified to date exhibited a novel localisation pattern being present in the cell layer surrounding the vascular bundles and showed a strong spike in expression at the initiation of the logarithmic phase of sucrose accumulation. The development of a high level of expertise in functional characterisation of sugar transporters has been realised through substantial collaboration travel awards from Federal Department of Industry Science and Technology and the Australian Academy of Science. Visits to work in the laboratories of premier transport researchers Professor Wolf Frommer, (University of Tuebingen, Germany and Carnegie Institute, Stanford University, USA) and Dr John Ward, (University of Minnesota) has resulted in functional characterisation of the sugarcane sucrose transporter in heterologous systems including yeast and Xenopus laevis oocytes. In addition to researching sucrose transport, I also have considerable expertise in improving transformation and transgene expression in recalcitrant plant species, skills essential for implementing genetic manipulations in order to dissect the role of candidate genes.

In 2008 I began developing a new research platform using Sorghum as a model biofuels feedstock. In addition to investigating sucrose transport mechanisms I have extended the scope of photoassimilate partitioning to include cell wall construction/deconstruction and composition. My group is currently undertaking leading edge research in the development of FTIR and FPA-FTIR as tools for detailed investigation of cereal grass cell wall composition and the development of predictive models of digestibility using spectral analysis. The application of ionic liquids as a novel and efficient means of biomass pre-treatment for the production of second generation biofuels is also currently being investigated.

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
060799Plant Biology Not Elsewhere Classified75
060299Ecology Not Elsewhere Classified20
030199Analytical Chemistry Not Elsewhere Classified5

