Approach

Our lab is truly multi-discipinary. We employ approaches including transcriptomics, classical forward genetics, peptide mass spectrometry, genetic engineering, molecular biology and protein structural approaches.

The ability to do such a breadth of research is supported by our local environment, surrounded as we are by chemists and biochemist colleagues from the School of Chemistry Biochemistry as well as our daily interaction with other geneticists and bioinformaticians from The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. The Bayliss building is ideally suited to plant chemical biology.

Detailed here are some of the major equipment and techniques our lab uses. Within each are link outs to published examples where these techniques have been demonstrated.

Technique overview

Our lab members take full advantge of a plethora of techniques ranging from mass spectrometry to forward Arabidopsis genetics, protein cystallography to bioinformatics, genetic engineering to targeted proteomics.

Below are listed just some of the equipment and facilities we use and which are housed in the Bayliss Building; home to the UWA School of Molecular Sciences (SC&B) and the head node of The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (ARC CoE PEB).

Protein techniques

Protein techniques include peptide mass spectrometry, protein crystallography and recombineering.

A focus of the lab is proteins, their de novo evolution, biosynthesis, enzymatic catalysis and evolution as well as post-translation processing. Follwoing are a few of the methods we use to study proteins.

  • Peptide mass spectrometry
    MALDI-TOF/TOF

    UWA has some of the nation's best protein mass spectrometry facilities. Pictured here is the Bruker Ultraflex-III Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer housed in our building. Its ‘soft’ ionisation is useful for large organic molecules (polymers, asphaltenes, DNA, proteins, peptides, sugars) that can be fragile.

  • Recombineering
    Protein crystallography

    Our building houses a suite of protein crystallography screening systems and even has its own home source laser. The crystallography platforms have been bolstered by several ARC LIEF funds and are managed by the Bond and Vrielink labs. UWA is a member of the user group forAustralian Synchrotron and samples are regularly sent there for analysis from WA.

  • Peptide tertiary structures
    Peptide NMR

    The Bayliss Building houses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facilities administered by CMCA (Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis) and run by our collaborator Dr Mark Howard.

  • Targeted proteomics
    LC-MS/MS

    Although proteomics is often used to catalog the protein content of a sample or to compare samples, we use it in a more focused fashion, usually to monitor the processing of individual proteins from a transgene relative to a set of controls proteins. We have access to a suite of Agilent MS/MS machines as well as a highly sensitive Thermo Fusion Orbitrap.

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Molecular genetics

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Text text text text text text text text text text School of Molecular Sciences (SC&B) and The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (ARC CoE PEB). Text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text website for details.

  • De novo transcriptomics
    RNA-seq with non-models

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  • Genetic engineering
    Arabidopsis transgenesis

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  • Directed evolution
    Protein engineering

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    Bioinformatic and 'omics approaches to biology

    Not to be left behind in the NA-seq revolution, we employ principally RNA-seq and de novo transcriptomics to track the evolution of proteins as well as a form of gene discovery to avoid the limitations of PCR based approaches.

    Back in 2012, in conjunction with the Whelan lab we held organised Australia's first non-model de novo transcriptomics workshop as a satellite to the ARC Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics Winter School at IMB, UQ.

    • De novo transcriptomics
      RNA-seq with non-models

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    • Genome re-sequencing
      Genome-wide effects of non-traditional DNA mutagens

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    • Targeted proteomics
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