Short CV/Education and training

  • 2020
    W3 Professor and Chair of Plant Breeding, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

  • 2015 – 2020
    Emmy Noether junior research group leader at Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany

  • 2012 – 2014
    Discovery Early Career Researcher Award fellow at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

  • 2011
    Australian Endeavour Award Research Fellow at Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China

  • 2007 – 2010
    PhD at The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Selected publications

  • Mirzaghaderi G., Mason A.S. (2017) Revisiting pivotal-differential genome evolution in wheat. Trends in Plant Science

  • Mason A.S., Batley J. (2015) Creating new interspecific hybrid and polyploid crops. Trends in Biotechnology 33 (8), 436-441

  • Mason A.S., Pires J.C. (2015) Unreduced gametes: meiotic mishap or evolutionary mechanism? Trends in Genetics 31 (1), 5-10

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Allohexaploid Brassica: Although the Brassica genus contains both diploid (2n = 2x; one set of chromosomes/genome) and allotetraploid (2n = 4x; two sets of chromosomes/genomes) species, no naturally occurring three-genome allohexaploid exists. We aim to synthesise novel allohexaploid Brassica genotypes and investigate genome stability and fertility in these lines. A new allohexaploid Brassica crop will hopefully demonstrate improved hybrid vigour and adaptability, allowing incorporation of useful traits from all six cultivated Brassica diploid and allotetraploid species.

  • Hybrid speciation: Presence or absence of additional chromosomes (aneuploidy) is a phenomenon found to be increasingly common in nature. We are interested in whether aneuploidy can lead to speciation, or at least formation of new, stable karyotypes in Brassica. Chromosome and allele inheritance in different populations of novel interspecific hybrid types are being tracked across generations to determine what role aneuploidy may play in hybrid speciation in Brassica, or if new, stable genomes can be established over time.

  • Recreating genomically stable rapeseed: In order to increase genetic diversity in highly inbred crop rapeseed (Brassica napus), a common method is to “recreate” this species by making new hybrids between rapeseed progenitor species B. rapa and B. oleracea. However, these hybrids also have unstable genomes due to poor control of meiosis, and lose chromosomes, and hence essential genetic information for plant growth and fertility, from generation to generation. The reason for this genome instability is unknown, particularly since “natural” B. napus is genomically stable. We aim to investigate genomic stability in a large set of human-made hybrid rapeseed genotypes using high-throughput marker genotyping, fertility phenotyping and cytogenetics. Identification of the mechanism/s of genomic stability in B. napus will not only provide fascinating insights into the evolutionary history of this species, but will be immediately useful for informing and assisting in transfer of useful genetic diversity into rapeseed.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Subject /Associate Editor

  • Crop Journal, since 2021

  • Theoretical and Applied Genetics, since 2020

  • Molecular Breeding, since 2019

  • BMC Plant Biology, since 2019

  • Plant Breeding, since 2015

Media coverage

Press releases (Australia)

  • Quinton, S. ‘‘Super canola seen as key to tougher crops” (25th Nov 2009) The West Australian, pg. 44

  • Celenza, L. “It’s all in the genes” (13th August 2009) Countryman, pg. 21

  • Cant, B. “Eight of the best in agricultural research” (16th of July 2009), Farm Weekly pg. 18

  • In Short: “Fellowship awarded” (23rd of April 2009) Stock Journal, pg. 21

  • “Super Brassica findings” (20th of April 2009) Country News, pg. 18

  • “Super scholar for brassica crop gene research” (19th of March 2009), Farm Weekly pg. 16

  • “Mason’s super brassica design takes her to France” (10th of March 2009), Albany Advertiser pg. 5


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