Dr Kai Voss-Fels

Honorary Principal Fellow

Centre for Crop Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

Overview

Dr Kai Voss-Fels is a Senior Research Fellow within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland focussing on quantitative genetics and plant breeding. Before joining UQ in 2017, Kai has worked as Research Associate at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and as PhD student and then Postdoc at the Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany, where he completed his PhD in 2016 with highest distinction (summa cum laude, JLU best dissertation award).

Kai is interested in developing and implementing new genomics-assisted breeding approaches to improve yield, quality and resistances in major crops, such as wheat, barley, sugarcane, rapeseed and chickpea. A particular focus of his research involves the integration of quantitative genetics, genomics and computational approaches to develop new crop improvement strategies. He is particularly interested in new genomic prediction approaches, e.g. involving artificial intelligence and computer simulation, that could help to accelerate the rate of genetic gain. This also includes the study of GxE interaction and non-additive genetic effects, which represent a key challenge for crop genetic improvement programs.

Kai has won several prestigious awards, e.g. the Kurt von Rümker Price 2017 and the 2019 Barley Incentive Award by the Australian Barley Technical Symposium committee. He has published his research outcomes in high impact peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature Plants and Trends in Plant Science, and he works closely with leading national and international partners across the public and private sectors.

Research Interests

  • Quantitative Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Plant breeding
  • Agricultural Science

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Agriculture, Justus Liebig University Giessen Germany

Publications

  • Copley, James P., Engle, Bailey N., Ross, Elizabeth M., Speight, Shannon, Fordyce, Geoffry, Wood, Benjamin J., Voss-Fels, Kai P. and Hayes, Benjamin J. (2022). Environmental variation effects fertility in tropical beef cattle. Translational Animal Science, 6 (2) txac035, txac035. doi: 10.1093/tas/txac035

  • Varshney, Rajeev K., Roorkiwal, Manish, Sun, Shuai, Bajaj, Prasad, Chitikineni, Annapurna, Thudi, Mahendar, Singh, Narendra P., Du, Xiao, Upadhyaya, Hari D., Khan, Aamir W., Wang, Yue, Garg, Vanika, Fan, Guangyi, Cowling, Wallace A., Crossa, José, Gentzbittel, Laurent, Voss-Fels, Kai Peter, Valluri, Vinod Kumar, Sinha, Pallavi, Singh, Vikas K., Ben, Cécile, Rathore, Abhishek, Punna, Ramu, Singh, Muneendra K., Tar’an, Bunyamin, Bharadwaj, Chellapilla, Yasin, Mohammad, Pithia, Motisagar S., Singh, Servejeet ... Liu, Xin (2022). Author correction: a chickpea genetic variation map based on the sequencing of 3,366 genomes. Nature, 604 (7905), E12-E12. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04660-x

  • Powell, Owen M., Barbier, Francois, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Beveridge, Christine A. and Cooper, Mark (2022). Investigations into the emergent properties of gene-to-phenotype networks across cycles of selection: a case study of shoot branching in plants.

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Alahmad, Samir, Rambla, Charlotte, Voss-Fels, Kai P. and Hickey, Lee T. (2022). Accelerating breeding cycles. Wheat improvement. (pp. 557-571) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-90673-3_30

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Herzog, Eva, Dreisigacker, Susanne, Sukumaran, Sivakumar, Watson, Amy, Frisch, Matthias, Hayes, Ben and Hickey, Lee T. (2019). “SpeedGS” to accelerate genetic gain in spring wheat. Applications of genetic and genomic research in cereals. (pp. 303-327) edited by Thomas Miedaner and Viktor Korzun. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-08-102163-7.00014-4

Journal Article

  • Copley, James P., Engle, Bailey N., Ross, Elizabeth M., Speight, Shannon, Fordyce, Geoffry, Wood, Benjamin J., Voss-Fels, Kai P. and Hayes, Benjamin J. (2022). Environmental variation effects fertility in tropical beef cattle. Translational Animal Science, 6 (2) txac035, txac035. doi: 10.1093/tas/txac035

