Rebecca E Miller

Rebecca E Miller
University of Melbourne | MSD · School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences

B.A./B.Sc. (Hons), PhD

About

54
Publications
27,519
Reads
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1,087
Citations
Citations since 2017
24 Research Items
656 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
Additional affiliations
March 2008 - March 2011
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Margaret Clayton Postdoctoral Fellow

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Owing to their topographic location and nutrient rich soils, riparian forests are often converted to pastures for grazing. In recent decades, remnant riparian forests cleared for grazing pastures have been restored with native species. The impacts of such land-use changes on soil fungal communities are unclear, despite the central roles tha...
Chapter
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) is a particularly useful tool to determine the localization of metabolites in plant tissues enabling the exploration of spatial metabolic processes in plant biology. In this case study, we examined cyanogenic glycosides (CNglycs), in the delicate floral tissues of hig...
Research
Full-text available
Research note to summarise research into the variation in soil bacterial and fungal communities across three different land uses.
Article
Background Flowers which imitate insect oviposition sites likely represent the most widespread form of floral mimicry, exhibit the most diverse floral signals and are visited by two of the most speciose and advanced taxa of insect – beetles and flies. Detailed comparative studies on brood-site mimics pollinated exclusively by each of these insect o...
Article
Full-text available
Riparian forests were frequently cleared and converted to agricultural pastures, but in recent times these pastures are often revegetated in an effort to return riparian forest structure and function. We tested if there is a change in the soil bacterial taxonomy and function in areas of riparian forest cleared for agricultural pasture then revegeta...
Article
Full-text available
Riparian ecosystems are among the most degraded worldwide as they are subject to a range of human-mediated disturbances at different scales. As riparian vegetation plays a key role in maintaining waterway and landscape health, restoration often focuses on promoting riparian vegetation re-establishment. The role of below-ground processes and agents...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the extent of heterogeneity in soil microbial community structure and function at different scales within vegetation communities is critical to designing appropriate sampling protocols. Environmental factors (e.g. disturbance) make sampling in the riparian zone particularly challenging as vegetation communities are highly heterogeneou...
Article
Full-text available
The process of pollinator-driven evolution is best studied at the level of populations and among closely related plant species. Araceae provide a plant model for investigating plant–pollinator interactions, but few studies have investigated intraspecific variation in their pollination systems. Typhonium brownii (Araceae) is distributed widely acros...
Article
Background and aims: Floral chemical defence strategies remain understudied despite the significance of flowers to plant fitness, and the fact that many flowers contain secondary metabolites that confer resistance to herbivores. Optimal defence and apparency theories predict that the most apparent plant parts and/or those most important to fitness...
Article
Full-text available
Beetles (Coleoptera) are a diverse group of overlooked pollinators, considered particularly important in tropical ecosystems. The role of the most diverse beetle family, Staphylinidae, as pollinators is generally considered minor, yet their relationships with plants are mostly unknown. Although often referred to as opportunistic visitors, it is arg...
Poster
Revegetation is a key activity in many ecological restoration projects. Commonly used revegetation techniques involve planting nursery-grown plants or sowing seed directly on site. However, the role of below-ground processes and agents in facilitating successful revegetation outcomes is often overlooked, even though agents like mycorrhizal fungi ar...
Presentation
Introduction. Mycorrhizal symbioses are important in facilitating plant establishment and survival, these plant-fungi interactions may be key to the successful revegetation of disturbed or degraded environments. To date few studies have focused on the changes in mycorrhizal communities with revegetation and fewer still have included analysis of veg...
Poster
Introduction. Riparian ecosystems are among the most degraded worldwide as they are subject to a range of human-mediated disturbances at different scales. As riparian vegetation plays a key role in maintaining waterway and landscape health, restoration often focuses on promoting riparian vegetation re-establishment. The role of below-ground process...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Antarctic bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) are resilient to physiologically extreme environmental conditions including elevated levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation due to depletion of stratospheric ozone. Many Antarctic bryophytes synthesise UV B absorbing compounds (UVAC) that are localised in their cells and cell walls, a location...
Presentation
Restoration success is underpinned by soil communities and microorganisms as they influence plant growth, establishment and survival. Symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi promote plant growth, nutrient acquisition, plant defence, aid in water acquisition, buffer against toxic levels of trace elements in contaminated land and increase a plant’s ability to to...
Presentation
Floral chemical defence strategies remain little tested with respect to the large body of plant chemical defence theory, despite the significance of flowers to plant fitness, the sizeable investment of resources in flowers, and the potential impact of florivory. Optimal Allocation Theory (OAT) predicts that higher concentrations of defence metaboli...
Article
Full-text available
East Antarctica has shown little evidence of warming to date1–3 with no coherent picture of how climate change is affecting vegetation4–6. In stark contrast, the Antarctic Peninsula experienced some of the most rapid warming on the planet at the end of the last century2,3,7,8 causing changes to the growth and distribution of plants9–11. Here, we sh...
Presentation
Introduction / Aim: Restoration success is underpinned by soil communities and microorganisms as they influence plant growth, establishment and survival. Microbial community profiles enable the investigation of soil functional groups and how the use of carbon sources changes along a restoration trajectory.Plant establishment and survival are closel...
Article
Full-text available
Non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) are crucial to support tree resprouting after disturbances that damage the crown or stem. Epicormic resprouting (from stem) could demand more from NSC reserves than basal resprouting (following top-kill), since epicormically resprouting trees need to maintain a greater living biomass. Yet, little is known about N...
Presentation
Floral chemical defence strategies remain little investigated, despite the significance of flowers to plant fitness and the sizeable investment of resources in floral structures. Cyanogenic glycosides are nitrogen containing plant secondary metabolites that deter herbivores by releasing hydrogen cyanide upon tissue damage, but also play a role in n...
Article
Non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) form a fundamental yet poorly quantified carbon pool in trees. Studies of NSC seasonality in forest trees have seldom measured whole-tree NSC stocks and allocation among organs, and are not representative of all tree functional types. Non-structural carbohydrate research has primarily focussed on broadleaf decidu...
Article
Full-text available
Cassava is an important dietary component for over 1 billion people, and its ability to yield under drought has led to it being promoted as an important crop for food security under climate change. Despite its known photosynthetic plasticity in response to temperature, little is known about how temperature affects plant toxicity or about interactio...
Chapter
Full-text available
Polar ecosystems, and particularly Antarctica, are one of the few environs in which bryophytes dominate the flora. Their success in these regions is due to bryophytes’ ability to withstand an array of harsh conditions through their poikilohydric lifestyle. However, the unique conditions that allow bryophytes to proliferate over other forms of veget...
Article
Arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) can increase plant acquisition of P and N. No published studies have investigated the impact of P and AM on the allocation of N to the plant defence, cyanogenic glucosides. We investigated the effects of soil P and AM on cyanogenic glucoside (dhurrin) concentration in roots and shoots of two forage sorghum lines differin...
Article
The aromatic cyanogenic glycosides taxiphyllin [(R)-4-hydroxymandelonitrile β-d-glucoside] and prunasin [(R)-mandelonitrile β-d-glucoside] were identified as the main cyanogenic compounds in tissues of Australian endemic tropical rainforest tree taxa in the Lauraceae and Sapindaceae families, respectively. The tyrosine-derived taxiphyllin was the m...
Article
The tyrosine-derived cyanogenic di-glucoside proteacin and related mono-glucoside dhurrin were identified as the cyanogens in foliage of the tropical tree species Polyscias australiana, present in the approximate ratio 9:1. To date cyanogenic glycosides have not been characterised from the Araliaceae or the Apiales. Concentrations of cyanogenic gly...
Article
Full-text available
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is the staple food source for over 850 million people worldwide. Cassava contains cyanogenic glucosides and can be toxic to humans, causing paralysing diseases such as konzo, and even death if notproperly processed. Konzo epidemics are often associated with times of drought. This may be due to a greater reliance o...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, cassava is the second most important root crop after potatoes and the fifth most important crop overall in terms of human caloric intake. In addition to its growing global importance for feed, fuel, and starch, cassava has long been vital to food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change is expected to have its most severe impact on...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of cassava cultivars, in terms of cyanogenic potential and composition of macro- and micronutrients, sampled from different locations in rural Mozambique. Total cyanide concentrations in fresh cassava tissues were measured using portable cyanide testing kits, and elemental nutrients were later ana...
Article
• Philodendron bipinnatifidum inflorescences heat up to 42 °C and thermoregulate. We investigated whether they generate heat via the cytochrome oxidase pathway uncoupled by uncoupling proteins (pUCPs), or the alternative oxidase (AOX). • Contribution of AOX and pUCPs to heating in fertile (FM) and sterile (SM) male florets was determined using a co...
Article
Full-text available
Producing enough food to meet the needs of an increasing global population is one of the greatest challenges we currently face. The issue of food security is further complicated by impacts of elevated CO2 and climate change. In this viewpoint article, we begin to explore the impacts of elevated CO2 on two specific aspects of plant nutrition and res...
Article
Full-text available
