The Centre for Plant Science is recognised nationally and internationally for its contributions to understanding regulation of nutrient transport and metabolism

Centre for



Andriunas FA, Zhang HM, Xia X, Patrick JW, Offler CE. 2013. Intersection of transfer cells with phloem biology-broad evolutionary trends, function, and induction. Front. Plant Sci. 4: 221 (eCollection).

Arun Chinnappa KS, Nguyen TT, Hou J, Wu Y, McCurdy DW. 2013. Phloem parenchyma transfer cells in Arabidopsis - an experimental system to identify transcriptional regulators of wall ingrowth formation. Front. Plant Sci. 4: 102 (eCollection).

Eamens AL, McHale M, Waterhouse PM. 2013. The use of artificial microRNA technology to control gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana. Methods Mol. Biol.1062: 211-2124.

Grof CPL, Byrt CS and Patrick JW. 2013.  Long Distance Transport. In Physiology of Sugarcane. (Eds. Moore PH, Botha F). pp., ??-?? Wiley & Sons, America.

Liu YH, Offler CE, Ruan YL. 2013. Regulation of fruit and seed response to heat and drought by sugars as nutrients and signals. Front. Plant Sci. 4: 282 (eCollection).

Lucas WJ, Groover A, Lichtenberger R, Furuta K, Yadav SR, Helariutta Y, He XQ, Fukuda H, Kang J, Brady SM, Patrick JW, Sperry J, Yoshida A, López-Millán AF, Grusak MA, Kachroo P. 2013. The plant vascular system: evolution, development and functions. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55: 294-388.

McHale M, Eamens AL, Finnegan EJ, Waterhouse PM. 2013. A 22-nt artificial microRNA mediates widespread RNA silencing in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 76: 519-529.

Patrick JW. 2013. Does Don Fisher's high-pressure manifold model account for phloem transport and resource partitioning? Front. Plant Sci. 4: 184 (eCollection).

Patrick JW, Botha FC, Birch RG. 2013. Metabolic engineering of sugars and simple sugar derivatives in plants. Plant Biotech J. 11: 142-156.

Milne RJ, Byrt CS, Patrick JW, Grof CP. 2013. Are sucrose transporter expression profiles linked with patterns of biomass partitioning in Sorghum phenotypes? Front. Plant Sci. 4: 223 (eCollection).

Ruan YL. 2013. Boosting seed development as a new strategy to increase cotton fiber yield and quality. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55: 572-575.

Ruan YL, Patrick JW, ShabalaS and Thomas L. SlewinskiTL. 2013. Uptake and regulation of resource allocation for optimal plant performance and adaptation to stress. Front. Plant Sci. 4:455 (eCollection).

Wang L, Ruan YL. 2013. Regulation of cell division and expansion by sugar and auxin signaling. Front. Plant Sci. 4: 282 (eCollection).

Wang H, Qian Z, Ma S, Zhou Y, Patrick JW, Duan X, Jiang Y, Qu H. 2013. Energy status of ripening and postharvest senescent fruit of litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.). BMC Plant Biol. 13: 55.


Agius C, Eamens AL, Millar AA, Watson JM, Wang MB. 2012. RNA silencing and antiviral defense in plants. Methods Mol. Biol. 894: 17-38.

Andriunas FA, Zhang HM, Xia X, Offler CE, McCurdy DW, Patrick JW. 2012. Reactive oxygen species form part of a regulatory pathway initiating trans-differentiation of epidermal transfer cells in Vicia faba cotyledons. J. Exp. Bot. 63: 3617-3629.

Byrt CS, Cahyanegara R, Grof CP. 2012. Plant carbohydrate binding module enhances activity of hybrid microbial cellulase enzyme. Front. Plant Sci. 3: 254 (eCollection).

Chen XY, Li LG, Huang JR, Ruan YL, Wang XM, Li L. 2012. Translate plant metabolism into modern agriculture: a starting point. Mol. Plant. 5: 291-293.

Eamens AL, Kim KW, Curtin SJ, Waterhouse PM. 2012. DRB2 is required for microRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS One. 7: e35933.

