martes, 6 de agosto de 2013

The University of Adelaide (Shool of Agriculture, Food & Wine) - Australia



THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE (SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD & WINE) - AUSTRALIA

The University of Adelaide is a world-class tertiary education and research institution committed to delivering high quality and distinct learning, teaching and research experiences.

Shool of Agriculture, Food & Wine (Waite Campus)
PMB 1, Glen Osmond
SA, 5064 Australia

Telephone: +61 (0)8 8313 7302
Web: www.adelaide.edu.au

- History: The University of Adelaide was founded with a noble goal: to prepare for South Australia young leaders shaped by education rather than birth or wealth in a settlement free of old world social and religious inequalities.

The University was established in 1874 and teaching began in 1876. The first official lecture was in Latin and the Bachelor of Arts the first degree offered.



However, the University's first Vice-Chancellor, Dr Augustus Short, had a vision for a university open to investigate new fields such as the sciences, modern literature, art and moral philosophy; subjects other than the narrow classics curriculum offered at Oxford University at the time. This vision would be realised in 1882 when the University became the first in Australia to grant degrees in science.

The spirit of enquiry was further embraced and the freedom to explore non classical subjects continued. Before reaching the 1900s the University offered degrees in arts, science, law, medicine and music. Additionally mathematics, philosophy, languages and mining engineering were taught. These flagship degrees and disciplines continue at the University today.

- School of Agriculture, Food and Wine: Represents a world-class concentration of scientific research, education and product conferring capability, with infrastructure and resources at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide with a number of research partners.

The School is the centrepiece of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest collection of expertise in plant genomics, crop improvement, sustainable agriculture, animal science, dryland farming, horticulture, viticulture, oenology and wine business.


- About the School: The School of Agriculture, Food and Wine was formed in 2003 in response to the new opportunities that are emerging with respect to science and technology, the heightened expectations of the consumer in relation to food safety and diet together with the social and political responsibilities associated with sustainable environmental and economic development. The creation of the School provides an opportunity to establish an Internationally acclaimed and contemporary school for undergraduate and postgraduate education, training and research which has both national relevance and global outreach and networks in the public and private sectors.

The Head of School is Professor Mike Wilkinson.

The School currently comprises 45 academic staff, 165 research postgraduate students, 130 coursework postgraduate students, 700 undergraduates, and 380 externally registered students. During 2005 the external grant income for the school was $30 million. The school is organised into discipline groups with a strong emphasis on inter-disciplinary research and a recognition that our research cannot be divorced from the marketplace. A particular strength of the school is its ability to combine basic and enabling research to deliver new options and opportunities for "added value farming".

Teaching and Research Disciplines: Farming Systems; Food & Nutrition; Plant Breeding & Genetics; Plant Protection; Plant Physiology, Viticulture & Horticulture; Soil Science; Wine Science.


WINE SCIENCE

- Facilities & Techniques: At the Plant Research Centre they are fortunate in having a wide range of sophisticated synthetic and analytical tools and equipment for the investigation the School's research projects. Core techniques include GC, GCMS, MS, NMR, IR/UV, HPLC, ozonolysis, luminometer measurements, CD, photolysis, along with state-of-the-art synthetic and extraction/analytical facilities.

In addition, they have the largest educational winery (The Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory) and vineyards located on the Waite Campus which are available for viticulture and oenology research.

Dedicated Facilities include:
. The Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory
. Biotechnology and Fermentation Facility

Wine Research Collaborations include:
. Wine Innovation Cluster - five leading grape and wine research agencies collaborating to address the needs of the grape and wine sector
. Wine 2030 - research projects on wine linked with education innovations


- Wine Science: Research within the wine science and business group is aimed at understanding the wine-making process and how it can be manipulated to improve the quality of wines.

With new research facilities on the Waite Campus based in the Wine Innovation Cluster, world-leading personnel and networks right around the globe conduct research that extends over the whole of the grape and wine value chain.