Thermogenesis in Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.) has been known to scientists for many years; however, the extent of heating by different floral parts remains unclear. We present evidence that the receptacle, stamens and petals produce heat independently, and that the source of heating in these tissues is most likely the alternative oxidase (AOX). The t...
Article
Full-text available
The receptacle of the sacred lotus is the main source of heat during the thermogenic stage of floral development. Following anthesis, it enlarges, greens and becomes a fully functional photosynthetic organ. We investigated development of photosynthetic traits during this unusual functional transition. There were two distinct phases of pigment accum...
Article
Full-text available
Endothermic heating of floral tissues and even thermoregulation is known to occur in a number of plant species across a wide taxonomic range. The mechanisms by which flowers heat, however, are only just beginning to be understood, and even less is known about how heating is regulated in response to changes in ambient temperature. We have recently d...
Article
The cyclopentenone cyanhydrin glycoside gynocardin was the only cyanogen isolated from foliage of monotypic Australian rainforest tree, Baileyoxylon lanceolatum (Achariaceae). The presence of cyanogenic compounds in plants can have considerable taxonomic utility. A review of previous reports of cyanogenesis in the recently revised Achariaceae revea...
Article
Plant defense theories predict that relatively resource-rich environments (those with more fertile soil) will support a greater abundance of plants with nitrogen-based chemical defense, but this has yet to be adequately tested. We tested this prediction by measuring the diversity and contribution to total biomass of cyanogenic plants (those that re...
Article
Full-text available
The relationships between heat production, alternative oxidase (AOX) pathway flux, AOX protein, and carbohydrates during floral development in Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.) were investigated. Three distinct physiological phases were identified: pre-thermogenic, thermogenic, and post-thermogenic. The shift to thermogenic activity was associated with a...
Article
Cyanogenesis, the liberation of volatile hydrogen cyanide from endogenous cyanide-containing compounds, is a proven plant defence mechanism and the particular cyanogens involved have taxonomic utility. The cyclopentenoncyanhydrin glycoside gynocardin was the only cyanogen isolated from foliar tissue of the rare Australian rainforest tree, Ryparosa...
Article
The relationships between various leaf functional traits that are important in plant growth (e.g., specific leaf area) have been investigated in recent studies; however, research in this context on plants that are highly protected by chemical defences, particularly resource-demanding nitrogen-based defence, is lacking. We collected leaves from cyan...
Article
A cyanogenic glycoside - 6'-O-galloylsambunigrin - has been isolated from the foliage of the Australian tropical rainforest tree species Elaeocarpus sericopetalus F. Muell. (Elaeocarpaceae). This is the first formal characterisation of a cyanogenic constituent in the Elaeocarpaceae family, and only the second in the order Malvales. 6'-O-galloylsamb...
Article
Full-text available
Plant cyanogenesis is the release of toxic cyanide from endogenous cyanide-containing compounds, typically cyanogenic glycosides. Despite a large body of phytochemical, taxonomic and ecological work on cyanogenic species, little is known of their frequency in natural plant communities. This study aimed to investigate the frequency of cyanogenesis i...
Article
This study examined two aspects of cyanogenesis in Brombya platynema F. Muell. (Rutaceae), a subcanopy tree endemic to tropical rainforest in far north Queensland, Australia. First, cyanogenic glycosides in foliage were fractionated and identified. The rare meta-hydroxylated cyanogenic glycoside, holocalin, was identified as the principal cyanogen,...
Article
The cyanogenic diglycoside lucumin ((R)-mandelonitrile-beta-D-primeveroside) and monoglucoside prunasin ((R)-mandelonitrile-beta-D-glucoside) were isolated from the foliage of the rare Australian rainforest tree species Clerodendrum grayi (Lamiaceae). This is the first reported isolation of the diglycoside lucumin from vegetative tissue (foliage),...
Article
Full-text available
This study characterised three aspects of cyanogenesis in the late successional tropical rainforest species Prunus turneriana F. Muell. First, all tissues were found to be highly cyanogenic, containing combinations of the cyanogenic glycosides (R)-prunasin, (S)-sambunigrin, and amygdalin. Second, the progeny of a single parent tree varied markedly...
Article
Arbuscular mycorrhizae are symbiotic associations among glomalean fungi and plant roots that often lead to enhanced water and nutrient uptake and plant growth. We describe experiments to test whether inoculum potential of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities varies spatially within a broadleaf temperate forest, and also whether there is v...
Conference Paper
The challenge for agriculture in the 21st century is to increase productivity in the face of rising global concentrations of atmospheric CO2, higher temperatures, reduced water availability, and possibly in conjunction with more expensive fertilisers. Our focus is on the changing balance between plant growth and resource allocation with climate cha...

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Projects (4)
Project
This project is tied to a major research component (125/200 points) in a Master of Science (Biosciences) by coursework. The goal is to add to the growing body of scientific information about native Australian staple food plant species, such as tubers and leafy greens. Focus will be on working with Aboriginal communities and associated organisations, on the horticultural/agricultural production of the species, and the nutritional value (including secondary metabolites).