  • Varshney, Rajeev K., Roorkiwal, Manish, Sun, Shuai, Bajaj, Prasad, Chitikineni, Annapurna, Thudi, Mahendar, Singh, Narendra P., Du, Xiao, Upadhyaya, Hari D., Khan, Aamir W., Wang, Yue, Garg, Vanika, Fan, Guangyi, Cowling, Wallace A., Crossa, José, Gentzbittel, Laurent, Voss-Fels, Kai Peter, Valluri, Vinod Kumar, Sinha, Pallavi, Singh, Vikas K., Ben, Cécile, Rathore, Abhishek, Punna, Ramu, Singh, Muneendra K., Tar’an, Bunyamin, Bharadwaj, Chellapilla, Yasin, Mohammad, Pithia, Motisagar S., Singh, Servejeet ... Liu, Xin (2022). Author correction: a chickpea genetic variation map based on the sequencing of 3,366 genomes. Nature, 604 (7905), E12-E12. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04660-x

  • Jambuthenne, Dilani T., Riaz, Adnan, Athiyannan, Naveenkumar, Alahmad, Samir, Ng, Wei Ling, Ziems, Laura, Afanasenko, Olga, Periyannan, Sambasivam K., Aitken, Elizabeth, Platz, Greg, Godwin, Ian, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Dinglasan, Eric and Hickey, Lee T. (2022). Mining the Vavilov wheat diversity panel for new sources of adult plant resistance to stripe rust. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 135 (4), 1355-1373. doi: 10.1007/s00122-022-04037-8

  • Rambla, Charlotte, Van Der Meer, Sarah, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Makhoul, Manar, Obermeier, Christian, Snowdon, Rod, Ober, Eric S., Watt, Michelle, Alahmad, Samir and Hickey, Lee T. (2022). A toolkit to rapidly modify root systems through single plant selection. Plant Methods, 18 (1) 2, 2. doi: 10.1186/s13007-021-00834-2

  • Varshney, Rajeev K., Roorkiwal, Manish, Sun, Shuai, Bajaj, Prasad, Chitikineni, Annapurna, Thudi, Mahendar, Singh, Narendra P., Du, Xiao, Upadhyaya, Hari D., Khan, Aamir W., Wang, Yue, Garg, Vanika, Fan, Guangyi, Cowling, Wallace A., Crossa, José, Gentzbittel, Laurent, Voss-Fels, Kai Peter, Valluri, Vinod Kumar, Sinha, Pallavi, Singh, Vikas K., Ben, Cécile, Rathore, Abhishek, Punna, Ramu, Singh, Muneendra K., Tar’an, Bunyamin, Bharadwaj, Chellapilla, Yasin, Mohammad, Pithia, Motisagar S., Singh, Servejeet ... Liu, Xin (2021). A chickpea genetic variation map based on the sequencing of 3,366 genomes. Nature, 599 (7886), 622-627. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-04066-1

  • Yadav, Seema, Ross, Elizabeth M., Aitken, Karen S., Hickey, Lee T., Powell, Owen, Wei, Xianming, Voss-Fels, Kai P. and Hayes, Ben J. (2021). A linkage disequilibrium-based approach to position unmapped SNPs in crop species. BMC Genomics, 22 (1) 773, 773. doi: 10.1186/s12864-021-08116-w

  • Powell, Owen M., Voss-Fels, Kai P., Jordan, David R., Hammer, Graeme and Cooper, Mark (2021). Perspectives on applications of hierarchical gene-to-phenotype (G2P) maps to capture non-stationary effects of alleles in genomic prediction. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12 663565, 663565. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.663565/full

  • Dinglasan, Eric G., Peressini, Tamaya, Marathamuthu, Kalai A., See, Pao Theen, Snyman, Lisle, Platz, Greg, Godwin, Ian, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Moffat, Caroline S. and Hickey, Lee T. (2021). Genetic characterization of adult-plant resistance to tan spot (syn, yellow spot) in wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 (9), 2823-2839. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03861-8

  • Yao, Min, Guan, Mei, Yang, Qian, Huang, Luyao, Xiong, Xinghua, Jan, Habib U., Voss-Fels, Kai P., Werner, Christian R., He, Xin, Qian, Wei, Snowdon, Rod J., Guan, Chunyun, Hua, Wei and Qian, Lunwen (2021). Regional association analysis coupled with transcriptome analyses reveal candidate genes affecting seed oil accumulation in Brassica napus. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 (5), 1545-1555. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03788-0

  • Yadav, Seema, Wei, Xianming, Joyce, Priya, Atkin, Felicity, Deomano, Emily, Sun, Yue, Nguyen, Loan T., Ross, Elizabeth M., Cavallaro, Tony, Aitken, Karen S., Hayes, Ben J. and Voss-Fels, Kai P. (2021). Improved genomic prediction of clonal performance in sugarcane by exploiting non-additive genetic effects. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 (7), 2235-2252. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03822-1

  • Ober, Eric S., Alahmad, Samir, Cockram, James, Forestan, Cristian, Hickey, Lee T., Kant, Josefine, Maccaferri, Marco, Marr, Emily, Milner, Matthew, Pinto, Francisco, Rambla, Charlotte, Reynolds, Matthew, Salvi, Silvio, Sciara, Giuseppe, Snowdon, Rod J., Thomelin, Pauline, Tuberosa, Roberto, Uauy, Cristobal, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Wallington, Emma and Watt, Michelle (2021). Wheat root systems as a breeding target for climate resilience. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 (6), 1645-1662. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03819-w

  • Bhatta, Madhav, Sandro, Pablo, Smith, Millicent R., Delaney, Oscar, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Gutierrez, Lucia and Hickey, Lee T. (2021). Need for speed: manipulating plant growth to accelerate breeding cycles. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 60 101986, 101986. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2020.101986

  • Cooper, Mark, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Messina, Carlos D., Tang, Tom and Hammer, Graeme L. (2021). Tackling G × E × M interactions to close on-farm yield-gaps: creating novel pathways for crop improvement by predicting contributions of genetics and management to crop productivity. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 (6), 1625-1644. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03812-3

  • Hayes, Ben J., Wei, Xianming, Joyce, Priya, Atkin, Felicity, Deomano, Emily, Yue, Jenny, Nguyen, Loan, Ross, Elizabeth M., Cavallaro, Tony, Aitken, Karen S. and Voss-Fels, Kai P. (2021). Accuracy of genomic prediction of complex traits in sugarcane. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 (5), 1455-1462. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03782-6

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Wei, Xianming, Ross, Elizabeth M., Frisch, Matthias, Aitken, Karen S., Cooper, Mark and Hayes, Ben J. (2021). Strategies and considerations for implementing genomic selection to improve traits with additive and non-additive genetic architectures in sugarcane breeding. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 (5), 1493-1511. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03785-3

  • Cooper, M., Powell, O., Voss-Fels, K. P., Messina, C. D., Gho, C., Podlich, D. W., Technow, F., Chapman, S. C., Beveridge, C. A., Ortiz-Barrientos, D. and Hammer, G. L. (2021). Modelling selection response in plant breeding programs using crop models as mechanistic gene-to-phenotype (CGM-G2P) multi-trait link functions. in silico Plants, 3 (1) diaa016, 1-21. doi: 10.1093/insilicoplants/diaa016

  • Alahmad, Samir, Kang, Yichen, Dinglasan, Eric, Mazzucotelli, Elisabetta, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Able, Jason A., Christopher, Jack, Bassi, Filippo M. and Hickey, Lee T. (2020). Adaptive traits to improve Durum wheat yield in drought and crown rot environments. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21 (15) 5260, 1-17. doi: 10.3390/ijms21155260

  • Yao, Min, Guan, Mei, Zhang, Zhenqian, Zhang, Qiuping, Cui, Yixin, Chen, Hao, Liu, Wei, Jan, Habib U., Voss-Fels, Kai P., Werner, Christian R., He, Xin, Liu, Zhongsong, Guan, Chunyun, Snowdon, Rod J., Hua, Wei and Qian, Lunwen (2020). GWAS and co-expression network combination uncovers multigenes with close linkage effects on the oleic acid content accumulation in Brassica napus. BMC Genomics, 21 (1) 320, 320. doi: 10.1186/s12864-020-6711-0

  • Yadav, Seema, Jackson, Phillip, Wei, Xianming, Ross, Elizabeth M., Aitken, Karen, Deomano, Emily, Atkin, Felicity, Hayes, Ben J. and Voss-Fels, Kai P. (2020). Accelerating genetic gain in sugarcane breeding using genomic selection. Agronomy, 10 (4) 585, 585. doi: 10.3390/agronomy10040585

  • Makhoul, M., Rambla, C., Voss-Fels, K. P., Hickey, L. T., Snowdon, R. J. and Obermeier, C. (2020). Overcoming polyploidy pitfalls: a user guide for effective SNP conversion into KASP markers in wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 133 (8), 2413-2430. doi: 10.1007/s00122-020-03608-x

