Lab News Archive

Friday, 26 July 2019
Ringmaster of MS/MS Mark Fisher has done it again with a manuscript on the biggest known orbitide accept today by Journal of Natural Products, more info coming soon.
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Today, registration for HDD2020 opened, a world first conference dedicated to herbicide discovery to be held here in Perth 15-17 January, 2020. Register at this link; the first 50 regos get a stubby cooler!
Sunday, 7 July 2019
Today Josh's interview with Pip Courtney aired on ABC Landline trying to counter the hype associated with glyphosate. If you want to reduce your cancer risk, use glyphosate but stop drinking! For anyone impatient, he's on at 6’00” and then again at 12’48”.
Wednesday, 3 July 2019
Today Mark Fisher had his viva voce with Ray Norton of Monash Uni. and Louis Luk of Cardiff Uni. and passed with flying colours. It's Dr Fisher now!
Friday, 28 June 2019
Mark Fisher gave his PhD swansong (completion seminar) in front of the School today and nailed it! Next Wednesday he defends his thesis in a viva voce.
Wednesday, 26 June 2019
A manuscript on the antimalarial albopunctatone by Glenn Pullela of Matt Piggott's lab (on which Josh and Kirill co-author) was accepted today by Organic Letters. More info coming soon!
Friday, 14 June 2019
Congratulations Jingjing Zhang, who today submitted her PhD thesis entitled "The investigation of two buried peptide families as well as an exploration into new herbicides".
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Congratulations to DECRA Fellow Joel Haywood and his wife Jojo on the birth of their son, Blake, who came into the world yesterday at a healthy 7 lb 2 oz or 3.24 kg in new money!
Saturday, 25 May 2019
See our latest pre-print on bioRxiv led by PhD student Mark Fisher and entitled "Novel cyclic peptides in seeds of Annona muricata are ribosomally synthesised".
Thursday, 23 May 2019
Out today is work by ex-PhD student Dr Ben Pouvreau (now at CSIRO in Canberra). "An interstitial peptide is readily processed from within seed proteins" is available with no paywall until 12 July 2019 or via its DOI.
Friday, 17 May 2019
Today, the lab welcomed Dr Grishma Vadlamani who hails from Monash University and will work on our recently funded DP19 on novel herbicide targets.
Thursday, 16 May 2019
Check out the nice cover art for our recent ACS Chemical Biology paper. See the Tweet or look for the Russian nesting doll image at ACS.
Friday, 10 May 2019
Mark Fisher will have his PhD viva voce on Wednesday 3 July and two examiners will fly in for it plus give talks in our School's seminar series, namely rising star Dr Louis Luk of Cardiff University and the legendary Prof. Ray Norton of Monash University.
Thursday, 2 May 2019
A manuscript led by Ben Pouvreau entitled "An interstitial peptide is readily processed from within seed proteins" was accepted by Plant Science. Synthetic approaches showed how easily unrelated seed proteins can make the usually albumin-buried SFTI peptide.
Tuesday, 30 April 2019
Congratulations to PhD student Mark Fisher who today submitted his PhD thesis, which is in the format of thesis by publication including 5 published works, one in bioRxiv, two under review and one in preparation - a productive PhD!
Thursday, 11 April 2019
A second example of protein hijack is out "An ancient peptide family buried within vicilin precursors" came out today in ACS Chemical Biology. You can access it via its DOI or via PubMed .
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Our paper "The macrocyclizing protease butelase 1 remains auto-catalytic and reveals the structural basis for ligase activity" came out today in The Plant Journal. To get it, go to this link for the DOI.
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Anyone wanting to get their mitts on our construct for making supercycliser butelase 1 (C. ternatea AEP1) in E. coli, it's available at Addgene.
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Work we helped with is just out at BioRxiv. The CycloNovo algorithm developed at UCSD by Pavel Pevzner and colleagues does de novo cyclopeptide discovery and uniquely uses de Bruijn graphs, common in NGS assembly.
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
The Australian Research Council has awarded us two Discovery Project grants. One grant aims to discover plant processes and plant proteins that can be the target for new herbicides. The other aims to examine how evolution in plants shortcuts the creation of new proteins by burying one within another.
Thursday, 7 February 2019
Our manuscript "The macrocyclizing protease butelase 1 remains auto-catalytic and reveals the structural basis for ligase activity" was just accepted by The Plant Journal. It is available now at BioRxiv and more news coming soon.
Friday, 11 January 2019
A grant-funded stipend to ($30,000 p.a. tax-free, 3 years) to work on herbicide target discovery is available, details at, applications close 18 February 2019.
Thursday, 10 January 2019
We have a 3 year post-doc position ($92,497 p.a. + 17% super.) to work on herbicide target proteins, see the UWA job #502578, applications close 15 February 2019.
Monday, 17 December 2018
Congratulations to Dr Joel Haywood, who won a 2019 Thomas Davies Research Grant for Marine, Soil and Plant Biology worth $15,000 from the Australian Academy of Science.
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Congratulations to Bingsen Zhang, who was offered a PhD scholarship by UWA. Bingsen is currently completing a degree in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Nanjing University, so if all goes to plan, he will start a PhD here in 2019.
Monday, 29 October 2018
The lab welcomes Mario Bani who started his PhD today. Mario did his MSc at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at UQ with Prof. Glenn King working with recombinant protein venoms. He will work on novel herbicide targets genetically and with biochemical approaches.
Monday, 1 October 2018
We are helping organise a conference at UWA 15-17 January 2020 entitled "Herbicide Discovery & Development" (HDD2020). See the website and follow it on Twitter and use the hashtag #HDD2020.
Thursday, 16 August 2018
The structural co-ordinates for the macrocyclizing protease butelase 1 were released by the Protein Data Bank today with the accession number 6DHI.
Friday, 10 August 2018
Check out this interview (YouTube or MP3 download) by Josh with the Laymans Podcast; two young guys interested in science and communication, operating from their parents' back garden shed.
Tuesday, 31 July 2018
We have nervously entered the preprint world with our manuscript "The macrocyclizing protease butelase 1 remains auto-catalytic and reveals the structural basis for ligase activity" published today on bioRxiv.
Monday, 9 July 2018
The lab welcomes Zhang Bingsen from Nanjing University (China) who will stay for a two-month research placement as part of the UWA International Research Internship Program (IRIP).
Friday, 8 June 2018
Our paper in Plant Journal "Targeting plant DIHYDROFOLATE REDUCTASE with antifolates and mechanisms for genetic resistance" came online today in early view format and can be found by its DOI or in PubMed.
Thursday, 24 May 2018
Congratulations again to Max Corral whose PhD thesis “Antimalarial herbicides and herbicidal antimalarials: Exploiting the plant-Plasmodium connection” was accepted by the UWA Board of the Graduate Research School as satisfying the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy today!
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Congratulations Max Corral and colleagues, whose work on DHFR as a herbicide target was just accepted today for publication by The Plant Journal. More information coming soon.
Friday, 6 April 2018
The academic promotions committee at UWA notified Josh Mylne today that he was promoted from Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor, effective 13 March 2018!
Friday, 16 March 2018
Congratulations Amy James whose thesis “Evolutionary insights into two plant protein families: Bowman-Birk inhibitors and asparaginyl endopeptidases” was accepted today by the UWA Board of Graduate Research School for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy!
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Out today in Plant Direct is a new family of tiny cyclopeptides by PhD student Mark Fisher. It can be accessed via its DOI and there's a press release too.
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Our School of Molecular Sciences is on the hunt to fill a new synthetic biology position at Level C (senior lecturer) or Level D (Associate Professor). Applications close 2 May 2018.
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Look at this cover art by corresponding author Johan Rosengren that accompanys our review by Franke et al. in Natural Product Reports.
Friday, 16 February 2018
Check out the article by RSC Publishing Editor Olivia Wakeman "Antibiotic analogue puts researchers on path to ending herbicide drought" in Chemistry World about our paper in ChemComm.
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Our Schools's new macromolecular X-ray suite (a Rigaku Oxford Diffraction XtaLAB Synergy-S diffractometer) has arrived and is being installed this week by Phil O'Donnell from AXT. Huzzah!
Monday, 12 February 2018
We just found out that Bastian Franke's review in Natural Product Reports got the cover with some eye-catching art ... stay tuned!
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
After a small delay, the PDB file "Asparaginyl endopeptidase 1 bound to AAN peptide, a tetrahedral intermediate" associated with the paper in eLife is released at PDB under accession 6AZT.
Thursday, 1 February 2018
Just out today in eLife, our paper by Joel Haywood et al. entitled "Structural basis of ribosomal peptide macrocyclization in plants". Read it now via its DOI or see the press release.
Friday, 26 January 2018
What a great week for the lab, with 5 papers accepted in 7 days. Post-doc and soon to be DECRA Fellow Joel Haywood had his first-author manuscript on the crystal structure of active sunflower AEP accepted at eLife. It is available by its DOI.
Thursday, 25 January 2018
Good things come in fours? Joint PhD student Michael Wallace just had his manuscript on ciprofloxacin analogues and their herbicidal activity accepted at RSC journal Chemical Communications. See it using its DOI.
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Good things come in threes ... PhD student Mark Fisher had his lead-author manuscript revealing 50 peptide rings (called PLPs) accepted today at the new open-access journal Plant Direct. More information coming soon.
Friday, 19 January 2018
A doubly good day ... we just had a manuscript on albumin-buried peptides led by ex-PhD student Bastian Franke (based in the lab of Dr Johan Rosengren) accepted today at the high-impact review journal Natural Product Reports. It is accessible by its DOI.
Friday, 19 January 2018
On his last day as a PhD student, Max Corral's manuscript on a herbicidal antimalarial was accepted by Pest Management Science. This paper expands our lab's work on herbicides done in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Keith Stubbs and with BASF in Germany. It is available via DOI or PubMed.
Thursday, 21 December 2017
Josh has won a prestigious Fulbright Professional Scholarship to visit the University of Minnesota St Paul where he'll be hosted by Asst Prof. Mikael Elias for 3 months including December 2018 until February 2019. UWA issued a press release detailing its 2018 winners.
Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Congratulations Maxime Corral who today submitted his PhD thesis entitled "Antimalarial herbicides and herbicidal antimalarials: exploiting the plant-Plasmodium connection" for examination.
Monday, 18 December 2017
What timing! Just days before submitting his PhD thesis, lab member Max Corral has secured a 3-yr CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Floreat, Perth to work on novel technologies for control of crop diseases with Dr Jonathan Anderson.
