Dr Mobashwer Alam

Advance QLD Research Fellow

Centre for Horticultural Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
m.alam@uq.edu.au
+61 7 5453 5971
0407925991

Overview

Dr Mobashwer Alam is a Plant Geneticist and Breeder with twenty years' research and teaching experience in public and private industries, and in the universities in Australia and Bangladesh. He has been working at the Centre for Horticultural Science, QAAFI, UQ and is based at Maroochy Research Station, Nambour, QLD 4560. Over the last twenty years, Dr Alam received experiences in multi-disciplinary research, including Plant Breeding, Quantitative Genetics, Genomics, Plant physiology, and Crop modelling. Before joining at QAAFI, UQ, Dr Alam had been working as a Senior Plant Breeder (Grain SOrghum) at Nuseed Pty Ltd. He achieved his PhD in Plant Molecular Genetics in 2013 through the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences of the University of Queensland. During his study at UQ, he worked with Crop Physiology and Modelling group at St. Lucia, and Sorghum Breeding group of Hermitage Research Station, Warwick. Before coming in Australia as a PhD student, Dr Alam had been working as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor of the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding at Patuakhali Science and Technology University in Bangladesh. Throughout his academic and research career, he worked on multiple crops including Macadamia, Stone Fruits, Sorghum, Sugarcane, Lablab bean, Tomato, Okra, and Ash gourd. He is interested in developing rapid breeding tools and utilizing plant Genomics in tree crops improvement.

Research Interests

  • Developing quick breeding tools for rapid genetic gain in Macadamia
  • Crop Improvement through Plant Molecular Genetics and Genomics
  • Quantitative Genetic study of Complex traits
  • Developing rapid disease diagnostic tools
  • Rapid phenotyping using artificial intelligence

Qualifications

  • Bachelor (Honours)
  • Masters Degree, Bangladesh Agricultural University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Macadamia is an Australian native crop that is economically significant due to the numerous health benefits of its extremely valuable nut. To develop climate-resistant crops, the Australian macadamia breeding programme focuses on identifying simple and heritable features associated with low water loss and high photosynthesis. Stomatal pores in a leaf's epidermis allow for water loss via transpiration and CO2 absorption for photosynthesis. Stomata size and density are important factors in plant water efficiency and carbon capture. It may be possible to maximise CO2 uptake and water loss by adjusting the size and density of stomata. Many genes and signalling pathways are involved in the complex regulation of stomatal development. The genetic basis of macadamia stomatal size and density remains unknown. This study will investigate the phenotypic variation of the macadamia stomatal apparatus in a wide range of breeding progeny, cultivars, and wild germplasm. The trait's heritability will be determined, and a genome-wide association study will be conducted to identify potential genes associated with the trait. Discovering the genetic basis of the traits in macadamia will be useful for future breeding decisions and planning.

    This project is available for Summer scholarship/Honours/Masters coursework/MPhil students, can also be extended to a PhD project.

    The student will develop skills in phenotyping, genetics, data analysis, and interpretation of results.

    Location: Maroochy Research Facility, 47 Mayers Rd, Nambour. Student needs to travel to Nambour, Tairo and Bundaberg for data/sample collection)

    Required background: Genetics, Plant Breeding, Genomics, Botany, Biology, Plant Physiology

  • Macadamia is an Australian native crop and is highly valued for its kernel. Using the available cultivars as parents, Australian national macadamia breeding program generated >15,000 breeding progeny and selected 53 elites through first and generation of progeny evaluation. Most of the parents of these selections belong to Macadamia integrifolia or M. tetraphylla or their hybrids. Although pedigree information of the 53 selections is available, species identity is still unexplored.

    This project is aimed to investigate the genetic patterns in 53 elite selections and will identify species composition using high-throughput markers. Genetic information from wild species will be used in species composition analysis. Genetic diversity of the selected accessions will be compared with the diversity within cultivated and wild gene pools.

    This project is available for summer or winter scholarship/Masters coursework/Hounours students.

    Location: Maroochy Research Facility, 47 Mayers Rd, Nambour.

    Required background: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology / Genetics / Agriculture/ Botany/ Plant Breeding /Environmental Science/ Ecology

  • The management of excessive vigour through pruning and hedging is a major expense in commercial macadamia orchards. Recently, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and the University of Queensland (UQ) took initiatives to control scion vigour by using rootstocks through two consecutive Horticulture Innovation (HI) Australia funded projects: “Transforming subtropical/tropical tree crop productivity” (AI 13004) and National Tree Crop Intensification in Horticulture Program (AS18000). A diverse range of germplasm of macadamia rootstocks were planted at Nambour with a single scion cultivar. Investigating the effect of rootstocks on the variability in the architectural traits and branching pattern of the scion will be useful to select rootstocks for vigour management. In this project, the scholar will collaborate with a research higher degree student and measure growth traits and branching pattern of a common scion. A branching index equation will be developed to characterise trees for the variability in branching. Statistical analysis will be conducted to find out the effect of rootstock genotypes on scion vigour.

    This project is available for Summer scholarship/Honour/Masters course work/MPhil and can be extended to a PhD project.

    Required background: Genetics / Agriculture/ Botany/ Plant Breeding /Environmental Science/ Ecology

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Chakraborty, Moutoshi, Munshi, Saurab Kishore, Haque, Ashraful, Azad, Md. Abul Kalam, Islam, Tofazzal, Alam, Mobashwer and Shiddiky, Muhammad J. A. (2023). Current biotechnological approaches in maize improvement. Maize improvement: current advances in yield, quality, and stress tolerance under changing climatic scenarios. (pp. 137-180) Cham, Switzerland: Springer Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-21640-4_8

  • Chakma, Nidhi, Chakraborty, Moutoshi, Bhyan, Salma and Alam, Mobashwer (2021). Molecular breeding for combating salinity stress in sorghum: progress and prospects. Molecular breeding in wheat, maize and sorghum: strategies for improving abiotic stress tolerance and yield. (pp. 421-432) edited by Mohammad Anwar Hossain, Mobashwer Alam, Saman Seneweera, Sujay Rakshit and Robert Henry. Wallingford, United Kingdom: CABI. doi: 10.1079/9781789245431.0024

  • Topp, Bruce L., Nock, Catherine J., Hardner, Craig M., Alam, Mobashwer and O’Connor, Katie M. (2019). Macadamia (Macadamia spp.) breeding. Advances in plant breeding strategies: nut and beverage crops. (pp. 221-251) edited by Jameel M. Al-Khayri, Shri Mohan Jain and Dennis V. Johnson. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-23112-5_7

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current 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.

  • Macadamia is an Australian native crop that is economically significant due to the numerous health benefits of its extremely valuable nut. To develop climate-resistant crops, the Australian macadamia breeding programme focuses on identifying simple and heritable features associated with low water loss and high photosynthesis. Stomatal pores in a leaf's epidermis allow for water loss via transpiration and CO2 absorption for photosynthesis. Stomata size and density are important factors in plant water efficiency and carbon capture. It may be possible to maximise CO2 uptake and water loss by adjusting the size and density of stomata. Many genes and signalling pathways are involved in the complex regulation of stomatal development. The genetic basis of macadamia stomatal size and density remains unknown. This study will investigate the phenotypic variation of the macadamia stomatal apparatus in a wide range of breeding progeny, cultivars, and wild germplasm. The trait's heritability will be determined, and a genome-wide association study will be conducted to identify potential genes associated with the trait. Discovering the genetic basis of the traits in macadamia will be useful for future breeding decisions and planning.

    This project is available for Summer scholarship/Honours/Masters coursework/MPhil students, can also be extended to a PhD project.

    The student will develop skills in phenotyping, genetics, data analysis, and interpretation of results.

    Location: Maroochy Research Facility, 47 Mayers Rd, Nambour. Student needs to travel to Nambour, Tairo and Bundaberg for data/sample collection)

    Required background: Genetics, Plant Breeding, Genomics, Botany, Biology, Plant Physiology

  • Macadamia is an Australian native crop and is highly valued for its kernel. Using the available cultivars as parents, Australian national macadamia breeding program generated >15,000 breeding progeny and selected 53 elites through first and generation of progeny evaluation. Most of the parents of these selections belong to Macadamia integrifolia or M. tetraphylla or their hybrids. Although pedigree information of the 53 selections is available, species identity is still unexplored.

    This project is aimed to investigate the genetic patterns in 53 elite selections and will identify species composition using high-throughput markers. Genetic information from wild species will be used in species composition analysis. Genetic diversity of the selected accessions will be compared with the diversity within cultivated and wild gene pools.

    This project is available for summer or winter scholarship/Masters coursework/Hounours students.

    Location: Maroochy Research Facility, 47 Mayers Rd, Nambour.

    Required background: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology / Genetics / Agriculture/ Botany/ Plant Breeding /Environmental Science/ Ecology

  • The management of excessive vigour through pruning and hedging is a major expense in commercial macadamia orchards. Recently, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and the University of Queensland (UQ) took initiatives to control scion vigour by using rootstocks through two consecutive Horticulture Innovation (HI) Australia funded projects: “Transforming subtropical/tropical tree crop productivity” (AI 13004) and National Tree Crop Intensification in Horticulture Program (AS18000). A diverse range of germplasm of macadamia rootstocks were planted at Nambour with a single scion cultivar. Investigating the effect of rootstocks on the variability in the architectural traits and branching pattern of the scion will be useful to select rootstocks for vigour management. In this project, the scholar will collaborate with a research higher degree student and measure growth traits and branching pattern of a common scion. A branching index equation will be developed to characterise trees for the variability in branching. Statistical analysis will be conducted to find out the effect of rootstock genotypes on scion vigour.

    This project is available for Summer scholarship/Honour/Masters course work/MPhil and can be extended to a PhD project.

    Required background: Genetics / Agriculture/ Botany/ Plant Breeding /Environmental Science/ Ecology

  • Flowering is a phenological trait, which is important for orchard management and productivity. Planting cultivars with known time of flowering will assist farmers in orchard management decisions regarding fertilization, irrigation, establishment of pollinators and pest control. Over the last few decades, the Australian industry breeding program has developed and phenotypically characterized a large collection of cultivated and wild germplasm and multi-parental seedling populations. A quantitative genetic analysis of the phenotypic data will be useful to select progeny with known flowering time. However, the conventional tree breeding approach is time consuming, and laborious. Genomic approach offers potential to increase breeding efficiency through marker-assisted selection. Discovering molecular markers involved in the variability in flowering will help breeders to develop an efficient selection tool. This project was aimed to explore the variability and inheritance pattern of flowering phenology in macadmaia germplasm and to identify genomic regions associated with the trait variation. Using high-throughput DNA marker, a genome-wide association study will be conducted on a colelction of wild genetic resources. Identified markers can be use in future marker assisted selection of breeding progeny.

    This project is available for Summer scholarship/Honour/Masters course work/MPhil and can be extended to a PhD project.

    Location: Maroochy Research Facility, 47 Mayers Rd, Nambour

    Required background: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology / Genetics / Agriculture/ Botany/ Plant Breeding /Environmental Science/ Ecology