Dr. Liz Dennis

Liz Dennis is an Australian Plant Biologist whose research focusses mainly on molecular plant biology.  She has studied Arabidopsis due to its small genome size making it an ideal specimin to study.  She chaired the Multinational Arabidopsis Genome Project steering committee in 1993-94.

Together with Dr Jim Peacock she won the 2000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for their work undertanding the flower switch gene that dictates when plants switch from their vegetable state and begin flowering.

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Biologist BIOLOGIST (Plant Biologist)
Liz Dennis
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Recent Findings From Dr. Liz Dennis

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  • 1988 – Pharmacia LKB/Biotechnology Medal of the Australian Biochemistry Society
  • 1997 – Avon ’Spirit of Achievement’ award
  • 2000 – Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Journal articles

Christianson JA, Llewellyn DJ, Dennis ES and Wilson IW. 2010. Global gene expression responses to waterlogging in roots and leaves of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Plant and Cell Physiology. 51: 21-37.

Hypoxia-responsive microRNAs and trans-acting small interfering RNAs in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany. 61: 165-177.

Al-Ghazi Y, Boutrot S, Arioli T, Dennis ES and Llewellyn DJ. 2009. Transcript profiling during fibre development identifies unexpected pathways in secondary metabolism and cell wall structure that may contribute to cotton fibre quality. Plant and Cell Physiology. 50: 1364-1381.

Bond DM, Wilson IW, Dennis ES, Pogson BJ and Finnegan EJ. 2009. VERNALIZATION INSENSITIVE 3 (VIN3) is required for the response of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings exposed to low oxygen conditions. The Plant Journal. 59: 576-587.

Bond DM, Dennis ES and Finnegan EJ. 2009. Hypoxia: a novel function for VIN3. Plant Signaling and Behaviour. 4: 773-776.

Bond DM, Dennis ES, Pogson B and Finnegan EJ. 2009. Histone acetylation, VERNALIZATION INSENSITIVE 3, FLOWERING LOCUS C, and the vernalization response. Molecular Plant. 2: 724-737.

Christianson JA, Wilson IW, Llewellyn DJ and Dennis ES. 2009. The low oxygen-induced NAC domain transcription factor ANAC102 affects viability of Arabidopsis seeds following low-oxygen treatment. Plant Physiology. 149: 1724-1738.

Greenup A, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES and Trevaskis B. 2009. The molecular biology of seasonal flowering-responses in Arabidopsis and the cereals. Annals of Botany. 103: 1165-1172.

Hemming MN, Fieg S, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES and Trevaskis B. 2009. Regions associated with repression of the barley (Hordeum vulgare) VERNALIZATION1 gene are not required for cold induction. Molecular and General Genetics. 282: 107-117.

Luo M, Platten D, Chaudhury A, Peacock WJ. and Dennis ES. 2009. Expression, imprinting, and evolution of rice homologs of the Polycomb Group genes. Molecular Plant. 2: 711-723.

Machado A, Wu Y, Yang Y, Llewellyn DJ and Dennis ES. 2009. The MYB transcription factor GhMYB25 regulates early fibre and trichome development. The Plant Journal. 59: 52-62.

Oliver SN, Finnegan EJ, Dennis ES, Peacock WJ and Trevaskis B. 2009. Vernalization-induced flowering in cereals is associated with changes in histone methylation at the VERNALIZATION1 gene. Proceedings National Academy of Science, USA. 106: 8396-8391.

Sasani S, Hemming MN, Oliver SN, Greenup A, Tavakkol-Afshari R, Mahfoozi S, Poustini K, Sharifi H-R, Dennis ES, Peacock WJ and Trevaskis B. 2009. The influence of vernalization and daylength on expression of flowering-time genes in the shoot apex and leaves and of barley (Hordeum vulgare) Journal of Experimental Botany. 60: 2169-2178.

Sheldon CC, Finnegan EJ, Peacock WJ and Dennis ES. 2009. Mechanisms of gene repression by vernalization in Arabidopsis. The Plant Journal. 59: 488-498.

Wang M-B and Dennis ES. 2009. SPT5-like, a new component in plant RdDM. EMBO Reports. 10: 573-575.

Dennis ES, Ellis J, Green A Lllewellyn D, Morell N, Tabe T and Peacock WJ. 2008. Genetic contributions to agricultural sustainability. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 363: 591-609.

Andersson CR, Helliwell CA, Bagnall DJ, Hughes TP, Finnegan EJ, Peacock WJ and Dennis ES. 2008. The FLX gene of Arabidopsis is required for high FRI-dependent activation of FLC EXPRESSION. Plant and Cell Physiology. 49: 191-200.

Finnegan EJ and Dennis ES. 2008. Polycomb repression. Plant Signaling and Behaviour. 3: 412-414.

Hemming MN, Peacock WJ,. and Trevaskis B. 2008. Low-temperature and daylength cues are integrated to regulate FLOWERING LOCUS T in barley. Plant Physiology. 147: 355-366.

Hemming MN, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES and Trevaskis B. 2008. Integration of seasonal flowering time responses in temperate cereals. Plant Signaling and Behaviour. 3: 601-602.

Luo M, Luo M-Z, Buzas D, Finnegan J, Helliwell C, Dennis ES, Peacock WJ, and Chaudhury A. 2008. UBIQUITIN-SPECIFIC PROTEASE 26 is required for seed development and the repression of  PHERES1 in Arabidopsis. Genetics. 180: 229-236.

Robertson M, Helliwell CA and Dennis ES. 2008. Post-translational modifications of the endogenous and transgenic FLC protein in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant and Cell Physiology. 49: 1859-1866.

Sheldon CC, Hills MJ, Lister C, Dean C, Dennis ES and Peacock WJ. 2008. Resetting of FLOWERING LOCUS C expression after epigenetic repression by vernalization. Proceedings National Academy of Science, USA. 105: 2214-2219.

Wang L, Smith NA, Zhang L, Dennis L, Waterhouse P, Unrau P and Wang M-B. 2008. Synthesis of complementary RNA by RNA-dependent RNA polymerases in plant extracts is independent of an RNA primer. Functional Plant Biology. 35: 1091-1099.

Wang M-B, Helliwell CA, Wu L, Waterhouse PM, Peacock WJ and Dennis ES. 2008. Hairpin RNAs derived from RNA polymerase II and polymerase III promoter-directed transgenes are processed differently in plants. RNA. 14: 903-913.

Dennis ES and Peacock WJ. 2007. Epigenetic regulation of flowering. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 10: 520-527.

Byrt CS, Platten JD, Spielmeyer W, James RA, Lagudah ES, Dennis ES, Tester M and Munns R. 2007. HKT1;5-like cation transporters linked to Na+ exclusion loci in wheat, Nax2 and Kna1. Plant Physiology. 143: 1918-1928.

Chen ZG, Scheffler BE, Dennis ES, Triplett BA et al, et al 2007. Toward sequencing cotton (Gossypium) genomes. Plant Physiology. 145: 1301-1310.

Finnegan EJ and Dennis ES 2007. Vernalization-induced trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 at FLC is not maintained in mitotically quiescent cells. Current Biology. 17: 1978-1983.

Lovell, D., Wu, Y., White, R., Machado, A., Llewellyn, D.J., Dennis, E.S. and Anderssen, R.S. 2007. Phenotyping cotton ovule fibre initiation with spatial statistics. Australian Journal of Botany. 55: 608-617

Oliver SN, Dennis ES and Dolferus R. 2007. ABA regulates apoplastic sugar transport is a potential signal for cold-induced pollen sterility in rice. Plant Cell and Physiology. 48: 1319-1330.

Rahman S, Morell M, Topping D, Bird A, Li Z, Dennis E and Peacock J. 2007. Low glycemic response cereals for enhanced human health. International Diabetes Monitor. 19: 21-25.

Trevaskis B, Tadege M, Hemming M, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES and Sheldon C. 2007. Short vegetative phase-like MADS-Box genes inhibit floral meristem identity in barley. Plant Physiology. 143: 225-235.

Trevaskis B, Hemming MN, Dennis ES and Peacock WJ. 2007. The molecular basis of vernalization-induced flowering in cereals. TRENDS in Plant Science. 12: 352-357.

Wang L, Wang M-B, Tu JX, Helliwell CA, Waterhouse PM, Dennis, ES., Fu, T-D. and Fan, Y-L. 2007. Cloning and characterization of microRNAs from Brassica napus. FEBS Letters. 581: 3848-3856.

Wu Y, Llewellyn DJ, White R, Ruggiero K, Al-Ghazi Y and Dennis ES. 2007. Laser capture microdissection and cDNA microarrays used to generate gene expression profiles of the rapidly expanding fibre initial cells on the surface of cotton ovules. Planta. 226: 1475-1490.

Zhu Q-H, Dennis ES and Upadhyaya NM. 2007. compact shoot and leafy head 1 a mutation regulates leaf initiation and developmental transition in rice (Oryza sativa L.) Plant Cell Reports. 26: 421-427.

Wu Y, Machado A, White RG, Llewellyn DJ and Dennis ES. 2006. Expression profiling identifies genes expressed early during lint fibre initiation in cotton. Plant Cell Physiology. 47 (1): 107-127.

Sheldon CC, Finnegan EJ, Peacock WJ and Dennis ES. 2006. Quantitative effects of vernalization of FLC and SOC1 expression. The Plant Journal. 45: 871-883.

Udall JA, Swanson JM, Haller K, Rapp RA, Sparks ME, Hatfield J, Yu Y, Wu Y, Dowd C, Arpat AB, Sickler BA, Wilkins TA, Ying Guo J, Ya Chen X, Scheffler J, Taliercio E, Turley R, McFadden H, Payton P, Klueva N, Allen R, Zhang D, Haigler C, Wilkerson C, Suo J, Schulze SR, Pierce ML, Essenberg M, Kim H, Llewellyn DJ, Dennis ES, Kudrna D, Wing R, Paterson AH, Soderlund C, and Wendel JF. 2006. A global assembly of cotton ESTs. Genome Research. 16:441-450.

Zhu Q-H, Ramm K, Eamens AL, Dennis ES and Upadhyaya NM. 2006. Transgene structures suggest that multiple mechanisms are involved in T-DNA integration in plants. Plant Science. 171: 308-322.

Upadhyaya NM, Zhu Q-H, Zhou X-R, Eamens AL, Hoque MS, Ramm K, Shivakkumar R, Smith KF, Pan S-T, Li S, Peng K, Kim SJ and Dennis ES. 2006. Dissociation (Ds) constructs, mapped Ds launch pads and a transiently-expressed transposase system suitable for localized insertional mutagenesis in rice. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 112: 1326-1341.

Helliwell CA, Wood CC, Robertson M, Peacock WJ and Dennis ES. 2006. The Arabidopsis FLC protein interacts directly in vivo with SOC1 and FT chromatin and is part of a high-molecular-weight protein complex. The Plant Journal. 46: 183-192.

Dennis ES, Helliwell CA and Peacock WJ. 2006. Vernalization – Spring into flowering. Developmental Cell. 11: 1-7.

Trevaskis B, Hemming MN, Peacock WJ and Dennis ES. 2006. HvVRN2 Responds to Daylength, whereas HvVRN1 Is Regulated by Vernalization and Developmental Status. Plant Physiology. 140: 1397 – 1405.

Platten JD, Cotsaftis O, Berthomieu P, Bohnert H, Davenport RJ, Fairbairn DJ, Horie T, Leigh RA, Lin H-X, Luan S, Mäser P, Pantoja O, Rodriguez-Navarro A, Schachtman DP, Schroeder JI, Sentenac H, Uozumi N, Véry A-A, Zhu J-K, Dennis ES and Tester M. 2006. Nomenclature for HKT transporters, key determinants of plant salinity tolerance. Trends in Plant Science. Vol 11, Issue 8: pp. 372-374.

Hebelstrup KH, Hunt P, Dennis E, Jensen SB, Jensen EØ. 2006. Hemoglobin is essential for normal growth of Arabidopsis organs. Physiologia Plantarum 127: 157-166.

Amarasinghe BHR, Faivre-Nitschke E, Wu Y, Udall JA, Dennis ES, Constable G and Llewellyn DJ. 2006. Genomic approaches to the discovery of promoters for sustained expression in cotton (Gossypium hirsutim L.) under field conditions: expression analysis in transgenic cotton and Arabidopsis of a Rubisco small subunit promoter identified using EST sequence analysis and cDNA microarrays. Plant Biotechnology. 23: 437-450.

Huang S, Spielmeyer W, Lagudah ES, James RA, Platten JD, Dennis ES and Munns R. 2006. A Sodium Transporter (HKT7) Is a Candidate for Nax1, a Gene for Salt Tolerance in Durum Wheat. Plant Physiology 142: 1-11.

Delessert C, Kazan K, Wilson IW, Van Der Straeten D, Manners J, Dennis ES, Dolferus R. 2005. The transcription factor ATAF2 represses the expression of pathogenesis-related genes in Arabidopsis. The Plant Journal. 43: 745-757.

Finnegan EJ, Kovac KA, Jaligot E, Sheldon CC, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES. 2005. The downregulation of Flowering Locus C (FLC) expression in plants with low levels of DNA methylation and by vernalization occurs by distinct mechanisms. The Plant Journal. 44: 420-432.

Hughes PA, Stevens MM, Park H-W, Federici BA, Dennis ES, Akhurst R. 2005. Response of larval Chironomus tepperi (Diptera: Chironomidae) to individual Bacillius thuringiensis var. israelensis toxins and toxin mixtures. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 88: 34-39.

Margis-Pinheiro M, Zhou X-R, Zhu Q-H, Dennis ES, Upadhyaya NM. 2005. Isolation and characterization of a Ds-tagged rice (Oriza sativa L.) GA-responsive dwarf mutant defective in an early step of the gibberellin biosynthesis pathway. Plant Cell Reports. 23: 819-833.

Oliver SN, van Dongen JT, Alfred SC, Mamun EA, Zhao X, Saini HS, Fernandes SF, Balnchard CL, Suttin BG, Geingenberger P, Dennis ES, Dolferus R. 2005. Cold-induced repression of the rice anther-specific cell wall invertase gene OSINV4 is correlated with sucrose accumulation and pollen sterility. Plant, Cell and Environment. 28: 1543-1551.

Rungis D, Llewellyn D, Dennis ES, Lyon BR. 2005. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers reveal low levels of polymorphism between cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research. 56: 301-307.

Wilson IW, Kennedy GC, Peacock JW, Dennis ES. 2005. Microarray analysis reveals vegetative molecular phenotypes of Arabidopsis flowering-time mutants. Plant Cell Physiology. 46: 1190-1201.

Wu Y, Rozenfeld S, Defferrard A, Ruggiero K, Udall JA, Kim H-R, Llewellyn DJ, Dennis ES. 2005. Cycloheximide treatment of cotton ovules alters the abundance of specific classes of mRNAs and provides a method of generating novel ESTs for microarray expression profiling. Molecular Genetics and Genomics. 274: 477-493.

Chen S, Helliwell CA, Wu L-M, Dennis ES, Upadhyaya N, Zhang R, Waterhouse PM, Wang MB. 2004. A novel T-DNA vector design conducive for selection of transgenic lines with simple transgene integration and stable transgene expression. Functional Plant Biology. 32: 671-681.

Delessert C, Wilson IW, van der Straeten D, Dennis ES, Dolferus R. 2004. Spatial and temporal analysis of the local response to wounding in Arabidopsis leaves. Plant Molecular Biology. 55: 165-181.

Eamens AL, Blanchard C.L, Dennis ES, Upadhyaya MM. 2004. A bi-directional gene trap construct suitable for T-DNA and Ds mediated insertional mutagenesis in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Biotechnology Journal. 2: 367-380.

Finnegan EJ, Sheldon CC, Jardinaud F, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES. 2004. A cluster of Arabidopsis genes with a coordinate response to an environmental stimulus. Current Biology. 14: 911-916.

Zhu Q-H, Ramm K, Shivakkumar R, Dennis ES, Upadhyaya, NM. 2004. The ANTHER DEHISCENCE 1 gene encoding a novel protein with a single MYB domain is involved in anther development in rice. Plant Physiology. 135: 1514-1525.

Dolferus R, Klok EJ, Delessert C, Wilson S, Ismond KP, Good AG, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES. 2003. Enhancing the anaerobic response. Annals of Botany. 91: 111-117.

Genger RK Peacock WJ, Dennis ES, Finnegan EJ. 2003. Opposing effects of reduced DNA methylation on flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana. Planta. 216: 461-466.

Ismond KP, Dolferus R, DePauw M, Dennis ES, Good AG. 2003. Enhanced low oxygen tolerance in Arabidopsis through increased metabolic flux in the fermentative pathway. Plant Physiology. 132: 1292-1302.

Santos DM, Dijo J, Jacobs M, Dennis ES, Dolferus R. 2003. Approaches for the isolation of Arabidopsis adh1 regulator mutants using allyl alcohol selection. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 50: 762-773.

Shinozaki K, Dennis ES. 2003. Cell signalling and gene regulation. Global analyses of signal transduction and gene expression profiles. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 6: 405-409.

Tadege M, Sheldon CC, Helliwell CA, Upadhyaya NM, Dennis ES, Peacock WJ. 2003. Reciprocal control of flowering time by OsSOC1 in transgenic Arabidopsis and by  FLC in transgenic rice. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 1: 361-369.

Zhu Q-H, Hoque MS, Dennis ES, Upadhyaya NM. 2003. Ds tagging of BRANCHED FLORETLESS 1 (BFL1) that mediates the transition from spikelet to floral meristem in rice (Oryza sativa L). BMC Plant Biology. on line 3: 6.

Conference proceedings

Luo M, Dennis ES, Berger F, Peacock WJ, Chaudhury A. 2005. MINISEED3 (MIN3), a WRKY family gene, and HAIKU2 (IKU2), a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) KINASE gene are regulators of seed size in Arabidopsis. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA. 102: 17531-17536.

Chaudhury A, Luo M, Corvisy R, Sherman B, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES. 2004. Epigenetics of seed development: what is the significance of imprinting? In: Proceedings15th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research. Berlin, Germany.

Dennis ES, Peacock WJ. 2004. Arabidopsis – what can crop breeders learn from a weed? In: New Directions for a Diverse Planet. Proceedings 4th International Crop Science Congress. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. 26 September-1 October 2004.

Klok E, Delessert C, Wilson I, Dennis E, Dolferus R. 2004. Expression profiling and enhancement of the anaerobic response in Arabidopsis thaliana. In: Proceedings 8th Conference of the International Society of Plant Anaerobiosis. Perth, Western Australia, 20-24 September 2004.

Wang M-B, Bian X-Y, Liu L-X, Wu L-M, Smith NS, Isenegger D, Wu R-M, Masuta C, Vance VB, Watson JM, Rezaian A, Dennis E, Waterhouse PM. 2004. On the role of RNA silencing in the pathogenicity and evolution of viroids and viral satellites. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 101: 3275-3280.

Hughes P, Dennis L, Akhurst R, Premkummar A, Gage P. 2003. The insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry11A forms ion channels in lipid bilayers and represents a structurally diverse subgroup of Cry toxins. In: Proceedings COMBIO 2003. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 28 September-2 October 2003. Abstract.

Hunt PW, Klok EJ, Trevaskis B, Watts RA, Peacock WJ, Dennis ES. 2003. Increased level of hemoglobin 1 enhances survival of hypoxic stress and promotes early growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. In: Proceedings XIX International Genetics Congress. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 6-11 July 2003.

Sheldon C, Peacock J, Dennis L. 2003. Epigenetic regulation of the Arabidopsis gene flowering locus C by vernalization. In: Proceedings XIX International Genetics Congress. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 6-11 July 2003.

Tadege M, Sheldon CC, Helliwell CA, Upadhyaya NM, Dennis ES, Peacock WJ. 2003. The rice homologue of SOC1 promotes flowering in Arabidopsis. In: Proceedings XIX International Genetics Congress. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 6-11 July 2003.

Trevaskis B, Bagnall DJ, Ellis MH, Peacock WJ, Dennis, ES. 2003. MADS box genes control vernalization-induced flowering in cereals. In: Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, USA. 100: 13099-13104.

Upadhyaya N M, Zhu Q, Eamens A, Dennis E. 2003. Rice gene machine – a key to finding functions of cereal genes. In: Proceedings XIX International Genetics Congress. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 6-11 July 2003.

Wang M-B, Bian X-Y, Liu L-X, Wu L-M, Smith N, Masuta C, Wu R-M, Rezaian A, Dennis E, Waterhouse PM. 2003.  Role of RNA silencing in plant/subviral RNA interactions. In: Proceedings XIX International Genetics Congress. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 6-11 July 2003.

Wang M-B, Bian X-Y, Liu L-X, Wu L-M, Smith NA, Isenegger D, Wu R-M, Masuta C, Vance VB, Rezaian A, Dennis ES, Waterhouse, PM. 2003. Evolution and pathogenicity of plant viroids and viral satellites are mediated by RNA silencing. In: Proceedings COMBIO 2003. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 28 September-2 October 2003.

Photos of Dr. Liz Dennis

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  • Postings

    Chief Research Scientist
    CSIRO Division of Plant Industry