Eamens AL, Kim KW, Waterhouse PM. 2012. DRB2, DRB3 and DRB5 function in a non-canonical microRNA pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Signal. Behav. 7: 1224-1229.

Jiang Y, Guo W, Zhu H, Ruan YL, Zhang T. 2012. Overexpression of GhSusA1 increases plant biomass and improves cotton fiber yield and quality. Plant Biotechnol. J. 10: 301-312.

Li Z, Palmer WM, Martin AP, Wang R, Rainsford F, Jin Y, Patrick JW, Yang Y, Ruan YL.High invertase activity in tomato reproductive organs correlates with enhanced sucrose import into, and heat tolerance of, young fruit. J. Exp. Bot. 63: 1155-1166.

Liu YH, Cao JS, Li GJ, Wu XH, Wang BG, Xu P, Hu TT, Lu ZF, Patrick JW, Ruan YL. 2012. Genotypic differences in pod wall and seed growth relate to invertase activities and assimilate transport pathways in asparagus bean. Ann. Bot. 109: 1277-1284.

Ruan YL. 2012. Signaling role of sucrose metabolism in development. Mol. Plant. 5: 763-765.

Ruan YL, Atkins C. 2012. Phloem Transport. In Plants in Action. (Ed. Munns R). (

Ruan YL, Patrick JW, Bouzayen M, Osorio S, Fernie AR. 2012. Molecular regulation of seed and fruit set. Trends Plant Sci. 17: 656-665.

Ruan YL and Wang L. 2012.Sugar metabolism and transport. In Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology. (Eds. Chen XY, Xue HW), pp. 317-342. Higher Education Press, Beijing.

Smith NA, Eamens AL. 2012. Isolation and detection of small RNAs from plant tissues. Methods Mol. Biol. 894: 155-172.

Tegeder M, Ruan YL, Patrick JW. 2012. Roles of membrane transporters in phloem functions. In Phloem: Molecular Cell Biology, Systemic Communication, Biotic Interactions. (Eds., Thompson GA, and van Bel AJE), pp 63-100. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, London.

Wang L, Liao S, Ruan YL.2012. Cell wall invertase as a regulator in determining sequential development of endosperm and embryo through glucose signaling early in seed development. Plant Signal. Behav. 6: 8

Wang L, Ruan YL. 2012. New insights into roles of cell wall invertase in early seed development revealed by comprehensive spatial and temporal expression patterns of GhCWIN1 in cotton. Plant Physiol. 160: 777-787.

Xia X, Zhang HM, Andriunas FA, Offler CE, Patrick JW. 2012. Extracellular hydrogen peroxide, produced through a respiratory burst oxidase/superoxide dismutase pathway, directs ingrowth wall formation in epidermal transfer cells of Vicia faba cotyledons. Plant Signal. Behav. 7: 1125-1128.

Xu SM, Brill E, Llewellyn DJ, Furbank RT, Ruan YL. 2012. Overexpression of a potato sucrose synthase gene in cotton accelerates leaf expansion, reduces seed abortion, and enhances fiber production. Mol. Plant. 5: 430-431.


Andriunas FA, Zhang HM, Weber H, McCurdy DW, Offler CE, Patrick JW. 2011. Glucose and ethylene signalling pathways converge to regulate trans-differentiation of epidermal transfer cells in Vicia narbonensis cotyledons. Plant J. 68: 987-998.

Brill E, van Thournout M, White RG, Llewellyn D, Campbell PM, Engelen S, Ruan YL, Arioli T, Furbank RT. 2011. A novel isoform of sucrose synthase is targeted to the cell wall during secondary cell wall synthesis in cotton fiber. Plant Physiol. 157: 40-54.

Byrt CS, Grof CP, Furbank RT. 2011. C4 plants as biofuel feedstocks: optimising biomass production and feedstock quality from a lignocellulosic perspective. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53: 120-135.

Chakravorty D, Trusov Y, Zhang W, Acharya BR, Sheahan MB, McCurdy DW, Assmann SM, Botella JR. 2011. An atypical heterotrimeric G-protein γ-subunit is involved in guard cell K⁺-channel regulation and morphological development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 67: 840-851.

