Professor Robert Henry

Institute Director

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

Overview

DNA-based methods for identification of plants and their pathogens, development of molecular markers for plant breeding and the genetic transformation of plants, application of DNA technology to the improvement of the quality of crops and agricultural and food products. Analysis of wild-plant populations, especially in Australia, to support their conservation & use in agriculture or forestry, development of significant methods for analysis of plant carbohydrates (sugars, starch & cell-wall polysaccharides)

Professor Robert Henry, is a graduate of the University of Queensland, B Sc (Hons), Macquarie University, M Sc (Hons) and La Trobe University (Ph D). In 2000 Professor Henry was awarded a higher doctorate (D Sc) by UQ for his work on analysis of variation in plants.

Before being appointed QAAFI Director in May 2010, he was Director of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics at Southern Cross University, a centre which he established in 1996. Other previous positions held by Professor Henry include Research Director of the Grain Foods Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) (until 2010) and Research Program Leader in the Queensland Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (until 1996).

Some of his earlier roles include: working with CSIRO on fruit and vegetable biochemistry; a Cereal Chemist with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries, including research into the quality of malt and barley for brewing; a Senior Principal Scientist with the Queensland Wheat Research Institute, where he played a major role in grain quality research, and a Post Doctoral fellow working on cell biology and genetics at the National Institute of Agrobiological Resources in Japan.

Professor Henry’s speciality research area is the study of agricultural crops using molecular tools. He is particularly interested in Australian flora and plants of economic and social importance and has led the way in research into genome sequencing to capture novel genetic resources for the diversification of food crops to deliver improved food products.

Research Interests

  • Research Interest Overview
    My research seeks to improve food and energy security by applying biochemical and molecular tools to the development of improved crop varieties. This research involves analysis of domesticated crops, wild relatives of crop species and potential new crop species. Research aims to define the basis of human selection for quality in food and non-food crops. These traits are critical to satisfying food and energy security because new plant varieties that may have higher yields may not be accepted for production by farmers if they fail to meet consumer expectations of quality and as a result are not marketable. Current research focuses on the major global food crops, rice and wheat and the leading current and potential energy crops, sugarcane and Eucalypts. Analysis of nutritional and functional characteristics ranges from determination of human preferences for properties of foods from bread to coffee and the chemical composition that determines the suitability of plant biomass for biofuel or biomaterial production. Whole genome sequencing and targeted sequencing of the functional parts of the genome allow associations between genetic variation and important traits to be established. Chemical and biochemical dissection of vital traits is facilitated by linking genetic variation at the whole genome level to function at the biochemical and molecular level.
  • Coffee
    Coffee is an important cash crop for farmers in developing countries. In Australia coffee consumption has grown and a small local industry is targeting high value and high quality coffee products. Collaboration in an international consortium has allowed a reference coffee genome sequence to be produced.
  • Rice
    Rice is a major human food originally domesticated in Asia. Wild rice in Australia is a major source of genetic diversity to support sustainable rice production globally. The Australian populations have uniquely escaped the genetic pollution from domesticated rice that has impacted wild rice growing in Asia. Whole genome analysis of Australian wild rice is being used to better understand rice domestication and make this diverse genetic resource available for increased rice food security worldwide.
  • Wheat
    Food security demands an accelerated rate of genetic improvement of major food crops such as wheat and rice. Wheat genes determining traits important for human use in production of bread and other food products are essential in commercial wheat production. These traits have been considered complex and selection for quality characteristics has limited the rate of genetic improvement of wheat. Genomics is being used to increase understanding of the genetic basis of these traits removing this constraint to more rapid improvements in wheat varieties and production globally.
  • Eucalypts
    Eucalypts are a diverse group of Australian species that have been planted in many countries for a wide range of uses. Eucalypts have been grown for solid wood, pulp for paper, and a source of firewood. Research uses our growing understanding of the Eucalypt genome to support selection of Eucalypts.
  • Sugarcane
    Sugarcane is a major industrial crop providing a source of energy, fuel and sugar. Research aims to deliver increased understanding the sugarcane genome and discovery of the genetic control of traits that are important in developing sugarcane as an energy crop.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, La Trobe University
  • Master of Science, Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Hasan, Sharmin and Henry, Robert J. (2020). Wild Oryza for quality improvement. The Future of Rice Demand: Quality Beyond Productivity. (pp. 299-329) Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-37510-2_13

