Mark Talbot

Research interests

  • Microscopic screening of rice varieties for tolerance to abiotic stresses
  • Imaging and image analysis of vegetative and reproductive rice structures


Mark Joined the Rice Breeding team in 2015, after an eight year role as a Microscopist and Plant Cell Biologist at CSIRO Canberra.

Mark has a PhD in Plant Cell Biology, and brings microscopy, imaging, image analysis and research skills to the Plant Breeding and Cereal Chemistry teams at the Yanco Agricultural Institute.

Mark applies these skills to research problems in Yield Stability and Cereal Chemistry, such as developing new techniques for screening cold tolerant rice varieties, and investigating cracking in short and medium grain rice.

He developed a new imaging and image analysis technique to rapidly and semi-automatically investigate the extent of cracking in rice grains.

He has also developed a more rapid way to measure sterility in rice panicles as part of his cold tolerance research.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, the University of Newcastle, 2006
  • B. Sc. (Hons. 1), the University of Newcastle, 1999

Current projects

  • Phenotypical screening for rice cold tolerance for yield stability and water use efficiency
  • Cracking in short and medium grain rice

Recent publications

Moore JW, Foessel-Herrera S, Lan C, Schnippenkoetter W, Ayliffe M,  Espino-Huerta J, Lillemo M, Viccars L, Milne R,  Periyannan S, Kong  X, Spielmeyer W, Talbot M, Bariana H, Patrick J, Dodds P, Singh R, Lagudah E. (2015) A recently evolved hexose transporter variant confers resistance to multiple pathogens in wheat. Nature Genetics 47: 1494–1498

Morin L, Talbot MJ, Glen M. (2014) Quest to elucidate the life cycle of Puccinia psidii sensu lato, Fungal Biology, 118: 253-263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2013.12.004

Talbot MJ, White RG (2013) Methanol fixation of plant tissue for Scanning Electron Microscopy improves preservation of tissue morphology and dimensions. Plant Methods, 9(36).  doi:10.1186/1746-4811-9-36

Vega-Sanchez, M.E., Verhertbruggen, Y., Christensen, U., Chen, X., Sharma, V., Varanasi, P., Jobling, S.A., Talbot, M., White, R.G., Joo, M., Singh, S., Auer, M., Scheller, H.V., Ronald, P.C. (2012) Loss of Cellulose Synthase-Like F6 Function Affects Mixed-Linkage Glucan Deposition, Cell Wall Mechanical Properties, and Defense Responses in Vegetative Tissues of Rice. Plant Physiology, 159: 56-69

Ayliffe, M., Devilla, R, Mago, R., White, R., Talbot, M., Pryor, A., Leung, H. (2011) Non-host resistance of rice to rust pathogens. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 24(10): 1143-1155

Ji, X., Dong, B., Shiran, B., Talbot, M.J., Edlington, J.E., Huges, T., White, R.G., Gubler, F., Dolferus, R. (2011) Control of ABA catabolism and ABA homeostasis is important for reproductive stage stress tolerance in cereals. Plant Physiology, 156: 647-662

Professional associations and activities

  • Winner of the New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography, 2014, for ‘Wheat through the looking glass’
  • Invited speaker at the 23rd Australian Conference on Microscopy and Microanalysis, ACMM-23, Adelaide Australia, 3-6th February 2014 (“Imaging of plant tissues for cell size analysis with the backscattered electron detector in a variable pressure scanning electron microscope”). I was also invited to chair a session on ‘Applications of Microscopy and Microanalysis in Plant Science’ at ACMM-23.

Fields of research

070305 Crop and Pasture Improvement (Selection and Breeding)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Cold tolerance mechanisms in rice
  • Microscopic imaging and image analysis
  • Post-Harvest rice quality

Contact details

Email: mark.talbot@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Phone: (02) 6951 2674
Mobile: 0402 648 881