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Welcome to the Johnson Lab in the School of BioSciences at The University of Melbourne


How do plants absorb nutrients? Can we change how plants absorb nutrients to produce more nutritious crops? These questions drive the research in our lab. We focus on iron and zinc because many plant foods have low levels of these essential micronutrients and over two billion people suffer from serious iron and zinc deficiencies. We focus on rice and wheat because, together, these crops produce 40% of the world’s dietary energy. To address our research questions we employ a variety of molecular tools to discover, characterize and manipulate plant genes that are important for the absorption and bioavailability of iron and zinc. Our overall aim is to develop high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat with “biofortified” grain containing increased levels of bioavailable iron and zinc.