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Frances Sussmilch

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Frances Sussmilch

Honorary Research Associate

Off-Campus

Frances Sussmilch is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Tasmania, Australia. She works for Dr Scott McAdam investigating the evolution of the molecular mechanisms by which plants can regulate water loss through active control of the aperture of the stomatal pores present on plant leaves. Her work involves characterisation of mutants, gene isolation and mapping, and expression analysis.

Biography

Frances completed her honours and PhD projects under the supervision of Jim Weller and Valérie Hecht at the University of Tasmania, investigating the genes controlling inflorescence development in garden pea. During her PhD, she spent time working in the laboratories of collaborators Francisco Madueño and Richard Macknight at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMCP; Spain) and University of Otago (New Zealand), respectively. Since completion of her PhD in 2014, she has been employed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania. Her work has been published in prominent journals including The Plant Cell and Nature Communications.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeThesis titleUniversityCountryDate of award
PhDGenetic Control of Inflorescence Development in PeaUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2014
BBiotech (1st Class Hons)Genetic Control of Inflorescence Development in PeaUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2008

Teaching

Genetics, Molecular Biology, Flowering

Teaching expertise

  • Genetics (KPA376) project supervisor (2009-2012; 2014)
  • Plant Science Research (KPA378) supervisor (2012-2014)
  • Honours project supervisor (2014-2015)

View more on Dr Frances Sussmilch in WARP

Expertise

  • Investigation of gene function through physiological and genetic analysis of mutants that show disruption to plant processes of interest, recently focussing on mutants with compromised biosynthesis of or sensitivity to the plant stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA).
  • Isolation of genes of interest, applying existing knowledge from well-studied model plant species (e.g. the model angiosperm Arabidopsis thaliana) to choose genes for further investigation in other plant systems
  • Analysis of the spatial and developmental expression patterns of genes of interest in wild-type and mutant plants, to investigate gene function.
  • Mapping of genes of interest relative to uncharacterised mutant loci, using a candidate gene approach to identify mutant loci at a molecular level

Research Themes

Frances' research aligns to the University's research theme of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Her research interests are focussed on understanding the complex gene networks underlying the evolution of stomatal responses to water stress. Stomata, which are controlled by flanking guard cells, allow CO2 to enter the leaf for photosynthesis, while also regulating plant water loss. Stomatal functional behaviour has evolved from an ancestral passive response to leaf water status in basal land plants, to a highly dynamic system capable of responding to numerous environmental signals in flowering plants. In-depth knowledge of the mechanisms controlling plant water balance is imperative for future optimisation of water use in crop and forestry systems, as well as our capacity to anticipate the effects of a changing climate on plants and ecosystems.

Collaboration

Frances has previously collaborated with Francisco Madueño, Cristina Ferrándiz and Ana Berbel at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMCP; Spain) to characterise several important genes that regulate flowering in garden pea.

Awards

  • 2008 - W.D. Jackson Genetic Honours Prize for proficiency in genetics study at Honours level
  • 2008 - Dean's Citation for the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology for outstanding academic performance in undergraduate and Honours courses

Current projects

S McAdam (2014) ARC DECRA: '410 million years of stomatal evolution: key innovations in the transition from passive valves to active pores'

Fields of Research

  • Plant Physiology (060705)
  • Plant Cell and Molecular Biology (060702)
  • Biological Adaptation (060303)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences (970106)
  • Grain Legumes (820503)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences (970105)
  • Climate Change Adaptation Measures (960301)
  • Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production (829899)

Publications

Total publications

17

Highlighted publications

(1 outputs)
YearTypeCitationAltmetrics
2016Journal ArticleMcAdam SAM, Brodribb TJ, Banks JA, Hedrich R, Atallah NM, et al., 'Abscisic acid controlled sex before transpiration in vascular plants', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, (45) pp. 12862-12867. ISSN 0027-8424 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1606614113 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 31Web of Science - 30

Co-authors: McAdam SAM; Brodribb TJ; Nichols DS

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Journal Article

(16 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Zhang F-P, Sussmilch F, Nichols DS, Cardoso AA, Brodribb TJ, et al., 'Leaves, not roots or floral tissue, are the main site of rapid, external pressure-induced ABA biosynthesis in angiosperms', Journal of Experimental Botany, 69, (5) pp. 1261-1267. ISSN 0022-0957 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erx480 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 5

Co-authors: Nichols DS; Cardoso AA; Brodribb TJ; McAdam SAM

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2017Sussmilch F, McAdam SAM, 'Surviving a dry future: abscisic acid (ABA)-mediated plant mechanisms for conserving water under low humidity', Plants, 6, (4) Article 54. ISSN 2223-7747 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3390/plants6040054 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: McAdam SAM

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2017Sussmilch FC, Atallah NM, Brodribb TJ, Banks JA, McAdam SAM, 'Abscisic acid (ABA) and key proteins in its perception and signaling pathways are ancient, but their roles have changed through time', Plant Signaling and Behavior, 12, (9) Article e1365210. ISSN 1559-2316 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/15592324.2017.1365210 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Brodribb TJ; McAdam SAM

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2017Sussmilch FC, Brodribb TJ, McAdam SAM, 'Up-regulation of NCED3 and ABA biosynthesis occur within minutes of a decrease in leaf turgor but AHK1 is not required', Journal of Experimental Botany, 68, (11) pp. 2913-2918. ISSN 0022-0957 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erx124 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 16

Co-authors: Brodribb TJ; McAdam SAM

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2017Sussmilch FC, Brodribb TJ, McAdam SAM, 'What are the evolutionary origins of stomatal responses to abscisic acid in land plants?', Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 59, (4) pp. 240-260. ISSN 1672-9072 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12523 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 18Web of Science - 17

Co-authors: Brodribb TJ; McAdam SAM

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2017Sussmilch FC, Hecht V, Vander Schoor JK, Weller JL, 'Identification of the short vegetative phase (SVP)-like MADS-box genes in pea (Pisum sativum L.)', Plant Gene, 12 pp. 72-79. ISSN 2352-4073 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.plgene.2017.08.003 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Hecht V; Vander Schoor JK; Weller JL

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2017McAdam SAM, Eleouet MP, Best M, Brodribb TJ, Carins Murphy M, et al., 'Linking auxin with photosynthetic rate via leaf venation', Plant Physiology, 175, (1) pp. 351-360. ISSN 0032-0889 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1104/pp.17.00535 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 6

Co-authors: McAdam SAM; Best M; Brodribb TJ; Carins Murphy M; Cook SD; Dimitriou T; Gelinas-Marion A; Gill WM; Maconochie M; McAdam EL; McGuiness P; Nichols DS; Ross JJ; Urquhart S

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2016McAdam SAM, Brodribb TJ, Banks JA, Hedrich R, Atallah NM, et al., 'Abscisic acid controlled sex before transpiration in vascular plants', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, (45) pp. 12862-12867. ISSN 0027-8424 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1606614113 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 31Web of Science - 30

Co-authors: McAdam SAM; Brodribb TJ; Nichols DS

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2016McAdam SAM, Sussmilch FC, Brodribb TJ, 'Stomatal responses to vapour pressure deficit are regulated by high speed gene expression in angiosperms', Plant, Cell and Environment, 39, (3) pp. 485-491. ISSN 0140-7791 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/pce.12633 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 47Web of Science - 45

Co-authors: McAdam SAM; Brodribb TJ

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2016Ridge S, Sussmilch FC, Hecht V, Vander Schoor JK, Lee R, et al., 'Identification of LATE BLOOMER2 as a CYCLING DOF FACTOR homolog reveals conserved and divergent features of the flowering response to photoperiod in pea', Plant Cell, 28, (10) pp. 2545-2559. ISSN 1040-4651 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1105/tpc.15.01011 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Ridge S; Hecht V; Vander Schoor JK; Weller JL

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2015McAdam SAM, Sussmilch FC, Brodribb TJ, Ross JJ, 'Molecular characterization of a mutation affecting abscisic acid biosynthesis and consequently stomatal responses to humidity in an agriculturally important species', AoB Plants, 7 Article plv091. ISSN 2041-2851 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/plv091 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 12

Co-authors: McAdam SAM; Brodribb TJ; Ross JJ

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2015Sussmilch FC, Berbel A, Hecht V, Vander Schoor JK, Ferrandiz C, et al., 'Pea VEGETATIVE2 is an FD homolog that is essential for flowering and compound inflorescence development', Plant Cell, 27, (4) pp. 1046-1060. ISSN 1040-4651 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1105/tpc.115.136150 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 11Web of Science - 9

Co-authors: Hecht V; Vander Schoor JK; Weller JL

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2014Liew LC, Hecht V, Sussmilch FC, Weller JL, 'The pea photoperiod response gene STERILE NODES is an ortholog of LUX ARRHYTHMO1[W][OPEN]', Plant Physiology, 165, (2) pp. 648-657. ISSN 0032-0889 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1104/pp.114.237008 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 18Web of Science - 18

Co-authors: Liew LC; Hecht V; Weller JL

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2012Berbel A, Ferrandiz C, Hecht V, Dalmais M, Lund OS, et al., 'VEGETATIVE1 is essential for development of the compound inflorescence in pea', Nature Communications, 3 Article 797. ISSN 2041-1723 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1801 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 35Web of Science - 30

Co-authors: Hecht V; Taylor SA; Weller JL

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2011Hecht V, Laurie RE, Vander Schoor JK, Ridge S, Knowles CL, et al., 'The Pea GIGAS Gene Is a FLOWERING LOCUS T Homolog Necessary for Graft-Transmissible Specification of Flowering but Not for Responsiveness to Photoperiod', The Plant Cell, 23, (1) pp. 147-161. ISSN 1040-4651 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1105/tpc.110.081042 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 94Web of Science - 87

Co-authors: Hecht V; Vander Schoor JK; Ridge S; Knowles CL; Liew LC; Murfet IC; Weller JL

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2009Weller JL, Hecht VFG, Liew LC, Sussmilch F, Wenden B, et al., 'Update on the genetic control of flowering in garden pea', Journal of Experimental Botany, 60, (9) pp. 2493-2499. ISSN 0022-0957 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erp120 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 39Web of Science - 36

Co-authors: Weller JL; Hecht VFG; Liew LC; Knowles CL; Vander Schoor JK

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Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2013Weller JL, Hecht VFG, Sussmilch F, 'Isolation and forward genetic analysis of developmental genes in pea', Legume Genomics, Springer, RJ Rose (ed), New York, USA, pp. 147-161. ISBN 978-1-62703-612-2 (2013) [Other Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-62703-613-9_11 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Weller JL; Hecht VFG

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Research Supervision

Completed

1

Completed

DegreeTitleCompleted
PhDChlorinated Auxin in the Fabaceae: Distribution, evolutionary origin and genetic aspects
Candidate: Hong Kiat Lam
2017