  • Shaw, Lindsay, Nath, Onkar, Fletcher, Stephen, Henry, Robert, Mitter, Neena and Hayward, Alice (2020). Avocado transcriptomic resources. Reference Module in Food Science. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-08-100596-5.22733-9

  • Henry, Robert J. (2020). Cereal genomics databases and plant genetic resources in crop improvement. Cereal Genomics. (pp. 9-14) edited by Luis M. Vaschetto. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9865-4_2

  • Cheng, Bing and Henry, Robert J. (2019). Coffee bean transcriptome. Reference Module in Food Science. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-08-100596-5.22736-4

  • Subbaiyan, Gopala Krishnan, Masouleh, Ardashir K., Furtado, Agnelo, Waters, Daniel L. E. and Henry, Robert J. (2019). Re-sequencing resources to improve starch and grain quality in rice. Rice Grain Quality. (pp. 201-240) edited by Nese Sreenivasulu. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press Inc.. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8914-0_12

  • Rana, Anuj , Karunakaran, Aneesh , Fitzgerald, Timothy L., Sabburg, Rosalie, Aitken, Elizabeth A. B., Henry, Robert J. , Powell, Jonathan J. and Kazan, Kemal (2018). A highly efficient and reproducible Fusarium spp. inoculation method for Brachypodium distachyon. Brachypodium genomics: methods and protocols. (pp. 43-55) edited by Gaurav Sablok, Hikmet Budak and Peter J. Ralph. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7278-4

  • Mondal, Tapan K. and Henry, Robert J. (2018). The wild Oryza genomes preface. The wild Oryza genomes. (pp. XIII-XV) edited by Tapan K. Mondal and Robert J. Henry. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  • Wambugu, Peterson W. , Nyamongo, Desterio, Ndjiondjop, Marie-Noelle and Henry, Robert J. (2017). Evolutionary relationships among the Oryza species. The wild Oryza genomes. (pp. 41-54) edited by Tapan K. Mondal and Robert J. Henry. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-71997-9

  • Henry, Robert J. (2017). Oryza australiensis Domin. The wild Oryza genomes. (pp. 61-66) edited by Tapan K. Mondal and Robert J. Henry. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  • Wambugu, Peterson W. and Henry, Robert J. (2017). Oryza bathii A. Chev. The wild Oryza genomes. (pp. 67-74) edited by Tapan K. Mondal and Robert J. Henry. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-71997-9_6

  • Moner, Ali Mohammad and Henry, Robert J. (2017). Oryza meridionalis N. Q. Ng. The wild Oryza genomes. (pp. 177-182) Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  • Henry, Robert (2017). Plant Genetic Resources. Routledge Handbook of Agricultural Biodiversity. (pp. 15-29) edited by Danny Hunter, Luigi Guarino, Charles Spillane and Peter C. McKeown. United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Eliott, Frances, Shepherd, Mervyn, Rossetto, Maurizio and Henry, Robert (2017). The reproductive systems of Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia jerseyana, Davidsonia pruriens and Davidsonia johnsonii) and the potential for domestication. Australian native plants: cultivation and uses in the health and food industries. (pp. 49-68) Boca Raton, FL United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b20635-5

  • Henry, R. J. (2016). Biofuels from crop plants. Encyclopedia of applied plant sciences. (pp. 177-179) edited by Brian Thomas, Brian G. Murray and Denis J. Murphy. Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394807-6.00169-6

  • Henry, R. J. (2016). Genomics of food grains. Encyclopedia of food grains. (pp. 360-364) edited by Colin Wrigley, Harold Corke, Koushik Seetharaman and Jon Faubion. Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394437-5.00221-7

  • Eliott, Frances, Shepherd, Mervyn, Rossetto, Maurizio and Henry, Robert (2016). The reproductive systems of Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia jerseyana, D. pruriens and D. johnsonii) and the potential for domestication. Australian native plants: cultivation and uses in alternative medicine and the food industry. (pp. 49-67) edited by Yasmina Sultanbawa and Fazal Sultanbawa. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press.