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • plant biotechnology
  • plant physiology
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (39 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Milne RJ, Byrt CS, Patrick JW, Grof CP, 'Are sucrose transporter expression profiles linked with patterns of biomass partitioning in Sorghum phenotypes?', Front Plant Sci, 4 223 (2013) [C1]
2013Martin AP, Palmer WM, Byrt CS, Furbank RT, Grof CPL, 'A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor', BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR BIOFUELS, 6 (2013) [C1]
2012Byrt CS, Cahyanegara R, Grof CP, 'Plant carbohydrate binding module enhances activity of hybrid microbial cellulase enzyme.', Front Plant Sci, 3 254 (2012) [C2]
2011Rae AL, Casu RE, Perroux JM, Jackson MA, Grof CP, 'A soluble acid invertase is directed to the vacuole by a signal anchor mechanism', Journal of Plant Physiology, 168 983-989 (2011) [C1]
2011Byrt CS, Grof CP, Furbank RT, 'C-4 plants as biofuel feedstocks: Optimising biomass production and feedstock quality from a lignocellulosic perspective', Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 53 120-135 (2011) [C1]
2010Kuhn C, Grof CP, 'Sucrose transporters of higher plants', Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 13 288-298 (2010) [C1]
2010Grof CP, Campbell JA, Kravchuk O, Lambrides CJ, Albertson PL, 'Temperature effect on carbon partitioning in two commercial cultivars of sugarcane', Functional Plant Biology, 37 334-341 (2010) [C1]
2007Grof CPL, Albertson PL, Bursle J, Perroux JM, Bonnett GD, Manners JM, 'Sucrose-phosphate synthase, a biochemical marker of high sucrose accumulation in sugarcane', Crop Science, 47 1530-1539 (2007) [C1]
2007Albertson PL, Grof CPL, 'Application of high performance anion exchange-pulsed amperometric detection to measure the activity of key sucrose metabolising enzymes in sugarcane', Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 845 151-156 (2007) [C1]
2007Jackson MA, Rae AL, Casu RE, Grof CPL, Bonnett GD, Maclean DJ, 'A bioinformatic approach to the identification of a conserved domain in a sugarcane legumain that directs GFP to the lytic vacuole', Functional Plant Biology, 34 633-644 (2007) [C1]
2007Sivitz AB, Reinders A, Johnson ME, Krentz AD, Ward JM, Grof CPL, Perroux JM, 'Arabidopsis sucrose transporter AtSUC9. High-affinity transport activity, intragenic control of expression, and early flowering mutant phenotype', Plant Physiology, 143 188-198 (2007) [C1]
2006Reinders A, Sivitz AB, Hsi A, Ward JM, Grof CPL, Perroux JM, 'Sugarcane ShSUT1: Analysis of sucrose transport activity and inhibition by sucralose', Plant, Cell and Environment, 29 1871-1880 (2006) [C1]
2006Lakshmanan P, Geijskes RJ, Wang L, Smith GR, Elliott A, Grof CPL, Berding N, 'Developmental and hormonal regulation of direct shoot organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis in sugarcane (Saccharum spp. interspecific hybrids) leaf culture', Plant Cell Reports, 25 1007-1015 (2006) [C1]
2006Grof CPL, So CTE, Perroux JM, Bonnett GD, Forrester RI, 'The five families of sucrose-phosphate synthase genes in Saccharum spp. are differentially expressed in leaves and stem', Functional Plant Biology, 33 605-610 (2006) [C1]
2005Remans T, Ebert PR, Schenk PM, L Grof CP, 'Identification of functional sequences in the pregenomic RNA promoter of the Banana streak virus Cavendish strain (BSV-Cav)', Virus Research, 108 177-186 (2005) [C1]
2005Vickers JE, Grof CPL, Bonnett GD, Jackson PA, Morgan TE, 'Effects of tissue culture, biolistic transformation, and introduction of PPO and SPS gene constructs on performance of sugarcane clones in the field', Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 56 57-68 (2005) [C1]
2005Vickers JE, Grof CPL, Bonnett GD, Knight DP, Jackson PA, Roberts SE, Robinson SP, 'Overexpression of polyphenol oxidase in transgenic sugarcane results in darker juice and raw sugar', Crop Science, 45 354-362 (2005) [C1]
2005Rae AL, Grof CPL, Casu RE, Bonnett GD, 'Sucrose accumulation in the sugarcane stem: Pathways and control points for transport and compartmentation', Field Crops Research, 92 159-168 (2005) [C1]
2005Casu RE, Manners JM, Bonnett GD, McIntyre CL, Chapman SC, Rae AL, et al., 'Genomics approaches for the identification of genes determining important traits in sugarcane', Field Crops Research, 92 137-147 (2005) [C1]
2005Rae AL, Perroux JM, Grof CPL, 'Sucrose partitioning between vascular bundles and storage parenchyma in the sugarcane stem: A potential role for the ShSUT1 sucrose transporter', Planta, 220 817-825 (2005) [C1]
2005Remans T, Ebert PR, Schenk PM, Grof CPL, 'Functional promoter analysis using an approach based on an in vitro evolution strategy', BioTechniques, 38 209-216 (2005) [C1]
2005Lakshmanan P, Geijskes RJ, Aitken KS, Grof CPL, Bonnett GD, Smith GR, 'Sugarcane biotechnology: The challenges and opportunities', In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology: Plant, 41 345-363 (2005) [C1]
2004Bosch S, Botha FC, Grof CPL, 'Expression of neutral invertase in sugarcane', Plant Science, 166 1125-1133 (2004) [C1]
2004Casu RE, Dimmock CM, Chapman SC, Grof CPL, McIntyre CL, Bonnett GD, Manners JM, 'Identification of differentially expressed transcripts from maturing stem of sugarcane by in silico analysis of stem expressed sequence tags and gene expression profiling', Plant Molecular Biology, 54 503-517 (2004) [C1]
2003Casu RE, Grof CPL, Rae AL, McIntyre CL, Dimmock CM, Manners JM, 'Identification of a novel sugar transporter homologue strongly expressed in maturing stem vascular tissues of sugarcane by expressed sequence tag and microarray analysis', Plant Molecular Biology, 52 371-386 (2003) [C1]
2001Albertson PL, Peters KF, Grof CPL, 'An improved method for the measurement of cell wall invertase activity in sugarcane tissue', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 28 323-328 (2001)
2001Grof CPL, Campbell JA, 'Sugarcane sucrose metabolism: Scope for molecular manipulation', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 28 1-12 (2001)
2001Schenk PM, Remans T, Sági L, Elliott AR, Dietzgen RG, Swennen R, et al., 'Promoters for pregenomic RNA of banana streak badnavirus are active for transgene expression in monocot and dicot plants.', Plant Mol Biol, 47 399-412 (2001)
1999Remans T, Schenk PM, Manners JM, Grof CPL, Elliott AR, 'A Protocol for the Fluorometric Quantification of mGFP5-ER and sGFP(S65T) in Transgenic Plants', Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, 17 385-395 (1999)
1999Elliott AR, Campbell JA, Grof CPL, Dugdale B, Brettell RIS, 'Green-fluorescent protein facilitates rapid in vivo detection of genetically transformed plant cells', Plant Cell Reports, 18 707-714 (1999)
1998Elliott AR, Campbell JA, Grof CPL, Brettell RIS, 'Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of sugarcane using GFP as a screenable marker', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 25 739-743 (1998)
1998Campbell JA, Robertson MJ, Grof CPL, 'Temperature effects on node appearance in sugarcane', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 25 815-818 (1998)
1998Grof CPL, Knight DP, McNeil SD, Campbell JA, Lunn JE, 'A modified assay method shows leaf sucrose-phosphate synthase activity is correlated with leaf sucrose content across a range of sugarcane varieties', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 25 499-502 (1998)
1995Grof CPL, Winning BM, Scaysbrook TP, Hill SA, Leaver CJ, 'Mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase: Molecular cloning of the E1a subunit and expression analysis', Plant Physiology, 108 1623-1629 (1995)
1992Hill SA, Grof CPL, Leaver CJ, Bryce JH, 'Regulation of mitochondrial function and biogenesis in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Cotyledons during early seedling growth', Plant Physiology, 99 60-66 (1992)
1989Grof CP, Johnston M, Brownell PF, 'Effect of sodium nutrition on the ultrastructure of chloroplasts of c(4) plants.', Plant Physiol, 89 539-543 (1989)
1989Grof CPL, Richards DBC, Johnston M, Brownell PF, 'Characterisation of leaf fluorescence of sodium-deficient C plants: kinetics of emissions from whole leaves and fluorescence properties of isolated thylakoids', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 16 459-468 (1989)
1984Johnston M, Grof CPL, Brownell PF, 'Responses to ambient CO concentrations by sodium-deficient C plants.', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 11 137-141 (1984)
1984Johnston M, Grof CPL, Brownell PF, 'Effect of sodium nutrition on chlorophyll a/b ratios in C plants.', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 11 325-332 (1984)
Show 36 more

Conference (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2008Casu RE, Grof CP, Glassop DG, Iskandar HM, Perroux JP, Jarmey JM, et al., 'Can RNAI- mediated gene silencing effectively influence core metabolism in sugarcane?', Proceedings of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Canberra, ACT (2008) [E3]
2008Glassop D, Rae AL, Casu RE, Grof CP, 'What is the role of sucrose transporter SHSUT1 in sugarcane?', Proceedings of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Canberra, ACT (2008) [E3]
2008Dibley KE, Zhou Y, Offler CE, Grof CP, Patrick JW, 'Tissue localisation of novel sucrose transporters cloned from coats of developing pea seeds', Proceedings of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Canberra, ACT (2008) [E3]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants18
Total funding$4,386,060

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (2 grants)

Expansion and Upgrade of the Newcastle Plant Growth Facility$230,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Project Team
Associate Professor David McCurdy, Professor Christopher Grof, Doctor Andy Eamens, Associate Professor Yong-Ling Ruan, Conjoint Professor Christina Offler
SchemeRole
Linkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$230,00020142014
GNo:G1300636

Expansion and Upgrade of the Newcastle Plant Growth Facility$195,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor David McCurdy, Professor Christopher Grof, Doctor Andy Eamens, Associate Professor Yong-Ling Ruan, Conjoint Professor Christina Offler
SchemeRole
Equipment GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$195,00020142014
GNo:G1300231

2013 (1 grants)

Refurbishment of the Newcastle Plant Growth Facility$160,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Associate Professor David McCurdy, Professor Christopher Grof, Associate Professor Yong-Ling Ruan, Conjoint Professor Ray Rose, Conjoint Professor Christina Offler
SchemeRole
Equipment GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$160,00020132013
GNo:G1200380

2012 (2 grants)

To understand the process controlling cell wall composition in C4 grasses.$51,000
Funding Body: CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Project Team
Professor Christopher Grof, Mr Antony Martin
SchemeRole
Postgraduate ScholarshipChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$51,00020122015
GNo:G1300847

Collaboration to strengthen the research capabilities of the Australia-China Research Centre for Crop Improvement.$40,000
Funding Body: Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

Project Team
Associate Professor Yong-Ling Ruan, Professor Yue-Jian Yang, Emeritus Professor John Patrick, Professor Christopher Grof, Dr TJ Higgins, Professor Stephen Tyerman, Doctor Lu Wang, Mr Yonghua Liu
SchemeRole
Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF): Group MissionsInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$40,00020122012
GNo:G1200445

2011 (3 grants)

Specialised Greenhouse Space for New Initiatives $500,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Project Team
Professor Christopher Grof, Associate Professor Yong-Ling Ruan, Associate Professor David McCurdy, Emeritus Professor John Patrick, Conjoint Professor Ray Rose
SchemeRole
Linkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)Chief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$500,00020112011
GNo:G1000631

Chemical Biology$444,961
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

DVCR Special Grant 2011$20,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Professor Christopher Grof
SchemeRole
Special Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$20,00020112011
GNo:G1100995

2010 (2 grants)

Laser microdissection microscopy system for cell and development biology$350,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Laser microdissection microscopy system for cell and development biology$215,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

2009 (6 grants)

Electron Microscopes for Nanometer-scale Imaging/Microanalysis in the Materials, Biological, Physical, Engineering and Chemical Sciences$650,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

An Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility for Applications in Proteomics and Organic Chemistry$495,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

eSorghum as a bio-fuel feedstock for arid environmentsjavascript:closeProject();$320,000
Funding Body: Pacific Seeds Pty Ltd

Project Team
Professor Christopher Grof, Assoc. Prof Ian Godwin, Mr Neil Muller
SchemeRole
Linkage Projects Partner fundingChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$320,00020092012
GNo:G0190037

Start-up grant (contribution towards salary funding for Caitlin Byrt)$138,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Professor Christopher Grof
SchemeRole
Special Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$138,00020092011
GNo:G0189583

Electron Microscopes for Nanometer-scale Imaging/Microanalysis in the Materials, Biological, Physical, Engineering and Chemical Sciences$70,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

An Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility for Applications in Proteomics and Organic Chemistry$50,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

2008 (2 grants)

eSorghum as a bio-fuel feedstock for arid environments$442,099
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Project Team
Professor Christopher Grof, Assoc. Prof Ian Godwin, Mr Neil Muller
SchemeRole
Linkage ProjectsChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$442,09920082012
GNo:G0189242

New Staff Grant 2008$15,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Professor Christopher Grof
SchemeRole
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$15,00020082009
GNo:G0189305
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions10
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL4.15

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142022PhD (Biological Sciences)Principal SupervisorThe Timing, Cause and Control of Floral Evocation in Grapevines
20132017PhD (Biological Sciences)Co-SupervisorInvestigating a Role for NAC Transcription Factors as Master Regulators of Transfer Cell Development in Arabidopsis Thaliana
20132017PhD (Biological Sciences)Co-SupervisorDiscovering Transcription Factors Regulating Wall Ingrowth Formation in Transfer Cells Using Arabidopsis Thaliana
20132017PhD (Biological Sciences)Principal SupervisorThe Development of Setaria Species as Model Systems to Dissect Novel Biomass Quality Traits Appropriate for 2nd Generation Lignocellulosic Biofuel Crops
20132017PhD (Biological Sciences)Co-SupervisorThe Molecular Characterisation of Vernalisation in Safflower via the Development of Genomic and Transcriptomic Resources
20122016PhD (Biological Sciences)Principal SupervisorBiofuel Feedstock Improvement Strategies: Soluble Sugars
20122016PhD (Biological Sciences)Principal SupervisorThe Role of Lignin in C4 Biofuel Plants
20122016PhD (Biological Sciences)Co-SupervisorInvestigating Signals Regulating Transfer Cell Development in the Model Flowering Plant Arabidopsis thaliana
20102017PhD (Biological Sciences)Principal SupervisorBenefits of Plants, Compost and Inoculation with Plant-Associated Microbes for the Development of a Mine Spoil Anthroposol
20102014PhD (Biological Sciences)Principal SupervisorSucrose Accumulation in Sorghum Bicolor

Past Supervision

YearProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
2013PhD (Biological Sciences)Co-SupervisorFunctional Characterisation of Novel Sucrose Transporters
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Professor Christopher Grof

Work Phone(02) 4921 5858
Email
PositionProfessor
Plant Science Group
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaBiological Sciences
Office
Biological Sciences,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/chris-grof