The wine education programs at The University of Adelaide are world renowned for excellence. First originating from the Roseworthy Agricultural College which was established way back in 1883 as the first agricultural college in Australia, the proud tradition continues today at the University’s Waite Campus in Adelaide. Their internationally acclaimed wine degrees appear with pride in the offices of wine industry executives, winemakers and grapegrowers all around the world.

- Wine Chemistry and Grapevine Biochemistry: Wine is a complex medium, containing a myriad of compounds displaying a wide range of chemical reactivities. The proper chemical analysis of wine needs to address both the aroma compounds already present, as well as the potential for production of further aroma compounds from their involatile precursors. A typical wine will have around 1000 volatile components; however the vast majority of these will be either odourless or present at levels below their individual detection threshold. The researchers at the univerity of Adelaide undertake projects which study the composition of grapes and wine with particular emphasis on their potential for the generation of aroma compounds. These projects generally follow two paths:

. the isolation and identification of new aroma compounds and their precursors;
. the isolation and identification of new precursors to known aroma compounds.



This type of research also has a strong synthetic component. In addition, they have other projects which look into the microbiological generation of aroma compounds, ie. by the action of various yeasts during the fermentation process.

Further research is conducted into aspects of grape berry metabolism, and into winemaking technologies associated with understanding the processes and consequences of phenolic extraction during red wine making. The research into berry biochemistry has two components:

1. metabolism of tartaric acid, its precursor ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and also malic acid during berry development and ripening. This work involves the identification and characterisation of the responsible genes from grapevine tissues throughout development;
2. enzymes responsible for the formation of glycosides of secondary plant metabolites, which complement the projects described above.

Additional research activities examine the impact of specific grape growing and wine making activities on the composition of red wines. Winemakers around the world use techniques of ‘extended maceration’, in which there are increased periods of contact between the skins (where the majority of desirable phenolic compounds are found in the grape berry) and the fermenting juice, must or finished wine, in an effort to modify or enhance the composition of the final wine. The university is studying the processes of maceration, using small-scale winemaking coupled with analytical and sensory evaluation of wines, to define the outcomes of such management practices.

Principal Researchers: Prof Dennis Taylor; Dr Chris Ford; Dr Kerry Wilkinson and Dr David Jeffery



- Managing the oxidation of wine: Oxidation is a term that is used widely, covering a wide of subjects involving different oxidizing agents such as oxygen and its reactive species, to natural oxidants in grapes and wines such as peracids, peroxides etc. The basic understanding on how oxygen, reactive oxygen species and oxidases influences the whole wine making process from grapes to the actual wine glass is not clearly understood and continues to be a debated subject.

Fundamental research is being conducted in an endeavour to better understand the role oxygen, ROS and oxidases play in the development of tannin structure and building, its role with respect to mouth feel (astringency or tactile sensation), its role in colour, its role in the loss of important aroma compounds and finally its interactions with the various antioxidants in wine.

Principal Researchers: Prof Dennis Taylor and Dr David Jeffery.


- Wine Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology: The Wine Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology Laboratory, is jointly headed by Assoc Prof Vladimir Jiranek and Dr Paul Grbin, and has as it's main research aims the detailed understanding of the function of yeast and bacteria in highly challenging environments such as the wine fermentation as well as the contribution of these and spoilage organisms to product composition.

Their internationally recognised and linked group, constitutes some 15 researchers (Postdoctoral fellows; Visitors; PhD, MSc and Honours students) and is housed in the new $30 million Wine Innovation Central Building. We are funded by the Australian Research Council, The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and industry groups.