  • Henry, R. J. (2015). Barley: harvesting, storage, and transport. Encyclopedia of food grains. (pp. 50-53) edited by Colin Wrigley, Harold Corke, Koushik Seetharaman and Jon Faubion. Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394437-5.00180-7

  • Nevo, Eviatar and Henry, Robert (2015). Global warming and evolution of wild cereals. Crop wild relatives and climate change. (pp. 44-60) edited by Robert Redden, Shyam S. Yadav, Nigel Maxted, Mohammad Ehsan Dulloo, Luigi Guarino and Paul Smith. Hoboken, NJ, United States: Wiley. doi: 10.1002/9781118854396.ch3

  • Krishnan, S. Gopala, Waters, Daniel L. E. and Henry, Robert J. (2014). A method for discovery of pair wise genome-wide SNP variations from whole genome re-sequencing data. Cereal Genomics: Methods and Protocols. (pp. 287-294) edited by Robert J. Henry and Agnelo Furtado. New York, NY United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-715-0_24

  • Henry, Robert (2014). Eucalypts. Genetics, genomics and breeding of eucalypts. (pp. 1-11) edited by Robert Henry and Chittaranjan Kole. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press.

  • Henry, Robert J. (2014). Eucalypts. Genetics, Genomics and Breeding of Eucalypts. (pp. 1-11) Boca Raton FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b17154

  • Henry, Robert J., Rice, Nicole, Edwards, Mark and Nock, Catherine J. (2014). Next-generation technologies to determine plastid genome sequences. Chloroplast Biotechnology: Methods and Protocols. (pp. 39-46) edited by Pal Maliga. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-995-6_2

  • Henry, Robert J. and Furtado, Agnelo (2014). Preface. Cereal genomics: methods and protocols. (pp. v-v) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press.

  • Henry, Robert J. and Kole, Chittaranjan (2014). Preface to the volume. Genetics, genomics and breeding of eucalypts . (pp. xi-xi) Boca Raton FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b17154

  • Healey, Adam, Furtado, Agnelo and Henry, Robert J. (2014). Structural genomics of eucalypts. Genetics, genomics and breeding of eucalypts. (pp. 103-120) edited by Robert Henry and Chittaranjan Kole. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b17154

  • Lybbert, Travis J., Skerritt, John H. and Henry, Robert J. (2013). Facilitation of future research and extension through funding and networking support. Concepts and Strategies. (pp. 415-432) edited by Chittaranjan Kole. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-37045-8

  • Henry, Robert J. (2013). Implications of advances in molecular genetic technology for food security and ownership. The Intellectual Property and Food Project: From Rewarding Innovation and Creation to Feeding the World. (pp. 11-20) edited by Charles Lawson and Jay Sanderson. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing.

  • Henry, Robert J. (2012). Evolution of DNA marker technology in plants. Molecular markers in plants. (pp. 1-19) edited by Robert J. Henry. Hoboken NJ, United States: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. doi: 10.1002/9781118473023.ch1

  • Henry, Robert J. (2012). Genomics for bioenergy production. Handbook of bioenergy crop plants. (pp. 21-29) edited by Chittaranjan Kole, Chandrashekhar P. Joshi and David R. Shonnard. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b11711-4

  • Krishnan, Gopala S., Singh, A. K., Waters, Daniel L. E. and Henry, Robert J. (2012). Molecular Markers for Harnessing Heterosis. Molecular Markers in Plants. (pp. 119-136) edited by Robert J. Henry. Hoboken NJ, United States: John Wiley and Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781118473023.ch8

  • Jackson, P. and Henry, R. J. (2011). Erianthus. Industrial Crops. (pp. 97-107) Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-21102-7_5

  • Henry, Robert J. (2011). Eucalyptus. Forest Trees. (pp. 65-75) edited by Chittaranjan Kole. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-21250-5_4

  • Anzoua, Kossonou Guillaume, Yamanda, Toshihiko and Henry, Robert J. (2011). Miscanthus. Industrial Crops. (pp. 157-164) edited by Chittaranjan Kole. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-21102-7_9

  • Bonnett, G. D. and Henry, R. J. (2011). Saccharum. Industrial Crops. (pp. 165-177) edited by Chittaranjan Kole. Heidelberg: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-21102-7_10

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

  • Henry, R. J. (2010). An overview of advances in genomics in the new millennium. Principles and practices of plant genomics. Volume 3, Advanced genomics. (pp. 1-23) edited by Chittaranjan Kole and Albert G. Abbott. Enfield, N.H., U.S.: Taylor & Francis.

  • Henry, Robert J. (2010). Basic information on the sugarcane plant. Genetics, Genomics and Breeding of Sugarcane. (pp. 1-7) Boca Raton FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/EBK1578086849

  • Brijs, K., Courtin, C,, Goesaert, H., Gebruers, K., Delcour, J., Shewry, P., Henry, R. J., Nicolas, J., Potus, J., Garcia, R. and Davidou, S. (2009). Enzymes and enzyme inhibitors endogenous to wheat. Wheat : Chemistry and Technology. (pp. 401-435) St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.: AACC International. doi: 10.1016/B978-1-891127-55-7.50018-5

  • Rice, N., Kasem, S. and Henry, R. J. (2008). DNA banks as a resource for SNP genotyping. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. 207-218) edited by R. J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0207

  • Kasem, S., Rice, N. and Henry, R. J. (2008). DNA extraction from plant tissue. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. 219-271) edited by R. J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0219

  • Bradbury, Louis M.E., Henry, Robert J. and Waters, Daniel L. E. (2008). Flavor development in rice. Biotechnology in flavor production. (pp. 130-146) edited by Daphna Havkin-Frenkel and Faith C. Belanger. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444302493.ch6

  • Henry, R. J. (2008). Future prospects for plant genotyping. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. 272-280) edited by R.J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CAB International. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0272

  • Waters, D. L. E., Bundock, P. C. and Henry, R. J. (2008). Genotyping by allele-specific PCR. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. 88-97) edited by R. J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0088

  • Bradbury, L. M. T., Waters, D. L. E. and Henry, R. J. (2008). Genotyping for rice eating qualities. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. 187-194) edited by R. J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0187

  • Pattemore, J. A., Trau, M. and Henry, R. J. (2008). Nanotechnology : the future of cost-effective plant genotyping. Plant genotyping II : SNP technology. (pp. 133-153) edited by R. J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0133

  • Henry, R. J. (2008). Preface. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. IX-IX) edited by R.J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CAB International.

  • Eliott, F., Cordeiro, G., Bundock, P. C. and Henry, R. J. (2008). SNP discovery by ecotilling using capillary electrophoresis. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. 78-87) edited by R. J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0078

  • Henry, R. J. and Ablett, G. (2008). Sequence polymorphisms in the flanking regions of microsatellite markers. Plant genotyping II: SNP technology. (pp. 68-77) edited by R. J. Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CAB International. doi: 10.1079/9781845933821.0068

  • Riaz, S., Doligez, A., Henry, R. J. and Walker, M. A. (2007). Grapes. Fruits and Nuts. (pp. 63-94) edited by Chittaranjan Kole. Berlin, Germany: Springer.

  • Cordeiro, Giovanni, Amouyal, Ouzi, Eliott, Frances and Henry, Robert (2007). Sugarcane. Pulses, Sugar and Tuber Crops. (pp. 175-204) edited by Chittaranjan Kole. Berlin, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-34516-9_11

  • Rice, Nicole, Henry, Robert and Rossetto, Maurizio (2006). DNA banks : A primary resource for conservation research. DNA banks : Providing novel options for genebanks?. (pp. 41-48) edited by M.C. de Vicente and M.S. Andersson. Rome, Italy: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

  • Henry, Robert J. (2006). Genomics and plant biodiversity management. Plant conservation genetics. (pp. 167-175) edited by Robert J. Henry. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Food Products Press.

  • Henry, Robert J. (2006). Plant conservation genetics : Importance, options, and opportunities. Plant conservation genetics. (pp. 1-6) edited by Robert J. Henry. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Food Products Press.

  • Henry, Robert J. (2005). Conserving genetic diversity in plants of environmental, social or economic importance. Plant diversity and evolution : Genotypic and phenotypic variation in higher plants. (pp. 317-325) edited by Robert J. Henry. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK ; Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing.

  • Henry, Robert J. (2005). Importance of plant diversity. Plant diversity and evolution : Genotypic and phenotypic variation in higher plants. (pp. 1-5) edited by Robert J. Henry. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK ; Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing.

  • Henry, R. J. (2004). Barley: Harvesting storage and transport. Encyclopedia of grain sciences. (pp. 46-49) edited by Colin Wrigley, Harold Corke and Charles E. Walker. Amsterdam, Netherlands; Boston, MA, United States: Elseiver. doi: 10.1016/B0-12-765490-9/00012-4

  • Henry, R.J. (2004). Who owns the gene pool. Emerging challenges for farming systems: Lessons from Australian and Dutch agriculture. (pp. 130-144) edited by Ken G. Rickert and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (Australia). Canberra ACT, Australia: RIRDC.

  • Henry, R. J. (2001). Biotechnology: cereal and cereal products quality. Cereals Processing Technology. (pp. 53-76) Abington, Oxfordshire, UK: Woodhead Publishing.

  • Henry, R. J. and Lee, L. S. (2001). Commercial applications of plant genotyping. Plant Genotyping: the DNA Fingerprinting of Plants. (pp. 265-273) Oxford: CABI.

  • Henry, R. J. (2001). Exploiting Cereal Genetic Resources. Biotechnology of Cereals. (pp. 23-57) London: Academia Press. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2296(01)34006-5

  • McLauchlan, A., Henry, R. J., Isaac, P. G. and Edwards, K.J. (2001). Microsatellite analysis in cultivated hexaploid wheat and wild wheat relatives. Plant genotyping: The DNA fingerprinting of plants. (pp. 147-159) edited by R. J. Henry. Oxford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing.

  • Henry, R. J., Lee, L. S., Rossetto, M. and Homer. L. (2001). Molecular analysis of wild plant germplasm: The case of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Plant genotyping: The DNA fingerprinting of plants. (pp. 95-107) edited by R. J. Henry. New York, NY, United States: CABI.

  • Henry, R. J. (2001). Plant DNA extraction. Plant Genotyping: the DNA Fingerprinting of Plants. (pp. 239-249) Oxford: CABI.

  • Henry, R. J., Morris, P. C. and Bryce, J. H. (2000). Using biotechnology to add value to cereals. Cereal Biotechnology. (pp. 91-106) Cambridge: Woodhead.

  • Henry, Robert J. (1999). Molecular techniques for the identification of plants. Applied plant biotechnology. (pp. 269-283) edited by Chopra, V. L., Malik, V. S. and Bhat, S. R.. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers.

  • Henry, R. J., Chopra, V. L., Malik, V. S. and Bhat, S. R. (1999). Molecular techniques for the identification of plants. Applied plant biotechnology. (pp. 269-283) Enfield, NH, United Kingdom: Science Publishers.

  • Henry, R. J. (1998). Molecular and biochemical characterization of somaclonal variation. Somaclonal variation and induced mutations in crop improvement. (pp. 485-499) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  • Graham, G. C. and Henry, R. J. (1997). Preparation of fungal genomic DNA for PCR and RAPD analysis. Fingerprinting methods based upon arbitrarily primed PCR. (pp. 29-34) edited by Maria R. Micheli and Rodolfo Bova. Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

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

  • 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 — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision