Oscar Fung

2022 RN Robertson Travelling Award recipient

I have a strong interest in plant biotechnology and the use of modern genetic tools, such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system, to alter the expression of genes involved in cereal growth and nutrition. During my PhD within The University of Melbourne’s Plant Nutrition Lab, I aim to utilise CRISPR-Cas9 to edit several micronutrient homeostasis genes within bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to improve grain nutrition and plant growth. I have identified and validated key vitamin C and iron homeostasis genes and their regulatory sequences within the bread wheat genome, which will serve as targets for CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. The RN Robertson Travelling Fellowship will allow me to visit the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK to generate and transform these constructs into the genome of bread wheat, a staple crop that provides up to a fifth of human calories.