Professor Jimmy Botella

Professor

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Faculty of Science

Affiliated Professor

Centre for Plant Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
j.botella@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 51128

Overview

Dr Botella's research interests are in genetic engineering, molecular biology and signal transduction in plants.

Dr. Jimmy Botella is Professor of Plant Biotechnology at the University of Queensland. He obtained a degree in Quantum Chemistry from the University of Madrid (Spain) and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Malaga (Spain). After postdoctoral positions at Michigan State University and Pennsylvania State University he joined the University of Queensland in 1995. At UQ he founded the Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory (PGEL) specialising in the fields of tropical and subtropical agricultural biotechnology for almost 15 years. J. Botella has eleven international patents in the field of Plant Biotechnology and is a founding member of two biotechnology companies (Coridon Ltd. and Origo Biotech).

Dr Botella is a member of the Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology research group.

Some highlights of the Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory’s research:

  • Production and field trial of the world’s first genetically modified pineapples with genetic constructs to control flowering time. These pineapples will allow farmer control over harvesting times.
  • Development of a new technology to confer protection against nematode infestation.
  • Discovery of a gene that can confer resistance to the devastating fungus Fusarium oxysporum in plants.
  • Development of a new technology to confer protection against pathogenic fungi in plants.

Research interests

Dr. Botella’s research has two major foci: basic cell biology and applied biotechnology. In cell biology he is interested in studying the function of the Heterotrimeric G proteins in plants. This family of proteins is extremely important in humans but their role in pant systems is still largely unknown. Dr. Botella’s research has strongly contributed to the current body of knowledge available in plants with critical contributions such as the discovery and characterization of the first plant gamma subunits and the establishment of these subunits as the critical element conferring function specificity to all plant G proteins. Dr. Botella’s team has also discovered the important role that these proteins play in defense against pathogens. New and unpublished data has now revealed that G proteins are important yield enhancing factors in crops such as rice. Another research interest resides in the communication between plants and insects. There is plenty of knowledge of how important smell, volatiles emitted by the plant, is for foraging insects in order to determine their host preferences. Nevertheless, most of the available studies have been performed using synthetic chemicals in artificial experimental settings. Dr. Botella’s team and collaborators have genetically engineered plants to produce different volatile mixes in the flowers in order to perform in vivo behavioral studies in insects.

Biotechnology research at the Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory mostly arises from discoveries made in basic research. The PGEL focuses in tropical and subtropical crops. These crops have attracted little attention in terms of biotechnology but are essential sources of food and energy for a large part of the world’s population, especially in Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The PGEL has developed a number of platform technologies that can be applied to multiple crops in order to confer resistance to pathogens, modify plant architecture and control flowering time.

Current research projects include:

  • Plant heterotrimeric G proteins: New roles in defence, stomatal control and ABA perception.
  • Putting smells into context: using in vivo technologies to understand plant-insect odour communication.
  • Use of host-derived RNA interference technology to control plant pathogens (especially pathogenic fungi and nematodes).
  • Control of Fusarium wilt disease.
  • Genetic improvement of grain crops.
  • Genetic engineering research projects

Qualifications

  • MSc in Quantum Chemistry, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  • BSc in Quantum Chemistry, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  • PhD, Universidad de Malaga

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2016) Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Botella, Jose R. and Botella, Miguel A. (2016). Preface. In Plant Signal Transduction Methods and Protocols 2nd Edition ed. (pp. VII-X) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-3115-6

  • Trusov, Yuri, Dietzgen, Ralf G., Maruta, Natsumi and Botella, Jose R. (2016). Simplified assays for evaluation of resistance to Alternaria brassicicola and Turnip Mosaic Virus. In Plant Signal Transduction (pp. 219-228) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-3115-6_18

  • Maruta, Natsumi, Trusov, Yuri and Botella, Jose R. (2016). Yeast three-hybrid system for the detection of protein-protein interactions. In Jose R. Botella and Miguel A. Botella (Ed.), Plant signal transduction Second edition ed. (pp. 145-154) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-3115-6_12

  • Trusov, Yuri, Chakravorty, David and Botella, Jose Ramon (2013). Fusarium oxysporum infection assays in Arabidopsis. In Mark P. Running (Ed.), G protein-coupled receptor signaling in plants: methods and protocols (pp. 67-72) New York, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-62703-532-3_7

  • Trusov, Yuri, Jorda, Lucia, Molina, Antonio and Botella, Jose Ramon (2010). G Proteins and Plant Innate Immunity. In Shaul Yalovsky, Frantisek Baluska and Alan Jones (Ed.), Integrated G Proteins Signaling in Plants (pp. 221-250) Netherlands: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-03524-1

  • Botella, J.R. and Smith, M. (2008). Genomics of Pineapple, Crowning the King of Tropical Fruits. In Moore, P.H. and Ming, R. (Ed.), Plant Genetics/Genomics: Genomics of Tropical Crop Plants (pp. 441-451) United States: Springer.

  • Brosnan, C.A., McCallum,E.J., Botella, J.R. and Carroll, B.J. (2008). RNA Interference. In Kahl, G. and Meksem, K. (Ed.), The Handbook of Plant Functional Genomics: Concepts and Protocols (pp. 209-225) Germany: Wiley - Blackwell.

  • Smith, M. K., Ko, H. L., Sanewski, G. M. and Botella, J. R. (2005). Bromeliaceae. In R. E. Litz (Ed.), Biotechnology of Fruit and Nut Crops (pp. 157-172) Cambridge, USA: CABI Publishing.

  • Botella, J. R. (2003). Biotechnology and reduced spoilage. In Peter Zeuthen and Leif Bogh-Sorensen (Ed.), Food Preservation Techniques (pp. 243-262) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing Limited. doi:10.1016/B978-1-85573-530-9.50017-6

  • Botella, J. R. (2002). Genes selected for their role in modifying post-harvest life. In Victoriano Valpuesta (Ed.), Fruit and Vegetable Biotechnology (pp. 136-151) Cambridge, England: Woodhead Publishing Ltd.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Trusov, Y. and Botella, J. R. (2006). Delayed flowering in pineapples (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.) caused by co-suppression of the ACACS2 gene. In: P.H. Joubert, Acta Horticulturae: Proceedings of the Fifth International Pineapple Symposium. The 5th International Pineapple Symposium, Port Alfred, South Africa, (29-36). 11-16 April 2005.

  • Moyle, R. L., Koia, J., Fairbairn, D. J. and Botella, J. R. (2006). The Pineapple EST sequencing and microarray project. In: P.H. Joubert, Acta Horticulturae: Proceedings of the Fifth International Pineapple Symposium. The 5th International Pineapple Symposium, Port Alfred, South Africa, (47-50). 11-16 April 2005.

  • Botella, J. R. and Fairbairn, D. J. (2005). Present and future potential of pineapple biotechnology. In: A. Reboledo Martinez, Acta Horticulturae; Proceedings of the IVth International Pineapple Symposium. Fourth International Pineapple Symposium, Veracruz, Mexico, (23-28). 16-19 April 2002.

  • Magdalita, P. M, Laurena, A. C., Yabut-Perez, B. M., Zaporteza, M. M., Tecson-Mendoza, E. M., Villegas, V. N. and Botella, J. R. (2003). Towards transformation, regeneration and screening of papaya containing antisense ACC synthase gene. In: Indra K. Vasil, Plant biotechnology 2002 and beyond. Proceedings of the 10th IAPTC&B Congress, Orlando, Florida, USA, 23-28 June, 2002. 10th IAPTC&B Congress, Orlando, Florida, USA, (323-327). 23-28 June, 2002.

  • Botella, J. R. (2003). What can molecular biology do for postharvest technology?. In: L. Chan, Proceedings of the APEC Symposium on. Postharvest Handling Systems. APEC Symposium on Postharvest Handling Systems, Radison Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, (11-18). 1-3 September, 2003.

  • Botella, J. R. (2002). Bigger, firmer, riper. Biotechnological control of ripening in tropical fruits. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. The International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Cairns, Australia, (589-594). 26 Nov - 1 Dec 2000.

  • Laurena, A. C., Magdalita, P. M., Hidalgo, M. S. P., Villegas, V. N., Mendoza, E. M. T. and Botella, J. R. (2002). Clonging and molecular characterization of ripening-related ACC synthase from papaya fruit (Carica papaya L.). In: R. Drew et al., Proceedings of the International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. The International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Cairns, Australia, (163-169). 26 Nov - 1 Dec 2000.

  • Magdalita, P. M., Laurena, A. C., Yabut-Perez, B.M., Tecson-Mendoza, E. M., Villegas, V. N. and Botella, J. R. (2002). Progress in the development of transgenic papaya: transformation of solo papaya using ACC synthase antisense construct. In: R. Drew et al., Proceedings of the International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. The International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Cairns, Australia, (171-176). 26 Nov - 1 Dec 2000.

  • Cavallaro, A. S., Leeton, P. R. J. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Biolistic Transformation of papaya cv sunrise solo. In: ComBio 2000 : combined conference abstracts : 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Combio 2000, Wellington Festival and Convention Center, NZ, (). 11-14 December 2000.

  • Plume, A. M. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Characterisation of a novel G protein interactor in Arabidopsis. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington, NZ, (). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Botella, J. R., Leeton, P. R. J. and Cavallaro, A. S. (2000). Differential expression of the ACC Synthase and ACC Oxidase enzymes involved in fruit ripening in papaya. In: ComBio 2000 : combined conference abstracts : 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Combio 2000, Wellington Festival and Convention Center, NZ, (). 11-14 December 2000.

  • Petsch, K. A., Mylne, J. S. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Freaky Floral Bouquets! Over-expression of the 'Broomhead' gene in Arabidopsis. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington, NZ, (). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Purnell, M. P. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Is the hunt over? A role for the elusive enzyme GDH. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington, NZ, (). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Botella, J. R. (2000). Oh My God, we are eating genes! the myth and reality of GM Foods. In: 15th Australasian Biotechnology Conference. ABA 2000 Biotechnology: Our Passport to the Next Millenium, Brisbane, (). 2-6 July, 2000.

  • Anderson, D. and Botella, J. R. (2000). On the trail of G Proteins in plants. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington, NZ, (A503-A503). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Mason, M. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Plant heterotrimeric G-Protein pathways exposed. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington, NZ, (). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Ferris, R., Mylne, J. S. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Plentiful's Tale. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington, NZ, (). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Humphrey, T. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Re-evaluating the receptor of the Arabidopsis gene GCR1. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington Festival and Convention Center, NZ, (). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Etheridge, N. and Botella, J. R. (2000). The Arabidopsis member of the developmentally regulated GTP-binding proteins:AtDRG1. In: Combined Conference Abstracts: 44th Annual ASBMB, 40th Annual ASPP, Annual NZSBMB, 22nd Annual NZSPP. Com Bio 2000, Wellington, NZ, (). 11-14 Dec, 2000.

  • Cazzonelli, C., Cavallaro, A. S. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Towards the production of transgenic pineapple to control flowering and ripening. In: S. Subhadrabandhu and P. Chairidchai, Acta Horticulturae: Proceedings of the Third International Pineapple Symposium. 3rd International Pineapple Symposium, Pattaya, Thailand, (115-122). 17-20 November 1998.

  • Cruz-Hernandez, A., Town, L. J., Cavallaro, A. S. and Botella, J. R. (2000). Transient and stable transformation in mango by particle bombardment. In: S. Subhadrabandhu and A. Pichakum, Acta Horticulturae: Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Mango. Sixth International Symposium on Mango, Pattaya City, Thailand, (237-242). 6-9 April 1999.

  • Botella, J. R., Cruz-Hernandez, A., Mason, M., Leeton, P. R. J., Cavallaro, A. S. and Labrie, P. (1999). Control of ripening in papaya and mango by genetic engineering. In: Elfos Scientiae, International Symposium on Plant Genetic engineering: Towards the Third Millennium. Int'l Symp on Plant Genetic Eng: Towards the Third Millen, Cuba, (199). 6-10 Dec, 99.

  • Cazzonelli, C., Cavallaro, A. S. and Botella, J. R. (1999). Searching for the role of ethlene in non-climacteric fruits. In: Proceedings of the EU-TMR-Euroconference Symposium on Biology and Biotechnology of the Plant Hormone Ethylene II. Proceedings of the EU-TMR-Euro Conference Symp on Biol, Thira (Santorini), Greece, (29-30). 5-8 Sept, 99.

  • Peters, KF, Grof, CPL, Botella, J and Albert, H (1996). Isolation and genetic manipulation of invertase genes in sugarcane. In: Sugarcane: Research Towards Efficient and Sustainable Production. International Symposium on Sugar 2000, Brisbane Australia, (127-129). Aug 19-23, 1996.

  • Botella, JR, Arteca, JM, Somodevilla, M and Arteca, RN (1995). Mungbean Calcium-Dependent Protein-Kinase Cdna and its Expression in Response to Physical and Chemical Stimuli. In: Plant Physiology. , , (146-146). .

  • Botella, JR and Arteca, RN (1993). A Multigene Family for Protein-Kinases in Mung Bean. In: Plant Physiology. , , (147-147). .

  • Botella, JR and Arteca, RN (1993). Differential Expression of 2 Calmodulin Genes in Mung Bean. In: Plant Physiology. , , (115-115). .

  • Arteca, JM, Botella, JR and Arteca, RN (1993). Effects of Plant Hormones On Acc Synthase Gene-Expression in Etiolated Mung Beans. In: Plant Physiology. , , (131-131). .

  • Arteca, JM, Arteca, RN and Botella, JR (1993). Relationship Between Calcium and Ethylene Biosynthesis in Etiolated Mung Bean. In: Plant Physiology. , , (130-130). .

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision