Dr Alice Hayward

UQ Amplify Researcher

Centre for Horticultural Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
a.hayward@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 62295

Overview

I am a plant molecular physiologist in the Mitter Lab at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation. Our team primarily focuses on innovating tissue culture technologies for plant species in close partnership with industry and stakeholders. We deliver world-first propagation protocols for difficult and recalcitrant crops species as well as biotechnologies for crop improvement and cryobanking of recalcitrant plant germplasm. We also have a dedicated research stream in crop genomics and molecular biology. We aim to improve efficiency and resilience in our plant industries as well as support conservation of our key germplasm and endangered species. Our flagship species has been the avocado, and our team has been involved with producing the first genome sequence for avocado as well as the world's first commercial tissue culture pipelines for avocado propagation and cryopreservation. We are now extending this to other key crop species such as macadamia, as well as endangered native species with collaborators. Our ongoing vision is continued extension of these technologies to new species and crops for both horticultural and environmental outcomes.

**We are always looking for motivated Honours, MPhil and PhD applicants - get in contact if this is you!**

Research Interests

  • Plant tissue culture
  • Plant molecular biology
  • Plant cryopreservation

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Want to do a PhD in conservation with real-world outcomes and close industry links?! Join our team of industry and academic leaders at the Australian PlantBank and The University of Queensland and be the first to develop cryobiotechnology to help save Australia’s macadamia species.

    Our lab is dedicated to developing cryopreservation (cryostorage at -196C) protocols to save plant species from climate-change, disease pandemics (e.g. myrtle rust), deforestation and ultimately extinction. This is essential for plants that do not survive seed-banking – including our food species such as macadamia. This technology allows us to safely freeze plant cells and tissues at -196C and then revive them to grow into whole new plants. This provides an insurance bank to conserve incredible genetic diversity of precious species including crops and endangered species that cannot be seed-banked.

    You must be an Australian resident and will be based at the Australian PlantBank in NSW and Enrolled through the University of Queensland. Students will learn techniques of plant tissue culture and cryopreservation in close connection with industry and real end-user funders in plant conservation. The student(s) will develop real-world protocols to save these species in Australian cryobanks. The student(s) will also have opportuity to travel, conduct field work, and investigate molecular physiological apsects of cellular cryostorage behaviour.

    Location: The Australian PlantBank Mt Annan, NSW.

  • The Mitter Lab has received global media coverage for developing the world’s first tissue-culture production system for avocado plants - the world's most instagrammed fruit. This is important as a sustainable, cost-effective and climate-secure way to produce plants. The team has also developed systems for pharma crops, hyperacumulating species for industrial application and endgangered species under threat of climate change and disease pandemics.

    Dedicated students will be part of our expanding research in a new $20M tissue-culture facility at UQ, developing systems for other high-value crop species as well as endangered native species where prior research is lacking or proved too challenging. Students will work very closely with internationally leading researchers, industry and partners to deliver real-world outcomes and value-add student experience. There is also opportunity for students to discover novel aspects of plant genetics and molecular physiology in relation to tissue culture and crop function.

    **We are NOW searching for**:

    -Honours student in Custard Apple Tissue Culture -PhD students in Macadamia Tissue Culture -MPhil Student in macadamia molecular biology and informatics

  • Our Lab in QAAFI has been part of a large effort sequencing the genomes of major sub-tropical fruit crops including avocado. We have developed a DNA marker set that can distinguish avocado cultivars available in Australia – this is important for industry to be able to rapidly identify and track plants. We are also producing the first chromosome level genome for avocado, set to signfcantly enhance future assisted breeding and gene-editing tech for avocado. Combining our world-leading strengths in avocado tissue culture innovation and genomics, this project will develop novel platform technologies for avocado crop improvement exploring options for mutatgenesis breeding and gene-editing. The outcomes if successfull could be a game changer for avocado crop development into the future.

    **We are now searching for: PhD students in Avocado transformation and mutagenesis!**

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Shaw, Lindsay, Nath, Onkar, Fletcher, Stephen, Henry, Robert, Mitter, Neena and Hayward, Alice (2020). Avocado transcriptomic resources. Reference Module in Food Science. (pp. 544-557) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-08-100596-5.22733-9

  • Hiti-Bandaralage, Jayeni, Hayward, Alice, O’Brien, Chris, Gleeson, Madeleine, Nak, William and Mitter, Neena (2019). Advances in avocado propagation for the sustainable supply of planting materials. Achieving sustainable cultivation of tropical fruits. (pp. 215-238) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. doi: 10.19103/as.2019.0054.19

  • O’Brien, Christopher, Hiti-Bandaralage, Jayeni C. A., Hayward, Alice and Mitter, Neena (2018). Avocado (Persea americana Mill.). Step Wise Protocols for Somatic Embryogenesis of Important Woody Plants. (pp. 305-328) edited by Shri Mohan Jain and Pramod Gupta. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-79087-9_24

  • Hayward, Alice (2012). Introduction - Oilseed Brassicas. Genetics, genomics and breeding of Oilseed Brassicas. (pp. 1-13) edited by David Edwards, Jacqueline Batley, Isobel Parkin and Chittaranjan Kole. Enfield, United States: Science Publishers.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Agarwal, Rimjhim, Hong, Hung T., Hayward, Alice, Harper, Stephen, Mitter, Neena and O’Hare, Tim J. (2020). Carotenoid profiling of orange-coloured capsicums: In search of high-zeaxanthin varieties for eye health. 1st International Electronic Conference on Food Science and Functional Foods, Online, 10–25 November, 2020. Basel, Switzerland: MDPI. doi: 10.3390/foods_2020-07717

  • Nak, W., Hayward, A., Gleeson, M. and Mitter, N. (2020). Temporary silencing targeted plant genes with exogenous application of dsRNA. International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1297.79

  • Hiti-Bandaralage, J. C.A., Hayward, A. and Mitter, N. (2020). Structural relation for acclimatization success for in vitro cultured avocado. XXX International Horticultural Congress IHC2018: II International Symposium on Micropropagation and In Vitro Techniques, Istanbul, Turkey, 8 July 2020. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1285.39

  • Nak, William, Hayward, Alice and Mitter, Neena (2020). Investigating new methods to increase adventitious root formation. The Third International Tropical Agriculture Conference TropAg 2019 , Brisbane, QLD Australia, 11-13 November 2019. Basel, Switzerland: MDPI. doi: 10.3390/proceedings2019036052

  • O’Brien, C., Hiti-Bandaralage, J.C.A., Folgado, R., Lahmeyer, S., Hayward, A. and Mitter, N. (2020). Developing a cryopreservation protocol for avocado (Persea americana Mill.) apical shoot tips using different antioxidants. International Horticultural Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, 12-16 August 2018. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/actahortic.2020.1285.3

  • O'Brien, Chris, Bandaralage, Jayeni Hiti, Folgado, Raquel, Lahmeyer, Sean, Hayward, Alice and Mitter, Neena (2019). The Use Of Sucrose Pre-Culture For Cryopreservation Of Avocado (Persea Americana Mill.) Cultivar ‘Velvick’. 56th Annual Meeting of the Society for Cryobiology CRYO 2019, San Diego, CA United States, 22-25 July 2019. Maryland Heights, MO United States: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2019.10.056

  • Gleeson, Madeleine , Hayward, Alice , Hiti Bandalarage, Jayeni , Fletcher, Stephen and Mitter, Neena (2018). Adventitious Rooting in Avocado - Unravelling the Bottleneck to Propagation. Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV, San Diego, CA, United States, 13-17 January 2018. San Diego, CA, United States:

  • O’Brien, Chris, Hiti Bandaralage, Jayeni C. A., Folgado, Raquel, Lahmeyer, Sean, Hayward, Alice and Mitter, Neena (2018). Developing a cryopreservation protocol for avocado (Persea Americana Mill.) shoot tips. CRYO2018, Madrid, Spain, 10-13 July 2018. Maryland Heights, MO United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2018.10.199

  • Ahsan, M. U., Hayward, A., Powell, R., Wilkie, J., Beveridge, C. and Mitter, N. (2018). MicroRNA control of flowering and annual crop cycle in tropical/subtropical horticultural trees. International Symposia on Tropical and Temperate Horticulture, Cairns, QLD Australia, 20 November 2016. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.84

  • Hiti Bandalarage, Jayeni , Hayward, Alice , O'Brien, Christopher and Mitter, Neena (2017). Micropropagation: The Future of Clonal Propagation of Avocado. International Tropical Agriculture Conference, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 20-22 November 2017. Brisbane, QLD, Australia: TropAg.