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Today at 10:30am, Josh is giving a seminar for the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science entitled "Antimalarial herbicides and herbicidal antimalarials: exploiting the plant-Plasmodium connection"
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
At the Weizmann Institute of Science's Biomolecular Sciences Department today, Josh delivered a special guest lecture "The Fellowships of the Rings: evolution and biosynthesis of circular peptides"
Friday, 10 November 2017
Congratulations to post-doc Dr Joel Haywood who was awarded a 3-year ARC DECRA Fellowship "Structure-based investigations into new modes of action for herbicides".
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
A lay article by Josh on the history leading to recent work on antimalarial herbicides out in Sci. Rep. and Angewandte Chemie featured in the September issue of Australasian Science magazine. The article "Malaria Drugs Offer New Herbicide Targets" can now be downloaded. Click here for the PDF.
Monday, 30 October 2017
Congratulations to Amy James who today submitted her PhD thesis entitled "Evolutionary insights into two plant protein families: Bowman-Birk inhibitors and asparaginyl endopeptidases" for examination. The floppy hat beckons!
Wednesday, 20 September 2017
A grant application led by CSIRO's Jonathan Anderson and partnered with our lab was successful. The goal is to develop peptides that transport RNA for plant protection and a 3-year fellow will be employed to work on this at CSIRO in Floreat.
Friday, 14 July 2017
Check out this article at the coarsely named, but highly popular I F%#king Love Science by Stephen Luntz about our work, just out in Angewandte Chemie.
Monday, 3 July 2017
Our recent work on antimalarial herbicides was picked up by ABC who covered it on FaceBook, in an online article and in a podcast interview with Josh that starts about 9 minutes in (span is 09:20-15:21).
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Congratulations to PhD student Max Corral whose manuscript "Exploiting the evolutionary relationship between malarial parasites and plants to develop new herbicides" came online at Angewandte Chemie today. This work was a close collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Keith Stubbs, an organic chemist in our School of Molecular Sciences. It can be viewed via PubMed, its DOI and this is the press release.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Out today in JBC is a lovely triple resonance NMR structure of one of our favourite proteins, PawS1, done in collaboration with Dr Johan Rosengren from UQ and led by (now ex-) joint PhD student Bastian Franke who's begun a post-doc in Switzerland. The paper "Two Proteins for the Price of One: Structural Studies of the Dual Destiny Preproalbumin with Sunflower Trypsin Inhibitor-1" can be accessed via its DOI or PubMed.
Monday, 22 May 2017
WA mining mogul Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola have made a second philanthropic $65 million donation to the Forrest Research Foundation building on their generous donation in 2013. Their donations benefit all five Western Australian universities and represent the largest contribution by private individuals to Australian higher education.
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Check out this video of Josh which was posted on the UWA FaceBook site as part of World Malaria Day 2017.
Friday, 7 April 2017
Here is our "doppelgängers" art as the March Plant Cell cover accompanying the article on Bowman-Birk Inhibitors.
Friday, 7 April 2017
Our article "Herbicidal properties of antimalarial drugs" has been recommended in F1000 Prime as being of special significance in its field, read the recommendastion here.
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
Our work on antimalarial herbicides was highlighted in the latest edition (Issue 22) of Leading Agriculture, a "digital magazine showcasing the best in Australian farming".
Monday, 3 April 2017
Our paper highlighting the close relationship between malaria and plants "Herbicidal properties of antimalarial drugs" is now out in Scientific Reports and a press release may be viewed here.
Thursday, 30 March 2017
Our artwork for the recently published paper on BBIs was selected by The Plant Cell for the March cover! The art, done by Scot Nicholls of Domokun Design will be his second work to grace the cover of Plant Cell. Scot's art was also featured on the Plant Cell March 2014 cover.
Friday, 24 March 2017
Over 110 new transcriptomes were used to the birth and evolution of SFTI-1 in our new Mol. Biol. Evol. paper that was indexed today in PubMed and the article "Stepwise evolution of a buried inhibitor peptide over 45 million years" by Achala Jayasena et al. can be viewed using its DOI. A press release also just came out.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
A short review on AEPs authored with PhD student Amy James and Dr Joel Haywood just went live in the Wiley Online Library, click DOI to access it at New Phytologist or go via PubMed.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Our paper by Amy James and colleagues just came online at The Plant Cell: "Evidence for Ancient Origins of Bowman-Birk Inhibitors from Selaginella moellendorffii". Click for Press Release or go straight to the paper by DOI.
Tuesday, 7 March 2017
They say that good things come in 3s! We're delighted that a manuscript that solves a long-standing mystery regarding the provenance of Bowman-Birk Inihibitors was accepted recently by The Plant Cell. The work was spear-headed by PhD student Amy James and involved collaboration locally with Charlie Bond and at La Trobe with Jim Whelan and colleagues. Stay tuned for updates!
Saturday, 4 March 2017
Congratulations to PhD student Max Corral whose manuscript on an interesting connection between plants and human parasites was accepted by Scientific Reports today. His paper will signal the beginning of a new line of research by our lab into herbicides. This work is done in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Keith Stubbs, an organic chemist in our School of Molecular Sciences. More information coming soon.
Friday, 3 March 2017
This afternoon we're breaking out the beers to celebrate a manuscript recently accepted by the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. The work by PhD student Achala Jayasena and others from the lab draws on a staggering 107 new transcriptomic datasets acquired in collaboration with Jim Whelan and colleagues at La Trobe and phylogenies by Jose Panero and Ed Schilling from the USA. Its puts together the genetic steps that over 45 million years evolved the inhibitor peptide SFTI-1. More information coming soon.
Monday, 27 February 2017
Welcome to Luca Stehl who started his lab placement today as part of an exchange between UWA and his alma mater, Freiburg University in Germany, where he is pursuing a Masters in Plant Biology. Luca will learn recombinant protein production working with potential new herbicide targets.
Monday, 20 February 2017
The lab welcomes Samuel Nonis who started his PhD today. Sam did his Honours at UWA, had an internship at A*Star Institite in Singapore before winning a prestigious IPRS scholarship. He will work on proteases and protein evolution.
Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Congratulations Amy James and Joel Haywood whose Tansley Insight on ring-making proteases from plants was accepted today by New Phytologist. More details to come once the article become available.
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
Dr Pouvreau it is! Today Ben's thesis entitled “The genesis of new proteins and new biosyntheses” was accepted by the Board of the Graduate Research School as satisfying the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy.
Friday, 6 January 2017
We're in! Today we moved lock, stock and barrel one floor down to lab 2.55 in the Bayliss Building alongside the labs of Mark Howard, Heng Chooi and Mark Waters.
Monday, 19 December 2016
Congratulations to Michael Wallace who won a scholarship today to pursue a PhD in 2017 with close collaborator Assoc. Professor Keith Stubbs. Michael will continue the work he did during honours on herbicides in collaboration with our lab.
Friday, 16 December 2016
The lab is moving! Today we were given the keys to lab 2.55 also in the Bayliss Building. With a whopping 170 square metres of floor space as well as equipment rooms and walk-in coldroom it's quite the upgrade from our lab on the third floor of Bayliss. We will share our lab with new NMR appointee Dr Mark Howard and our lab is adjacent to those of ARC Future Fellows Dr Heng Chooi and Dr Mark Waters. A great micro environment for chemical biology research!
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
If you're heading to the 2017 42nd Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function, Josh will be talking in the "Movement and evolution" session on Monday 6 February on "Buried treasure: the de novo evolutionary birth of proteins from within a host".
Monday, 10 October 2016
Our paper by ex-PhD student Alysha Elliott and joint PhD student Bastian Franke entitled "Natural structural diversity within a conserved cyclic peptide scaffold" is now available via PubMed or following its DOI.
Saturday, 10 September 2016
After a long wait, Achala Jayasena finally gets to don the floppy hat for her PhD thesis entitled "De novo birth and stepwise evolution of a seed peptide". Achala started her PhD in 2012 and has authored papers in Biopolymers, TAG, Chem. Biol., Plant Methods and Plant Cell with more on the way!
Friday, 9 September 2016
Congratulations to ex-PhD student Alysha Elliott and joint PhD student Bastian Franke, whose manuscript on NMR structures of some buried peptides was accepted today for publication in Amino Acids, more details soon.
Friday, 29 July 2016
Today Bayer CropScience announced we had won a grant from their scheme Grants4Targets. The proposal "Ripping plant plastid DNA replication in two" will develop gyrase inhibitors as herbicides in collaboration with the Stubbs lab and Prof. Tony Maxwell of the John Innes Centre in the UK.
Monday, 18 July 2016
We're sharing RNA-seq datasets for three rare plants at key phylogenetic nodes; the lycophytes Phylloglossum drummondii and Isoetes drummondii and the basal angiosperm representative Trithuria bibracteata. For details see this blog by collaborator Jill Harrison from Bristol University.
Thursday, 14 July 2016
An easy-to-read article about cleavage coupled intramolecular transpeptidation has been reprinted in this month's issue of Chemistry in Australia magazine, click here to download the PDF. Also, check out Chemistry in Australia magazine on-line - it's a good read!
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Congratulations to Benjamin Pouvreau who just handed in his PhD thesis entitled "The genesis of new proteins and new biosyntheses" for examination. Party time this Friday!
Monday, 11 July 2016
Congratulations to Achala Jayasena whose PhD thesis entitled “De novo birth and stepwise evolution of a seed peptide” has been accepted by the Board of the Graduate Research School as satisfying the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in this University. Floppy hat ceremony is next!
Friday, 1 July 2016
A publication on seed peptides from Zinnia came out on-line at Biopolymers today; congratulations to lead author Bastian Franke and co-authors from our lab, Achala and Mark. It can be accessed via its DOI or at PubMed.
Friday, 24 June 2016
Great news for PhD student Benjamin Pouvreau, who just landed a 3-yr CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on canola oil biosynthesis in Canberra. He's now more motivated than ever to submit his thesis!
Monday, 20 June 2016
The lab welcomes Joel Haywood who today starts a post-doc that will bring protein structure to some of the biosyntheses and bioactivities our lab is interested in. Joel just finished his PhD at the Chinese Academy of Science working on leukocyte receptors.
Thursday, 16 June 2016
Congratulations to Ben Pouvreau who gave his PhD completion seminar today. To celebrate the lab's RA Julie baked Ben some special Arabidopsis cupcakes, see them in the banner here.
Saturday, 7 May 2016
Congratulations to PhD student Bastian Franke, whose manuscript on the structures of the major sunflower albumins was accepted today by the Journal of Proteomics for an upcoming special on Foodomics, more details soon.
Saturday, 2 April 2016
We're advertising a 2-year post-doc position to work on the biosynthesis of bioactive peptides by proteases. Those with recombinant protein and mass spec experience will be favoured. Closes Wednesday 27 April [LINK REMOVED].
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
A lay article by Josh on a fascinating cleavage-coupled intramolecular transpeptidation reaction called "Protein scissors that also learned to glue" is now out in Australasian Science magazine, click here to download the PDF.
Monday, 29 February 2016
Today the lab welcomes Brodie Ketteridge-Hall who will start his honours working on ligating proteases as well as joint Honours student Michael Wallace who will be based in the Stubbs lab working to turn ciprofloxacin into a better herbicide.
Thursday, 25 February 2016
Our work with cipro has been covered by Scitech's ScienceNetwork WA with an article by Cristy Burne and by ABC Rural's Fiona Pepper in an article and a riveting interview.
Friday, 12 February 2016
A press release for a joint JBC paper on plant DNA gyrase with a team UK came out today: "Common antibiotic inspires hunt for new herbicide". Click for Press Release or go straight to the paper by DOI.
Monday, 18 January 2016
Our paper "A tripartite approach identifies the major sunflower seed albumins" by outgoing PhD student Achala Jayasena and collegues from UQ has just come out on-line at Theor. Appl. Genet. and can be accessed via PubMed or its DOI.
Thursday, 14 January 2016
Josh will be visiting the UK in April; he will be in Oxford 9-12 April and speak at Plant Proteases 2016 then in Norwich 13-19 April and will speak at the John Innes Centre on 18 or 19 April.
Monday, 11 January 2016
Our lab advertised a PhD stipend to pursue the enzymatic basis for the production of a bioactive peptide. Applications close 20 January 2016. Details may be found here.
Friday, 18 December 2015
Congratulations to the lab's Mark Fisher who today was awarded the Bruce and Betty Green Postgraduate Research Scholarship to be held in conjunction with his Australian Postgraduate Award while doing his PhD.
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
A manuscript for work done by our lab's Julie Leroux in collaboration with Prof. Tony Maxwell at the John Innes Centre (UK) was published on-line today by The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Monday, 7 December 2015
Today the lab welcomed undergraduate summer studuents Morgan Biggs and Conor MacKay who will work with PhD candidate Amy James producing sunflower proteases to skill up on recombinant protein production and purification. Welcome boys!
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Congratulations to PhD students Achala Jayasena and Bastian Franke, whose paper identifying the major sunflower seed albumins was accepted today by Theoretical and Applied Genetics.
Friday, 30 October 2015
The Australian Research Council has awarded us a Discovery Project grant to study how a protein bond breaker evolved to also be a protein bond maker. This will allow new insight into forces that shaped enzyme evolution and enable the design of enzymes with superior cutting or ligating ability for industrial applications.
Monday, 27 October 2015
Today the lab welcomed the arrival of Jingjing Zhang who begins her PhD on bioactive peptide processing in sunflower seeds. Jingjing obtained her MSc. in biophysics from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and won a prestigious IPRS scholarship. Details of scholarships offered for PhD study at UWA are available here.
Friday, 23 October 2015
Check out this interview of Josh for ... a box of steak knives to anyone who can work out what the gaff just before 2.00 was. Check out other interviews here, including luminaries such as Sir David Attenborough, George McGhee, Simon Conway Morris and many more!
Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Alongside close collaborator Keith Stubbs, Josh was a recent recipent of a Vice-Chancellor’s Mid-Career Research Award announced at a recent ceremony during UWA Research Week.
Friday, 11 September 2015
In one week Edward E. Schilling, a world expert in sunflower systemists from The University of Tennessee (Knoxville, USA) will arrive for a working visit from Fri, 18 September – Mon, 5 October.
Monday, 17 August 2015
Past PhD student Dr Alysha Elliott has been nominated for the Prestigious Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize for her work attempting to find the next big antibiotic against superbugs through the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery initiative. Vote for her in the people's choice award here.
Monday, 17 August 2015
After blitzing his undergraduate and honours years, Mark Fisher went on to win an APA and started his PhD today. He will be attempting to elucidate the frequency with which proteins are born inside one another.
Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Today the lab welcomes Andrew McLagan who is beginning a PhD on herbicide discovery. Andrew has honours in synthetic organic chemistry and in addition to doing all his own compound testing will be busy in the hood in a joint project with the lab of Assoc. Prof. Keith Stubbs also from UWA’s School of Chemistry & Biochemistry.
Friday, 24 July 2015
Congratulations to Jingjing Zhang who won a prestigious IPRS scholarship from UWA to start her PhD in August. Jingjing has a M.Sc. from The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and has been working for the Beijing Genomics Institute. Her project will focus on peptide biosynthesis and biodegradation. Details of scholarships offered for PhD study at UWA are available here.
Friday, 3 July 2015
Today we said farewell to Ellen Adams from Cleveland Ohio (USA) who joined the lab for a 4 week stay. Just two days ago she got her sequence back and found she'd cloned her novel PawL1 gene successfully!
Friday, 19 June 2015
We are helping organise a hands-on, 2-day beginners-level workshop for analysis of transcriptomes which will be held at La Trobe University as a satellite to the 2015 Melbourne ComBio conference. Click [LINK REMOVED BY JSM] to visit the workshop website. There's only 25 places and to register is $50 so apply ASAP!
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Today Ellen Adams from Cleveland Ohio (USA) joined the lab for a 4 weeks stay, during which time she will study the step-wise evolution of peptides by tracing the history of the PawS1 gene.
Thursday, 7 May 2015
Our paper "Peptide Macrocyclization by a Bifunctional Endoprotease" by Bernath-Levin et al. came out today in Chemistry & Biology and will feature on the cover of their May issue. See the accompanying press release.
Friday, 1 May 2015
We just heard the artwork submitted to accompany our manuscript on cleavage-coupled transpeptidation by Bernath-Levin et al. was chosen for the cover of the May issue of Cell Press's Chemistry & Biology, more details coming soon.
Friday, 3 April 2015
Our manuscript by Bernath-Levin et al. illustrating how an endoprotease is able to cleave as well as ligate in a sunflower cyclic peptide biosynthesis was accepted today by Cell Press's Chemistry & Biology, more details soon.
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Our Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry paper done collaboratively at UWA with Keith Stubbs and Michael Gandy to develop an interactive herbicide database was released on-line today and may be accessed via its DOI. To download the database itself (i.e. the .zip file), click here.
Thursday, 12 March 2015
Applications from international and Australian students for the generous Forrest (PhD) Scholarships commencing in 2015 are now open, those interested can contact Josh Mylne.
Monday, 2 March 2015
Yen Yeen Chor, a post-grad student in the first cohort of the new UWA Masters of Biotechnology joined the lab today and will work part-time on an international project with U. Texas that will refine phylogenies of some daisies.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Ellen Adams from Cleveland Ohio (USA) will be coming to the lab in June for 4 weeks as a summer (err, well actually winter) student, during which time she will study the step-wise evolution of peptides by tracing the history of the PawS1 gene.
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
We have word that two world expert sunflower systemists Jose L. Panero (U. Texas, USA) and Edward E. Schilling (U. Tennessee, Knoxville) from USA are planning a working visit to our lab later this year in spring. Will post again when dates are confirmed.
Friday, 9 January 2015
Congratulations to Shohidul Alam, who has been awarded his PhD from UQ entitled "Engineering Insect-Resistant Plants by Transgenic Expression of an Insecticidal Spider-Venom Peptide" and is now set-up in his office back in Bangladesh.
Monday, 1 December 2014
Today we welcomed a summer volunteer student Clarise Hewetson who will be learning the molecular biology ropes by engineering plants to answer evolutionary questions about a bifunctional protease.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
The raw data for the Heliopsis helianthoides and Zinnia haageana de novo seed transcriptomes in Jayasena et al. (2014) were registered with the NCBI BioProject database (PRJNA255932 and PRJNA255931) and deposited in the short reads archive (SRX659707, SRX659706), links to H. helianthoides and Z. haageana.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Our paper "Next generation sequencing and de novo transcriptomics to study gene evolution" by Jayasena et al. is now available online at Plant Methods.
Monday, 27 October 2014
A manuscript we helped with regarding the evolution of Momordica seed peptides was accepted today by Molecular Biology & Evolution, more details to follow. Congratulations Tunjung!
Saturday, 25 October 2014
A retrospective of the eclectic "Are there limits to evolution?" conference in Cambridge UK was blogged about recently at the Map of Life, a site dedicated to convergent evolution.
Thursday, 9 October 2014
The details of our deep sequencing project using specimens for three important taxa have been posted by Jill Harrison on the Annals of Botany AoB blog.
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Our manuscript by Jayasena et al. that details how we assemble and test de novo transcriptomes for what is now over 100 non model organisms was accepted today by Plant Methods, more details coming soon.
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Today the delivery of some live plants signalled the beginning of a collaborative project with Jill Harrison of Cambridge University and Kingsley Dixon of Kings Park and Botanic Garden to generate de novo transcriptomes for some deep time taxa at key phylogenetic nodes, namely the clubmoss Phylloglossum drummondii, the quillwort Isoetes drummondii and the basal angiosperm Trithuria bibracteata.
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Josh is visiting England and will speak at Oxford 18 Sep 11am, JIC Norwich 23 Sep 9.30am, Cambridge 24 Sep 4pm and then at the ATLE conference at St John's 26 Sep 2.25pm.
Thursday, 4 September 2014
A science communication article "A Protein Is Born" written by Josh is now out in the September issue of Australasian Science magazine. It provides a simpler explanation of the key findings from work published in March 2014 in Plant Cell. A PDF of it is here.
Monday, 11 August 2014
Today the lab welcomed Daisy, a Year 10 work experience student from Perth's Thornlie Christian College. She's here for a week to get a practical and theoretical grounding in genetics.
Monday, 16 June 2014
Congratulations to Shohidul Alam who submitted his PhD thesis to the UQ offices today regarding methods to engineer insect resistant plants. With any luck, in a few months Shohidul will get to wear that floppy hat!
Monday, 5 May 2014
Today Josh begins a month-long stint as a Feinberg Foundation Visiting Fellow in the Department of Biological Chemistry of the Weizmann Institute in Israel where he is being hosted by Dan Tawfik, a expert in enzyme mechanism and evolution.
Monday, 28 April 2014
PhD student Maxime Corral has been selected to represent UWA at James Cook University in Cairns later this year for the annual meeting of the Tropical Research Network, a collaborative network established with seven other Australian universities.
