Matthew Tucker

Associate Professor Matthew Tucker

Chief Investigator, ARC Training Centre for Future Crops Development

Deputy Director, Waite Research Institute, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide

Matthew Tucker

Areas of Research Interest –

A/Prof Tucker has expertise in plant reproduction, seed development and cell wall biosynthesis.
Current research in his laboratory investigates how plants are genetically programmed to produce different reproductive cells and tissues, with the aim of understanding how these can be engineered to optimise yield and end-use.
Recent projects are focused on the characterisation of key pre- and post-fertilisation stages in the cereal monocot barley (Hordeum vulgare) that influence grain number and quality.
In 2015 he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship and in 2017 was promoted to Associate Professor.
He is currently the Deputy Director of the Waite Research institute and Chair of the UA Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Expertise & Skills –

Microscopy, genetic screens, gene editing, laser capture microdissection, compositional analysis

5 Key Research Papers –

• Li, G., Kuijer, H.N., Yang, X., Liu, H., Shen, C., Shi, J., Betts, N., Tucker, M.R., Liang, W., Waugh, R., Burton, R.A. and Zhang D. (2021). MADS1 maintains barley spike morphology at high ambient temperatures. Nature Plants 7, 1093-1107.
• Selva, C., Shirley, N.J., Houston, K., Whitford, R., Baumann, U., Li, G., and Tucker, M.R. (2021). HvLEAFY controls the early stages of floral organ specification and inhibits the formation of multiple ovaries in barley. The Plant Journal. doi: 10.1111/tpj.15457
• Shoesmith, J.R., Solomon, C.U., Yang, X., Wilkinson, L.G., Sheldrick, S., van Eijden, E., Couwenberg, S., Pugh, L.M., Eskan, M., Stephens, J., Barakate, A., Drea, S., Houston, K., Tucker, M.R., McKim, S.M. (2021). APETALA2 functions as a temporal factor together with BLADE-ON-PETIOLE2 and MADS29 to control flower and grain development in barley. Development 148, dev194894.
• Mendes MA, Petrella R, Cucinotta M, Vignati E, Gatti S, Pinto SC, Bird DC, Gregis V, Dickinson H, Tucker MR, Colombo L. (2020) The RNA dependent DNA methylation pathway is required to restrict SPOROCYTELESS/NOZZLE expression to specify a single female germ cell precursor in Arabidopsis. Development. doi: 10.1242/dev.194274.
• Yang, X., and Tucker, M.R. (2021). Establishing a regulatory blueprint for ovule number and function during plant development. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 63, 102095.


The ARC Training Centre for Accelerated Future Crops Development is funded by the Australian Research Council under its Industrial Transformation Training Hubs Program to run from 2022 to 2027.

It is a collaboration of universities, government research agencies and the Australian grains sector’s key stakeholders in training, R&D, social engagement, responsible innovation, breeding, marketing and delivery.

It also has international partners in gene-editing, SynBio, crop breeding, and, other partnerships for co-developing deep technologies to transform the agriculture industry and global food security.