  • Mohd Rodzi, A., Hayward, A., Hiti Bandaralage, J., O'Brien, C., Gleeson, M. and Mitter, N. (2015). Factors affecting avocado shoot health in culture. VIII World Avocado Congress, Lima, Peru, 13- 18 September 2015. Lima Peru: World Avocado Congress.

  • Hiti Bandaralage, J., Hayward, A., O'Brien, C. and Mitter, N. (2015). Gibberellin and cytokinin in synergy for a rapid nodal multiplication system of avocado. VIII World Avocado Congress, Lima, Peru, 13- 18 September 2015. Lima Peru: World Avocado Congress.

  • Hiti Bandalarage, Jayeni , Hayward, Alice and Mitter, Neena (2015). Synergistic effect of Gibberellin and Cytokinin for a rapid nodal multiplication system of Avocado. International Tropical Agriculture Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 16-18 November 2015. Brisbane, Australia: International Tropical Agriculture Conference.

  • Golicz, A. A., Bayer, P. E., Martinez, P. A., Lai, K., Lorenc, M. T., Alamery, S., Hayward, A., Tollenaere, R., Batley, J., Edwards, D., Long, Y. and Meng, J. (2013). Characterising diversity in the brassica genomes. 6th International Symposium on Brassicas / 18th Crucifer Genetics Workshop, Catania, Italy, 12-16 November 2012. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.1005.1

  • Hayward, A. C. (2003). Finding partners of the GmNARK Protein Kinase. The Inaugural Retreat for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Inh, Moreton Bay Research Station, North Stradbroke Island, 27th February to 2nd March, 2003. UQ: ARC Centre of Excellence For Integrative Legume Research.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Want to do a PhD in conservation with real-world outcomes and close industry links?! Join our team of industry and academic leaders at the Australian PlantBank and The University of Queensland and be the first to develop cryobiotechnology to help save Australia’s macadamia species.

    Our lab is dedicated to developing cryopreservation (cryostorage at -196C) protocols to save plant species from climate-change, disease pandemics (e.g. myrtle rust), deforestation and ultimately extinction. This is essential for plants that do not survive seed-banking – including our food species such as macadamia. This technology allows us to safely freeze plant cells and tissues at -196C and then revive them to grow into whole new plants. This provides an insurance bank to conserve incredible genetic diversity of precious species including crops and endangered species that cannot be seed-banked.

    You must be an Australian resident and will be based at the Australian PlantBank in NSW and Enrolled through the University of Queensland. Students will learn techniques of plant tissue culture and cryopreservation in close connection with industry and real end-user funders in plant conservation. The student(s) will develop real-world protocols to save these species in Australian cryobanks. The student(s) will also have opportuity to travel, conduct field work, and investigate molecular physiological apsects of cellular cryostorage behaviour.

    Location: The Australian PlantBank Mt Annan, NSW.

  • The Mitter Lab has received global media coverage for developing the world’s first tissue-culture production system for avocado plants - the world's most instagrammed fruit. This is important as a sustainable, cost-effective and climate-secure way to produce plants. The team has also developed systems for pharma crops, hyperacumulating species for industrial application and endgangered species under threat of climate change and disease pandemics.

    Dedicated students will be part of our expanding research in a new $20M tissue-culture facility at UQ, developing systems for other high-value crop species as well as endangered native species where prior research is lacking or proved too challenging. Students will work very closely with internationally leading researchers, industry and partners to deliver real-world outcomes and value-add student experience. There is also opportunity for students to discover novel aspects of plant genetics and molecular physiology in relation to tissue culture and crop function.

    **We are NOW searching for**:

    -Honours student in Custard Apple Tissue Culture -PhD students in Macadamia Tissue Culture -MPhil Student in macadamia molecular biology and informatics

  • Our Lab in QAAFI has been part of a large effort sequencing the genomes of major sub-tropical fruit crops including avocado. We have developed a DNA marker set that can distinguish avocado cultivars available in Australia – this is important for industry to be able to rapidly identify and track plants. We are also producing the first chromosome level genome for avocado, set to signfcantly enhance future assisted breeding and gene-editing tech for avocado. Combining our world-leading strengths in avocado tissue culture innovation and genomics, this project will develop novel platform technologies for avocado crop improvement exploring options for mutatgenesis breeding and gene-editing. The outcomes if successfull could be a game changer for avocado crop development into the future.

    **We are now searching for: PhD students in Avocado transformation and mutagenesis!**