Eamens AL, Agius C, Smith NA, Waterhouse PM, Wang MB. 2011. Efficient silencing of endogenous microRNAs using artificial microRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Mol. Plant. 4: 157-170.

Eamens AL, Curtin SJ, Waterhouse PM. 2011. The Arabidopsis thaliana double-stranded RNA binding domain protein family. In Non-coding RNAs in Plants, (Eds., Pua EC, Davey MR), pp. 48-62. Springer, Germany.

Eamens AL, Wang MB. 2011. Alternate approaches to repress endogenous microRNA activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Signal. Behav. 6: 349-359.

Eamens AL, Waterhouse PM. 2011. Vectors and methods for hairpin RNA and artificial microRNA-mediated gene silencing in plants. Methods Mol. Biol. 701: 179-197.

Kim KW, Eamens AL, Waterhouse PM. 2011. RNA processing activities of the Arabidopsis thaliana Argonaute Protein family. In RNA Processing, (Ed., Grabowski PJ). InTech, Austria.

Patrick JW. 2012. Fundamentals of phloem transport physiology. In Phloem: Molecular Cell Biology, Systemic Communication, Biotic Interactions. (Eds., Thompson GA, van Bel AJE), pp. 30-60. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, London.

Rae AL, Casu RE, Perroux JM, Jackson MA, Grof CP. 2011. A soluble acid invertase is directed to the vacuole by a signal anchor mechanism. J. Plant Physiol. 168: 983-989.

Smith NA, Eamens AL, Wang MB. 2011. Viral small interfering RNAs target host genes to mediate disease symptoms in plants. PLoS Pathog. 7: e1002022.

Tegeder M, Rentsch D, Patrick JW. 2011. Organic carbon and nitrogen transporters. In The Plant Plasma Membrane. (Eds. Murphy A, Peer W, Schulz B). pp. 331-352. Plant Cell Monographs. Springer, Germany.

van Bel AJ, Furch AC, Hafke JB, Knoblauch M, Patrick JW. 2011. (Questions)n on phloem biology. 2. Mass flow, molecular hopping, distribution patterns and macromolecular signalling. Plant Sci. 181: 325-330.


Agius C, Eamens AL, Millar AA, Wang MB (2010). Regulatory giants join forces. Front. Biol. 4: 5-7.

Edwards J, Martin AP, Andriunas F, Offler CE, Patrick JW, McCurdy DW. 2010. GIGANTEA is a component of a regulatory pathway determining wall ingrowth deposition in phloem parenchyma transfer cells of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 63: 651-661.

Kühn C, Grof CP. 2010. Sucrose transporters of higher plants. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 13: 288-298.

Li XR, Wang L, Ruan YL. 2010. Developmental and molecular physiological evidence for the role of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in rapid cotton fibre elongation. J. Exp. Bot. 61: 287-295.

McCurdy DW, Dibley S, Cahyanegara R, Martin A, Patrick JW. 2010. Functional characterization and RNAi-mediated suppression reveals roles for hexose transporters in sugar accumulation by tomato fruit. Mol. Plant. 3: 1049-1063.

Patrick JW, Stoddard FL. (2010). Physiology of flowering and grain filling in faba bean. Field Crops Res. 115: 234-242.

Pugh DA, Offler CE, Talbot MJ, Ruan YL. 2010. Evidence for the role of transfer cells in the evolutionary increase in seed and fiber biomass yield in cotton. Mol. Plant. 3: 1075-1086.

Ruan YL, Jin Y, Yang YJ, Li GJ, Boyer JS. 2010. Sugar input, metabolism, and signaling mediated by invertase: roles in development, yield potential, and response to drought and heat. Mol. Plant. 3: 942-955.

Ruan YL, Patrick JW, Weber H. 2010. Assimilate partitioning and plant development. Mol. Plant. 3: 941.

Smith NA, Eamens AL, Wang MB. 2010. The presence of high-molecular-weight viral RNAs interferes with the detection of viral small RNAs. RNA. 16: 1062-1067.

Wang L, Li XR, Lian H, Ni DA, He YK, Chen XY, Ruan YL. 2010. Evidence that high activity of vacuolar invertase is required for cotton fiber and Arabidopsis root elongation through osmotic dependent and independent pathways, respectively. Plant Physiol. 154: 744-756.

Wang L, Ruan YL. 2010. Unraveling mechanisms of cell expansion linking solute transport, metabolism, plasmodesmtal gating and cell wall dynamics. Plant Signal. Behav. 5: 1561-1564.

Zhou Y, Andriunas F, Offler CE, McCurdy DW, Patrick JW. 2010. An epidermal-specific ethylene signal cascade regulates trans-differentiation of transfer cells in Vicia faba cotyledons. New Phytol. 185: 931-943.


Dibley SJ, Zhou Y, Andriunas FA, Talbot MJ, Offler CE, Patrick JW, McCurdy DW. 2009. Early gene expression programs accompanying trans-differentiation of epidermal cells of Vicia faba cotyledons into transfer cells. New Phytol. 182: 863-877.

Eamens AL, Smith NA, Curtin SJ, Wang MB, Waterhouse PM. 2009. The Arabidopsis thaliana double-stranded RNA binding protein DRB1 directs guide strand selection from microRNA duplexes. RNA. 15: 2219-2235.

Jin Y, Ni DA, Ruan YL. 2009. Posttranslational elevation of cell wall invertase activity by silencing its inhibitor in tomato delays leaf senescence and increases seed weight and fruit hexose level. Plant Cell. 21: 2072-2089.

Ruan YL.2009.Sugar transport and metabolism during seed development. In Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology. (Eds., Chen XY, Tong CC). pp 313-328.High Education Press, Beijing.

Ruan YL, Jin Y, Huang J. 2009. Capping invertase activity by its inhibitor: roles and implications in sugar signaling, carbon allocation, senescence and evolution. Plant Signal. Behav. 4: 983-985.

Staiger CJ, Sheahan MB, Khurana P, Wang X, McCurdy DW, Blanchoin L. 2009. Actin filament dynamics are dominated by rapid growth and severing activity in the Arabidopsis cortical array. J. Cell. Biol. 184: 269-280.

Zhou Y, Chan K, Wang TL, Hedley CL, Offler CE, Patrick JW. 2009. Intracellular sucrose communicates metabolic demand to sucrose transporters in developing pea cotyledons. J. Exp. Bot. 60: 71-85.


Curtin SJ, Watson JM, Smith NA, Eamens AL, Blanchard CL, Waterhouse PM. 2008. The roles of plant dsRNA-binding proteins in RNAi-like pathways. FEBS Lett. 582: 2753-2760.

Eamens AL, Wang MB, Smith NA, Waterhouse PM. 2008. RNA silencing in plants: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Plant Physiol. 147: 456-468.

Eamens AL, Vaistij FE, Jones L. 2008. NRPD1a and NRPD1b are required to maintain post-transcriptional RNA silencing and RNA-directed DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 55: 596-606.

Fallahi H, Scofield GN, Badger MR, Chow WS, Furbank RT, Ruan YL. 2008. Localization of sucrose synthase in developing seed and siliques of Arabidopsis thaliana reveals diverse roles for SUS during development. J. Exp. Bot. 59: 3283-3295.

Koller CE, Patrick JW, Rose RJ, Offler CE, MacFarlane GR.. 2008. Arsenic and heavy metal accumulation by Pteris vittata L. and P. umbrosa R. Br. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 80: 128-133.

McCurdy DW, Patrick JW, Offler CE. 2008. Wall ingrowth formation in transfer cells: novel examples of localized wall deposition in plant cells. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 11: 653-661.

Ruan YL, Llewellyn DJ, Liu Q, Xu SM, Wu LM, Wang L, Furbank RT. 2008. Expression of sucrose synthase in the developing endosperm is essential for early seed development in cotton. Functional Plant Biol 35, 382-393.

Xu FQ, Li XR, Ruan YL. 2008. RNAi-mediated suppression of hexokinase gene OsHXK10 in rice leads to non-dehiscent anther and reduction of pollen germination. Plant Sci. 175: 647-684.