Dr Frances Shapter

Lecturer in Veterinary Science

School of Veterinary Science
Faculty of Science
f.shapter@uq.edu.au
+61 7 338 15046

Overview

Frances has joined the School of Vet Science as a project officer to assist the DVM Working Group with the development and approval process of the new DVM curriculum.

Fran’s background was originally in Agricultural Science and higher education which evolved to the completion of her PhD in molecular genetics in 2008. Prior to her current appointment she was the senior researcher on ARC linkage, Australian Flora Foundation and RIRDC research grants looking at the genetic foundations of domestication and adaptation in Australian native grasses. She supervised two HDR students and has a strong publication record in this field. Her research interests centre on identifying and developing practical applications for gene sequencing. Due to family commitments Fran works part-time within the Gatton area, and is keen to develop her research career.

Fran is also a local beef cattle producer and in 2011 she began tutoring at UQ-SVS in large animal production and more recently in microbiology. Fran is passionate about teaching and has worked as a facilitator commercially and trained early career researcher's and PhD candidates in Project Management, IP and commercialisation and Leadership. She was a participant in the 2020 summit and was appointed to the federal advisory Rural R&D Council in 2009.

Research Impacts

As a research assistant Frances worked on projects developing the application of pyrosequencing to wheat microsatellites and allele specific PCR for SNP detection in Barley (1). During her PhD she identified novel genotypes (2) and phenotypes (3,4) within Australia's unique native grasses which may be exploited through introgression of wild material into cultivated crops or in their own right as new cereal species.

Since then Frances has been focussed primarily on an ARC-Linkage project developing a mutation protocol for an undomesticated polyploid Australian native grass and has characterised several genes associated with domestication in this species (5). A mutation population has been established and screened with 46 elite breeding lines being identified and rolled into a RIRDC commercialisation trial of a native perennial grain. Three of these lines are being developed by the project’s industry partner as new commercial breeding stock.

The ARC linkage project also developed a new protocol for primer design in undomesticated grasses using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology (6). Additionally NGS was used to genomically screen the mutant population for beneficial polymorphisms, which have been confirmed using Sequanom technology (5). Frances has also successfully applied a modified application of NGS to the question of adaptive genetics in a wild grass species through an Australian Flora Foundation project (7,8).

(1) Bundock PC, Cross MJ, Shapter FM and Henry RJ. (2006) Robust allele-specific PCR markers developed for SNP’s in expressed barley sequences. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 112: 358-365.

(2) Shapter FM, Eggler P, Lee LS and Henry RJ (2009). Variation in Granule Bound Starch Synthase I (GBSSI) loci amongst Australian wild cereal relatives (Poaceae). Journal of Cereal Science, 49: 4-11

(3) Shapter FM, Lee LS and Henry RJ (2008) Endosperm and starch granule morphology in wild cereal relatives. Plant Genetic Resources, 6: 85–97.

(4) Shapter, FM, Dawes, MP, Lee, LS & Henry, RJ (2009). Aleurone and subaleurone morphology in native Australian wild cereal relatives. Australian Journal of Botany, 57( 8):688-696.

(5) Shapter FM, Cross M, Ablett G, Malory S, Chivers IH, et al. (2013) High-Throughput Sequencing and Mutagenesis to Accelerate the Domestication of Microlaena stipoides as a New Food Crop. PLoS ONE 8(12): e82641. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082641

(6) Malory, S, Shapter, FM, Elphinstone, MS, Chivers, IH, Henry, RJ (2011). Characterising homologues of crop domestication genes in poorly described wild crop relatives by high throughput sequencing of whole genomes. Plant Biotechnology Journal 9(9): 1131-1140.

(7) Shapter, FM, Fitzgerald TL, Waters DLE, McDonald S, Chivers IH, Nevo E, Henry RJ (2012) Analysis of ribosomal gene diversity in wild plant populations from contrasting climatic environments. Plant Signalling and Behaviour 7(6): 602-604.

(8) Fitzgerald, T L, Shapter, FM, McDonald, S, Waters, DLE, Chivers, IH, Drenth, A, Nevo, E and Henry, RJ (2011). Genome diversity in wild grasses under environmental stress. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108(52): 21140-21145.

Qualifications

  • Graduate Certificate in Management, Southern Cross University
  • Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Southern Cross University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Southern Cross University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science, The University of Queensland

Publications

  • Hampson, Edith C. G. M., Gibson, Justine S., Barot, Mayank, Shapter, Frances M. and Greer, Ristan M. (2018) Identification of bacteria and fungi sampled from the conjunctival surface of normal horses in South-East Queensland, Australia. Veterinary Ophthalmology, . doi:10.1111/vop.12587

  • Shapter, F. M., Crowther, A., Fox, G., Godwin, I. D., Watson-Fox, L., Hannah, I. J. C. and Norton, S. L. (2018). The domestication, spread and uses of sorghum as a crop. In Bill Rooney (Ed.), Achieving sustainable cultivation of sorghum Volume 2: sorghum utilization around the world (pp. 31-64) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. doi:10.19103/as.2017.0015.01

  • Gibson, Justine, Reynish, Ingrid and Shapter, Frances Vertical modular framework eLearning manual. Gatton, QLD Australia: School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, 2018.

View all Publications

Publications

Book

  • Gibson, Justine, Reynish, Ingrid and Shapter, Frances Vertical modular framework eLearning manual. Gatton, QLD Australia: School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, 2018.

Book Chapter

  • Shapter, F. M., Crowther, A., Fox, G., Godwin, I. D., Watson-Fox, L., Hannah, I. J. C. and Norton, S. L. (2018). The domestication, spread and uses of sorghum as a crop. In Bill Rooney (Ed.), Achieving sustainable cultivation of sorghum Volume 2: sorghum utilization around the world (pp. 31-64) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. doi:10.19103/as.2017.0015.01

  • Bhattacharya, Anjanabha, Rice, Nicole, Shapter, Frances M., Norton, Sally L. and Henry, Robert J. (2011). Sorghum. In Chittaranjan Kole (Ed.), Cereals (pp. 397-406) Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-14228-4_9

Journal Article