The following are their key project areas which are aimed at understanding yeast at a fundamental level as well as tackling aspects of wine quality, process efficiency and sustainability:

. The physiological and evolutionary response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to challenging environements (high osmolarily/ethanol content, nutrient limitation, temperature extremes).
. Wine yeast characterisation and optimisation
. Enzymes and activities of lactic acid bacteria
. Fermentation and process technology in beverage fermentations
. Microbiology of winery wastewater

In addition, they are lead participants in the Waite Research Institute's initiatve in Innovative Microbials, which seeks to bring together a broad range of expertise to facilitate improvements in existing fermentation processes (e.g. wine, beer, bioethanol), develop microbial derivatives for the food, feed and industrial sectors, as well as develop novel biotransformations for significant value adding to basic substrates.


- Wine making technology: The University of Adelaide’s Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory (HRWSL) houses state of the art fermentation and wine making equipment for teaching oenology students and conducting research. Research projects are conducted on a regular basis by all WIC partners, ranging from the use of new hybrid and non hybrid yeasts, different strains of malolactic acid bacteria, enzymes used for increasing colour extraction, juice clarification and settling, and accelerated yeast autolysis, to the performance of different closures for wine ageing and development.

Principal Researchers: Stephen Clarke; Prof Dennis Taylor; Dr Chris Ford; Dr Sue Bastian; Dr Paul Grbin; Dr Vlad Jiranek; Dr Kerry Wilkinson; Dr David Jeffery. Manager: Stephen Clarke

- Wine and Health: Current activities within the group focus on the role of grape and wine constituents in human health. In particular, the flavour profiles and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of wine polyphenols are being measured. Flavour profiles are determined against naturally occurring extracts rich in polyphenols such as olive and green tea using sensory panels whilst antioxidant activities are measured using a variety of techniques such as FRAP, DPPH, ABTS and Folin to distinguish between chemical antioxidant activities and free radical scavenging abilities. Antimicrobial studies use both bacterial and fungal assays.

Principal Researchers: Prof Dennis Taylor and Dr Sue Bastian

- Sensory Science and Wine Quality Measurements: The complexity of wine, coupled with the highly individual responses of people towards olfactory stimuli makes reliable sensory analysis extremely difficult. For this reason sensory analysis requires a thorough statistical approach. Researchers within the school are skilled in the application of such techniques, including duo-trio difference tests, triangle threshold determinations and principle component analyses. In addition, consumer preference testing, involving memebers of the general public, is also performed.

Principal Researchers: Dr Sue Bastian; Dr Kerry Wilkinson; Prof Dennis Taylor and Dr David Jeffery


- Biotechnology and Fermentation Facility:

. Multi-Scale Fermentation Facility: In yeast research, the practicalities of monitoring culture flasks for fermentation progress manually (eg. 3 - 6 hourly for 4 - 14 days), means that experiments managed by a single researcher are quickly limited to around 20 flasks. We therefore developed an automated fermentation system to allow fast throughput of fermentation trials. The present facility largely eliminates the need for manual sampling of cultures by automated logging of weight loss due to CO2 evolution from the fermentation of sugars.

. Semi Automated System:
System consists of 20 high resolution balances (± 0.001 g), each with 4 flask capacity allowing 80 simultaneous fermentations.
Custom designed flasks are individually temperature controlled (± 0.5°C) and stirred.
Fermentations are monitored frequently via weight loss (CO2) in weigh cycle intervals as short as 5 minutes.
Fermentation parameters are easily programmed and visualized by means of the graphic user interface.
Normalised data (g CO2/100g media) can be exported to Excel for further data analysis.
Decreased risk of contamination due to reduction of manual sampling.
High replication of experiments is easily achieved with minimal error.

. Applications:
Evaluation of wine or brewing yeasts.
Rapid evaluation of a large number of novel strains generated through procedures such as strain hybridization or adaptive (directed) evolution.
Evaluation of fermentation additives and treatments.
Evaluation of other organisms where kinetic studies can be inferred by mass loss.
High throughput screening studies of available laboratory yeast deletion and over-expression libraries.

Services offered can include experimental design, undertaking complete fermentation trials (µL – kL scales), off-line analysis of fermentation samples, data analysis and generation of summary reports.

Enquiries: Dr. Tommaso Liccioli


PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, VITICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE

The Plant Physiology, Viticulture and Horticulture cluster investigate how plants function at the molecular, cellular and organism levels.  Research is driven by current problems in agriculture such as drought, salinity, acidity, climate change (warming and high carbon dioxide) and nutrition. There is a strong focus on membrane transporters and their regulation. Research areas range in focus from gene function to field based research on crops, grapevines and other horticultural plants.

The head of the Plant Physiology, Viticulture and Horticulture group is Professor Steve Tyerman.

- Viticulture: is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard.
. Root Physiology and Vine Performance: Prof Steve Tyerman; Dr Brent Kaiser; Rebecca Vandeleur and Wendy Sullivan.
. Berry Water Relations, Nutrition and Development: Prof Steve Tyerman; Dr Brent Kaiser; Prof Roger Leigh; Dr Matthew Gilliham y Dr Sigfredo Fuentes
. Climate Change: Dr Cassandra Collins; Assoc Prof Peter Dry; Prof Steve Tyerman; Dr Sue Bastian; Dr Sigfredo Fuentes
. Vine Nutrition and Salinity Tolerance: Prof Steve Tyerman; Dr Matthew Gilliham; Dr Brent Kaiser; Assoc Prof Peter Dry
. Fruit Chemistry: Dr Chris Ford; Dr Kerry Wilkinson y Prof Dennis Taylor
. Management Systems: Assoc Prof Peter Dry and Dr Cassandra Collins
. Reproductive Biology: Dr Cassandra Collins and Assoc Prof Peter Dry
. Grapevine Pathology (Plant Protection): Assoc Prof Eileen Scott and Prof Dennis Taylor


- Soil Science: Soils are complex media which support plant growth by supplying nutrients and water, store and clean water and contain more carbonthan the above-ground biomass and the atmosphere combined. Soils are critical for sustainability of agricultural and natural ecosystems. We have expertise in soil chemistry (fertilisers, contaminants, soil carbon), soil physics (soil structure and water availability) and soil biology (nutrient cycling, roots and rhizosphere, mycorrhiza). For a better understanding of soil processes and functions, the interactions between soil chemistry, physics and biology need to be considered. This is reflected in our research projects and joint supervision of postgraduate students.

- Plant Protection: The Plant Protection Group is concerned with all aspects of protecting plants from damage and lost production caused by pathogens; invertebrates such as insects, nematodes and mites; and weeds. The Group’s focus is on broad-acre and horticultural crops, and also extends to native vegetation and post-harvest damage to stored products. Fundamental aspects of biology, ecology, epidemiology and plant responses to attack by injurious organisms provide the foundation for research and development on applied pest management and biosecurity.

The Plant Protection Group contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate education. Their academic staff deliver undergraduate courses concerning plant protection, plant biotechnology, and the core sciences of biology and chemistry. The also deliver postgraduate coursework in the Master of Plant Health and Biosecurity, and the Master of Biotechnology (Plant Biotechnology). Ph.D., Master and Honours students contribute to the research strengths of the Group.


- Plant Breeding and Genetics: The University of Adelaide Waite Campus is a centre of excellence for plant breeding and genetics. The Plant Breeding and Genetics Group develops new crop varieties and germplasm, and conducts research in plant genetics, genomics and related areas of biochemistry and biometrics.

- Farming Systems: The Farming Systems Research Group at the University of Adelaide is concerned with sustainable agricultural systems with a focus on crop production and agronomy. Research is conducted that addresses Australian dryland agricultural systems as well as agricultural systems overseas.

This includes research on management of tillage impacts, water use, crop nutrition and weed management. Researchers from CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, SARDI, PIRSA Rural Solutions and other schools at the University collaborate with the Farming Systems Group.

The head of the Farming Systems group is Associate Professor Chris Preston.

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