  • Wurtzel, Eleanore T., Vickers, Claudia E., Hanson, Andrew D., Millar, A. Harvey, Cooper, Mark, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Nikel, Pablo I. and Erb, Tobias J. (2019). Revolutionizing agriculture with synthetic biology. Nature Plants, 5 (12), 1207-1210. doi: 10.1038/s41477-019-0539-0

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Keeble-Gagnère, Gabriel, Hickey, Lee T., Tibbits, Josquin, Nagornyy, Sergej, Hayden, Matthew J., Pasam, Raj K., Kant, Surya, Friedt, Wolfgang, Snowdon, Rod J., Appels, Rudi and Wittkop, Benjamin (2019). High-resolution mapping of rachis nodes per rachis, a critical determinant of grain yield components in wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 132 (9), 2707-2719. doi: 10.1007/s00122-019-03383-4

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Stahl, Andreas, Wittkop, Benjamin, Lichthardt, Carolin, Nagler, Sabrina, Rose, Till, Chen, Tsu-Wei, Zetzsche, Holger, Seddig, Sylvia, Majid Baig, Mirza, Ballvora, Agim, Frisch, Matthias, Ross, Elizabeth, Hayes, Ben J., Hayden, Matthew J., Ordon, Frank, Leon, Jens, Kage, Henning, Friedt, Wolfgang, Stützel, Hartmut and Snowdon, Rod J. (2019). Breeding improves wheat productivity under contrasting agrochemical input levels. Nature Plants, 5 (7), 706-714. doi: 10.1038/s41477-019-0445-5

  • Alahmad, Samir, El Hassouni, Khaoula, Bassi, Filippo M., Dinglasan, Eric, Youssef, Chvan, Quarry, Georgia, Aksoy, Alpaslan, Mazzucotelli, Elisabetta, Juhasz, Angela, Able, Jason A., Christopher, Jack, Voss-Fels, Kai P. and Hickey, Lee T. (2019). A major root architecture QTL responding to water limitation in Durum Wheat. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10 436, 436. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00436

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Stahl, Andreas and Hickey, Lee T. (2019). Q&A: modern crop breeding for future food security. BMC Biology, 17 (1) 18, 18. doi: 10.1186/s12915-019-0638-4

  • Snowdon, Rod J., Stahl, Andreas, Wittkop, Benjamin, Friedt, Wolfgang, Voss-Fels, Kai, Ordon, Frank, Frisch, Matthias, Dreisigacker, Susanne, Hearne, Sarah J., Bett, Kirstin E., Cuthbert, Richard D., Bentley, Alison R., Melchinger, Albrecht E., Tuberosa, Roberto, Langridge, Peter, Uauy, Cristobal, Sorrells, Mark E., Poland, Jesse and Pozniak, Curtis J. (2019). Reduced response diversity does not negatively impact wheat climate resilience. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 166 (22), 10623-10624. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1901882116

  • Voss-Fels, Kai Peter, Cooper, Mark and Hayes, Ben John (2018). Accelerating crop genetic gains with genomic selection. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 132 (3), 669-686. doi: 10.1007/s00122-018-3270-8

  • Dinglasan, Eric G., Singh, Dharmendra, Shankar, Manisha, Afanasenko, Olga, Platz, Greg, Godwin, Ian D., Voss-Fels, Kai P. and Hickey, Lee T. (2018). Discovering new alleles for yellow spot resistance in the Vavilov wheat collection. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 132 (1), 149-162. doi: 10.1007/s00122-018-3204-5

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Qian, Lunwen, Gabur, Iulian, Obermeier, Christian, Hickey, Lee T., Werner, Christian R., Kontowski, Stefan, Frisch, Matthias, Friedt, Wolfgang, Snowdon, Rod J. and Gottwald, Sven (2018). Genetic insights into underground responses to Fusarium graminearum infection in wheat. Scientific Reports, 8 (1) 13153, 13153. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31544-w

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Snowdon, Rod J. and Hickey, Lee T. (2018). Designer roots for future crops. Trends in Plant Science, 23 (1717), 957-960. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.08.004

  • Alahmad, Samir, Dinglasan, Eric, Leung, Kung Ming, Riaz, Adnan, Derbal, Nora, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Able, Jason A., Bassi, Filippo M., Christopher, Jack and Hickey, Lee T. (2018). Speed breeding for multiple quantitative traits in durum wheat. Plant Methods, 14 (1) 36, 36. doi: 10.1186/s13007-018-0302-y

  • Werner, Christian R., Voss-Fels, Kai P., Miller, Charlotte N., Qian, Wei, Hua, Wei, Guan, Chun-Yun, Snowdon, Rod J. and Qian, Lunwen (2018). Effective genomic selection in a narrow-genepool crop with low-density markers: Asian rapeseed as an example. The Plant Genome, 11 (2) 170084, 170084. doi: 10.3835/plantgenome2017.09.0084

  • Werner, Christian R., Qian, Lunwen, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Abbadi, Amine, Leckband, Gunhild, Frisch, Matthias and Snowdon, Rod J. (2018). Genome-wide regression models considering general and specific combining ability predict hybrid performance in oilseed rape with similar accuracy regardless of trait architecture. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 131 (2), 299-317. doi: 10.1007/s00122-017-3002-5

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Robinson, Hannah, Mudge, Stephen R., Richard, Cecile, Newman, Saul, Wittkop, Benjamin, Stahl, Andreas, Friedt, Wolfgang, Frisch, Matthias, Gabur, Iulian, Miller-Cooper, Anika, Campbell, Bradley C., Kelly, Alison, Fox, Glen, Christopher, Jack, Christopher, Mandy, Chenu, Karine, Franckowiak, Jerome, Mace, Emma S., Borrell, Andrew K., Eagles, Howard, Jordan, David R., Botella, Jose R., Hammer, Graeme, Godwin, Ian D., Trevaskis, Ben, Snowdon, Rod J. and Hickey, Lee T. (2017). VERNALIZATION1 modulates root system architecture in wheat and barley. Molecular Plant, 11 (1), 226-229. doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2017.10.005

  • Riaz, Adnan, Athiyannan, Naveenkumar, Periyannan, Sambasivam K., Afanasenko, Olga, Mitrofanova, Olga P., Platz, Gregory J., Aitken, Elizabeth A. B., Snowdon, Rod J., Lagudah, Evans S., Hickey, Lee T. and Voss-Fels, Kai P. (2017). Unlocking new alleles for leaf rust resistance in the Vavilov wheat collection. TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 131 (1), 127-144. doi: 10.1007/s00122-017-2990-5

  • Qian, Lunwen, Hickey, Lee T., Stahl, Andreas, Werner, Christian R., Hayes, Ben, Snowdon, Rod J. and Voss-Fels, Kai P. (2017). Exploring and Harnessing Haplotype Diversity to Improve Yield Stability in Crops. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8 1534, 1534. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01534

  • Bernhard, Timm, Friedt, Wolfgang, Voss-Fels, Kai P., Frisch, Matthias, Snowdon, Rod J. and Wittkop, Benjamin (2017). Heterosis for biomass and grain yield facilitates breeding of productive dual-purpose winter barley hybrids. Crop Science, 57 (5), 2405-2418. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2016.10.0872

  • Voss-Fels, Kai P., Qian, Lunwen, Parra-Londono, Sebastian, Uptmoor, Ralf, Frisch, Matthias, Keeble-Gagnere, Gabriel, Appels, Rudi and Snowdon, Rod J. (2017). Linkage drag constrains the roots of modern wheat. Plant Cell and Environment, 40 (5), 717-725. doi: 10.1111/pce.12888

  • Qian, Lunwen, Voss-Fels, Kai, Cui, Yixin, Jan, Habib U., Samans, Birgit, Obermeier, Christian, Qian, Wei and Snowdon, Rod J. (2016). Deletion of a stay-green gene associates with adaptive selection in Brassica napus. Molecular Plant, 9 (12), 1559-1569. doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2016.10.017

  • Voss-Fels, Kai and Snowdon, Rod J. (2016). Understanding and utilizing crop genome diversity via high-resolution genotyping. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 14 (4), 1086-1094. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12456

  • Voss-Fels, Kai, Frisch, Matthias, Qian, Lunwen, Kontowski, Stefan, Friedt, Wolfgang, Gottwald, Sven and Snowdon, Rod J. (2015). Subgenomic diversity patterns caused by directional selection in bread wheat gene pools. Plant Genome, 8 (2), plantgenome2015.03.0013. doi: 10.3835/plantgenome2015.03.0013

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision