Dr Barbara George-Jaeggli

Research Fellow

Centre for Plant Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
b.georgejaeggli@uq.edu.au
+61 7 4542 6724

Overview

Dr George-Jaeggli has a Master of Science degree in Biology from ETH Zuerich in Switzerland, and has been working for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) in Queensland since 1996. She has worked on various projects from yield benefits of windbreaks in wheat cropping systems to applying tissue culture to speed up barley breeding, but since completing a PhD in Crop Physiology has mainly worked on studying complex traits such as plant height, stay-green and photosynthetic capacity in sorghum for their utilisation in yield improvements. Currently, she is working for the University of Queensland as part of the ARC-funded Centre of Excellence in Translational Photosynthesis, and working for DAF on GRDC-funded agronomy projects. The main objective of her previous and current work is to increase crop yields in variable environments, be it through pushing the yield ceiling up genetically or identifying optimal agronomic practices to ensure yield potentials are achieved in growers’ paddocks. She uses molecular techniques, plant and crop physiological experimentation, proximal and remote sensing and crop modelling to study individual traits at the leaf, plant and crop level.

Research Interests

  • Improving photosynthetic capacity to push through the yield ceiling
    Cereal yields have previously mainly been improved through an increase in harvest index (the ratio of grain to total biomass of a plant). This relationship is approaching a biological limit and further improvements in yield will have to come from increasing the overall growth efficiency of crops, e.g. through improving photosynthesis. Sorghum is a perfect model to study genes that are involved in photosynthetic capacity as it has a relatively simple (and sequenced) genome, but the crop is very diverse. Dr George-Jaeggli is involved in a large research effort combining high-throughput phenotyping methods (including proximal and remote sensing and imaging technologies on mobile platforms and UAVs) and genomics to find genes involved in increased photosynthetic capacity. This work forms part of the efforts of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Translational Photosynthesis to lift crop yields of major food crops to alleviate food shortages.
  • Maximising grain yields through optimised agronomy
    Thanks to public and private investment in sorghum genetics, growers in Australia have access to sorghum, maize and wheat hybrids with great yield potential. Dr George-Jaeggli is part of a team of researchers in Queensland and Northern New South Wales who combine on-farm agronomy trials and crop modelling to provide growers with the tools to match hybrids with optimum agronomic practices for their particular environments to ensure they are reaping the benefits of the improved genetics.
  • Increased cereal yields in water-limited environments
    The dry-land cereal grain production systems of north-eastern Australia are often affected by water limitation, especially towards the end of the growing season when sub-soil moisture stores run out. Dr George-Jaeggli has been combining molecular genetics, genomics and crop physiological experimentation to dissect complex traits such as stay-green and plant height that are beneficial for yield in water-limited environments.

Qualifications

  • Master of Science ETH, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Potgieter, Andries, Watson, James, Jordan, David, Hammer, Graeme, Chapman, Scott, Laws, Kenneth, McLean, Greg, Barbara George-Jaeggli, Holland, Edward and Eldridge, Mark (2016). Field phenotyping of sorghum breeding plots through proximal sensing. In: 5th International Controlled Environment Conference (AusPheno 2016), ANU, (). 18-23 September, 2016.

  • George-Jaeggli, Barbara, Brider, Jason, Broad, Ian, Chenu, Karine, Eyre, Joseph, Ferrante, Ariel, McLean, Greg, McLean, James, Skerman, Andrew and Rodriguez, Daniel (2015). Adapting rain-fed sorghum agronomy to breeding progress - cropping system model parameterisation. In: Building Productive, Diverse and Sustainable Landscapes: Proceedings of the Australian Society of Agronomy Inc.’s 17th Australian Agronomy Conference. Australian Agronomy Conference, Hobart, TAS, Australia, (). 21-24 September 2015.

  • Ferrante, Ariel, Eyre, Joseph, George-Jaeggli, Barbara, McLean, James, Chenu, Karine, deVoil, Peter, McLean, Greg and Rodriguez, Daniel (2015). High yielding wheat in the northern region: impact of nitrogen fertilisation on grain yield and quality in modern cultivars. In: Building Productive, Diverse and Sustainable Landscapes: Proceedings of the Australian Society of Agronomy Inc.’s 17th Australian Agronomy Conference. Australian Agronomy Conference, Hobart, TAS, Australia, (). 21-24 September 2015.

  • Ferrante, Ariel, Eyre, Joe, George-Jaeggli, Barbara, McLean, James, Chenu, Karine, deVoil, Peter, McLean, Greg and Rodriguez, Daniel (2015). Maize yield determination in the Northern Region: hybrid by environment by management interactions. In: Building Productive, Diverse and Sustainable Landscapes: Proceedings of the Australian Society of Agronomy Inc.’s 17th Australian Agronomy Conference. Australian Agronomy Conference, Hobart, TAS, Australia, (). 21-24 September 2015.

  • Borrell, v, Van Oosterom, Erik J., Mullet, John, George-Jaeggli, Barbara, Hammer, Graeme, Klein, Patricia and Jordan, David (2014). The stay-green trait in cereals: integrating from cell to whole plant. In: 7th European Workshop on Plant Senescence, Aarhus, Denmark, (). 10-14 November 2014.

  • Borrell, A., Coulibaly, S., Teme, N., George-Jaeggli, B., Hamlet, S., George, P. and Jordan, D. (2013). Development and evaluation of drought-adapted sorghum germplasm for Africa and Australia – Phase II.. In: Proceedings of the 2013 Generation Challenge Program Annual Research Meeting. 2013 General Research Meeting (GRM), Lisbon, Portugal, (). 27 - 30 September 2013.

  • Borrell, A., Hammer, G., Van Oosterom, E., George-Jaeggli, B., McLean, G., Hamlet, S., Hunt, C., Mace, E., Mullet, J., Klein, P., Weers, B. and Jordan, D. (2013). Improving cereal productivity with stay-green technology.. In: 2013 QAAFI Annual Research Meeting, Brisbane, Australia, (). 6 - 7 August 2013.

  • Borrell, Andrew K., Jordan, David R. and George-Jaeggli, Barbara (2011). Developing drought-adapted sorghum germplasm for Africa and Australia: Stay-green trait beneficial in tall and short backgrounds. In: Plant and Animal Genome XIX Conference. Plant and Animal Genome XIX Conference, San Diego CA, United States, (). 15-19 January 2011.

  • George-Jaeggli, B., Hammer, G. L., Van Oosterom, E. J. and Jordan, D. R. (2006). Tall sorghum plants use water more efficiently than short ones. In: Proceedings from the 5th Australian Sorghum Conference. 5th Australian Sorghum Conference, Gold Coast, (1-8). 30 January - 2 February 2006.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)