Friday, 25 April 2014
A science communication article "Genes that cuddle in the cold" written by Josh will feature on the cover of the May issue of Australasian Science magazine. It provides an informal prehistory and overview of work published in September 2013 in Genes & Dev. A PDF of it can be downloaded from here.
Wednesday, 10 April 2014
We've just been told the art image that accompanied the Elliott et al. (2014) paper has been been chosen for the cover of the March issue of The Plant Cell.
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
The raw data for the Arnica montana and Helianthus annuus de novo seed transcriptomes in Elliott et al. (2014) were registered with the NCBI BioProject database (PRJNA233448 and PRJNA233447) and deposited in the short reads archive (SRX455875, SRX450622), links to A. montana and H. annuus. The full 18 MB supplementary dataset for Elliott et al. (includes FASTA de novo transcriptomes, trees, NEXUS files and tables) may be downloaded from this link to Dryad
Friday, 28 March 2014
Our Plant Cell paper on the evolutionary history within the daisy familiy (Asteraceae) of a buried seed peptide went on-line today and may be accessed via its DOI or this toll-free link to it at Plant Cell. The associated press release is here.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
We eagerly await a working visit by two of our UQ collaborators, Dr Johan Rosengren and joint PhD student Bastian Franke. Johan will stay for 1 week and Bastian for 4 weeks.
Monday, 10 February 2014
Our manuscript that describes a new family of seed peptides and proposes its de novo evolution was accepted today by The Plant Cell, more details soon.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Welcome to Amy Franklin who started her PhD today. Amy just completed her Masters at the University of Victoria in Canada on the tannin biosynthesis pathway in poplar. She will work on an interesting potential case of structural and functional convergent evolution by a protein motif.
Monday, 13 January 2014
Welcome to Maxime Corral who arrived in the lab today, coming straight from Perth airport. A native of France, Max earned his Masters in plant biotechnology from the University of Otago where he worked on the response of clover to white clover mosaic virus. He embarks on the long haul to a PhD so he can don the floppy hat.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
Josh has been invited to speak at the "Are there limits to evolution?" conference at St John's College (Cambridge, UK) held later this year on 25-26 September.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
The Australian Research Council announced today that the Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (to which our lab is affiliated) will receive $26 million in funding from 2014-2020. Congratulations CPEB2!
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Today, recent UWA graduate Jared Murray was awarded a 2014 Grains Industry Undergraduate Honours Scholarship from the GRDC for his honours project entitled "The biochemical mode of action for members of a new stream of potential herbicides".
Monday, 28 October 2013
Congratulations also to Amy Franklin who was offered UIS and SIRF scholarships from UWA to start a PhD in early 2014. Amy just handed in her thesis for a Masters in Biology at the University of Victoria in Canada. Details of scholarships offered for PhD study at UWA are available here.
Friday, 25 October 2013
Congratulations to Maxime Corral who was today awarded UPAIS and SIRF scholarships from UWA to join us for a PhD. Max just completed his Masters in plant biotechnology at the University of Otago and will fly over from Pannes in France to start in early 2014. Details of scholarships offered for PhD study at UWA are available here.
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has just committed $65 million to universities in Western Australia. This welcome donation is one of the biggest single philanthropic donations in all of Australia's history. See this link at ABC for details.
Friday, 11 October 2013
We just received seed funding from UWA's Office of Industry & Innovation to explore a new research area on herbicides in collaboration with a group of chemists led by Assoc. Prof. Keith Stubbs.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Next year, Josh will visit the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute for 1 month as a Feinberg Foundation Visiting Faculty Program Fellow where he will be hosted by Prof. Dan Tawfik, an expert in protein structure, biochemistry and evolution.
Friday, 6 September 2013
Ten years in the making, an approach that allowed monitoring the movement of an FLC gene within the nucleus of live Arabidopsis was published online today at Genes & Dev., see also the press releases from the JIC and UWA.
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Ten years after the first genetic construct was made, our manuscript describing the physical movement of a gene targeted by vernalization was accepted for publication today by Genes & Development, more details soon.
Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Alysha Elliott got her thesis in the mail today and will don the floppy hat at the next PhD graduation cermony. Congratulations! Also Achala Jayasena and Ben Pouvreau's PhD research proposals were both accepted without change today by UWA ensuring their next significant milestones are theses.
Friday, 1 July 2013
German Masters graduate Bastian Franke from The Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg will start his PhD today at UQ on a joint-project funded by a grant held by our lab and that of Dr Johan Rosengren. Bastian has a strong background in proteomics from an Internship at Bayer Health Care, USA. We wish him the best of luck.
Monday, 24 June 2013
The International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) begins today in Sydney. Josh is talking at 10:45 in Friday's SYM-17. Come check out the giant inflatable plant cell too.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Congratulations to Alysha Elliott who today submitted her revised PhD thesis entitled "A new class of dasiy seed peptides" to the UQ offices. With luck she will soon be the proud wearer of a floppy hat!
Monday, 15 April 2013
Today the lab welcomes the arrival of Dr Kalia Bernath-Levin, hailing from Israel’s Weizmann Institute and the Technion. She begins a post-doctoral stint that will look at the evolution and biochemistry of proteases involved in peptide biosynthesis.
Monday, 18 February 2013
Our new RA Julie Leroux begins work today! Julie has a Masters from Paris VII University and has come to us from a four-year stint in the Laboratory of Reproduction and Plant Development in Lyon, Eastern France.
Monday, 5 February 2013
The lab welcomes travelling post-doc Claudia Rossig who obtained her PhD from the Universities of Grenoble (France) and Bayreuth (Germany). She will stay with us for a few weeks to help get the lab up, running and humming!
Thursday, 31 January 2013
Congratulations to Alysha Elliott, who just submitted her PhD thesis to the UQ offices! After just three days rest, she will start as a project manager with NHMRC Australia Fellow Professor Matt Cooper optimising an antibacterial screening pipeline for the Centre for Drug Discovery and Design.
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Dr Kalia Bernath-Levin has agreed to join the group in March to bring expertise in protein design and directed evolution. Kalia did her PhD and first post-doc with Dan Tawfik at Israel’s Weizmann Institute before a post-doc with Ayelet Fishman at the Technion.
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Our collaborative study of the structure of the Arabidopsis VRN1 protein and its DNA binding was published online today at JBC.
Friday, 23 November 2012
We're looking for a post-doc. See Positions Available for details. Closing date is Friday, 14 December 2012.
Monday, 6 November 2012
The Australian Research Council has awarded us a grant to study a diverse class of drug-like mini-proteins that are thought to have emerged genetically over 12 million years ago. This project will explore why plants have kept making these mini-proteins for so long and whether it is the same reason the founding member of this mini-protein class is such a good drug.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
French engineer in plant biology Benjamin Pouvreau has been awarded prestigious IPRS and APA scholarships and will join the lab to begin his PhD in January 2013. Details of scholarships offered for PhD study at UWA are available here.
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Our work was highlighted in the Australian Research Council Annual Report for 2011-2012, tabled today in Parliament in time for Senate Estimates. See here for the full ARC report.
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
See the location and view from the new lab at UWA, which will be ready to go by mid-December 2012.
Thursday, 23 August 2012
Josh will give his 'new academic staff' talk titled "By way of introduction ..." at UWA's Bayliss Building on 23-Aug, details here.
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
After an announcement by the Australian Research Council today, it's confirmed we'll be moving to UWA's School of Chemistry and Biochemistry in Perth to start a new lab in 2013! See the UWA press release here.
Friday, 20 July 2012
The TIPTOP paper revealing the origin of the drug-like MCoTI-II peptide was published today at Plant Cell and see the associated press release.
Friday, 15 June 2012
The Australian Society of Plant Scientists just announced Josh Mylne will be the 2012 recipient of the Peter Goldacre Award. The medal presentation and Goldacre plenary lecture will be on Tuesday 25 September at ComBio2012. UQ press release here.
Thursday, 5 July 2012
A 2-day workshop we've organised on non-model de novo transcriptome assembly starts today.
Monday, 18 June 2012
JBC paper on kalata-type cyclic peptides discovered in the common garden plant Petunia is on-line now via PubMed.
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Our manuscript describing an interesting case of biosynthetic parallel evolution was accepted today by The Plant Cell, more details soon.
Wednesday, 31 May 2012
There will be an art show this Friday 18 May to co-incide with Fascination of Plants Day. It will be held at IMB from 10 am until 4 pm. See this 'link' for details.
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
We will be joined next week by Achala Jayasena of Sri Lanka who will pursue her PhD with support from an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and a University of Queensland Centennial Scholarship. Achala did her Masters on Arabidopsis auxin and development with Lawrence Hobbie at Adelphi University in New York. She will start a project on a new class of seed peptides.
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Today, local artist Sophie Munns has started a 3-week stint as an 'artist-in-residence' with us at IMB where she will gain inspiration for her 'homage to the seed' series of artwork as well as prepare an exhibition in time for the 2012 International Fascination of Plants Day on Friday 18 May.
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
On Sunday 25 March at 3 pm Josh will guest speak at the unveiling of a statue in Toowoomba where he will extol the virtues of sunflowers and their origins on the Darling Downs. The event honours Toowoomba, its educational institutions and the late Councillor Ian Orford and will take place at Lions Park on Tourist Road. See the Sunflower Tribute website for details or to make a donation. An article on the unveiling may be found here.
Tuesday, 22 February 2012
Our 'mini hot phenol' RNA extraction protocol has been put on-line. This arab-gen post described problems getting mRNA and sRNA from young Arabidopsis seedlings using Trizol. We responded on arab-gen having seen this before. We compared 'mini hot phenol' to Trizol in Fig 1 of this paper by Mathew Box et al.
Friday, 3 February 2012
On Monday 13 February, Josh will present results from a collaboration with the John Innes Centre at the XXII International Congress on Sexual Plant Reproduction in Melbourne "A living system to study chromatin dynamics of FLOWERING LOCUS C during vernalization".
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
UQ undergraduate Joseph O'Neill has been awarded a IMB summer scholarship to study drug mode of action using forward mutagenesis in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
Monday, 1 October 2011
The Australian Research Council has awarded us a grant to study the biosynthesis of drug-like peptides in sunflower, which will improve our ability to manipulate plant systems to manufacture protein drugs.

Alumni News Archive

Joseph O'Neill
2012-January: For our undergraduate IMB summer (2011/2012) scholar, the summer 'holiday' is over and Joseph is going back to uni classes to complete his BSc degree.
Christina Delay
2011-November: A past honours student (2011), Christina is off to Canberra to start a PhD at the Australian National University in plant molecular biology.
Kate Martinac
2011-November: A past honours student (2011), Kate is starting work at QUT's research commercialisation arm bluebox.