TAN, Mui-Keng

Mui-Keng Tan

Research interests

  • Marker development for wheat quality traits and the genetic and molecular basis of agronomic traits (quality, stress, disease resistance) in cereals
  • Fungal systematics and development of diagnostic molecular protocols for plant pathogens
  • Molecular basis of herbicide resistance in wild radish, wild oats and ryegrass


Dr. Mui-Keng Tan was appointed to the position of a Senior Research Scientist in 2002. She played a central investigator’s role in various industry funded projects on the detection of herbicide resistance in agricultural weeds and in the molecular marker development for quality traits in wheat. Her research has provided valuable commercial or industry outcomes besides having contributed new knowledge to basic science.

She is currently also the leader for developing the national diagnostic protocol for Karnal bunt, a quarantine pathogen for wheat in a project funded by the CRC for national plant biosecurity.


  • BSc (Hon 1) 1981
  • Diploma in Education 1982
  • PhD 1991

Current and recent projects

  • Development of molecular markers for sprout tolerance (seed dormancy) and late maturity ?-amylase in wheat.
  • Enhancing the detection of Tilletia indica, the cause of Karnal bunt.
  • Molecular basis of resistance to Group A and B herbicides in resistant populations of wild oats and ryegrass.

Recent publications

Wang G.-X., Tan M.-K., Rakshit S., Saitoh H., Terauchi R.,Imaizumi, T., Ohsako T. and Tominaga T. (2007) Discovery of single-nucleotide mutations in acetolactate synthase genes by Ecotilling. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 88:143-148.

Tan M-K., Sharp P.J., Lu M-Q. and Howes N. (2006) Using the transmission/disequilibrium test to analyse linkage of putative QTL for grain dormancy in a white wheat. 13th Australasian Plant Breeding Conference, 18-21 April 2006, Christchurch, New Zealand

Tan M.K. and Murray GM (2006)  A molecular protocol using quenched FRET probes for the quarantine surveillance of Tilletia indica, the causal agent of Karnal bunt of wheat. Mycological Research 110:203-210.

Tan M.-K., Sharp P.J., Lu M.-Q. and Howes N. (2006) Genetics of grain dormancy in a white wheat. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 57(11) 1157-1165.

Howes N., Bariana H., Sharp P., Tan M-K, Kilian A., Hunter E., Nazari K., Ansari O. and Mohler V. (2005) The identification of translocations in the wheat genome associated with rust resistance using Diversity Arrays TechnologyTM (DArT). Global landscapes in cereal rust control, 20-22 September 2005, Sydney, Australia.

Tan M.K, Simpfendorfer S., Backhouse D. and Murray G.M. (2004) Occurrence of Fusarium head blight (FHB) in southern NSW in 2000: Identification of causal fungi and determination of putative chemotypes of F. graminearum isolates by PCR. Australasian Plant Pathology 33(3) (385-392).

Raman R, Milgate A., Mohammad I, Tan Mui-Keng, Raman H and Martin P. (2004) Molecular mapping of a new major gene Stb9 conferring resistance to septoria tritici leaf blotch in wheat. ‘Seeding the Future', 54th Cereal Chemistry and 11th Wheat Breeding Assembly 21-24 September 2004, Canberra, Australia.

Tan M. K. and Niessen L. M. (2003) Analysis of rDNA ITS sequences to determine genetic relationships among, and provide a basis for simplified diagnosis of, Fusarium species causing crown rot and head blight of cereals. Mycological Research 107 (7): 811-821.

Tan M. K. and Medd R. W. (2002) Characterisation of the acetolactate synthase (ALS) gene of Raphanus raphanistrum L. and the molecular assay of mutations associated with herbicide resistance. Plant Science 163:195-205.

Mares D., Mrva K., Tan M. K., and Sharp P. (2002) Dormancy in white –grained wheat: Progress towards identification of genes and molecular markers. Euphytica 126(1):47-53, 2002.

Fields of research

  • N/A

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Plant molecular biologist

Contact details

Email: mui-keng.tan@dpi.nsw.gov.au