Faculty of Science School of Botany

Associate Professor Ute Roessner

Botany Building 123, Rm 116
Phone +61 3 8344 4099
Fax +61 3 9347 1072
Email u.roessner@unimelb.edu.au

Metabolomics Australia: www.metabolomics.com.au/
Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics: www.acpfg.com.au

Research Interests

The comprehensive and quantitative analysis of all metabolites in a biological system is called metabolomics. Metabolomics is a multidisciplinary approach combining analytical biochemistry, biology and bioinformatics.

At Metabolomics Australia at the School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, which is headed by Dr Roessner, we are using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry technologies aiming to offer metabolomics services to Australian researchers which includes method developments for the analysis of metabolites of interest, experimental design, application of the appropriate sample preparation right through to data analysis, data mining and statistical analysis.

Projects run in our group are addressing questions in plant, microbial, mammalian research as well for biomedical and agricultural applications.

Dr Roessner also heads the metabolomics facility of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, School of Botany node applying metabolite profiling of cereal crops upon abiotic stress elicitors. For instance, we are comparing the metabolic responses of wheat or barley cultivars differing in their tolerance levels to drought or salt stress aiming to identify the tolerance mechanisms.

In both Metabolomics Australia and the ACPFG metabolomics group we welcome hons/Msc and PhD students willing to be part of the developments and applications of the fairly young scientific area of metabolomics.

Research Groups

Recent Publications


  1. Villas-Boas SG, Roessner U, Hansen M, Smedsgaard J, Nielsen J (2007) Metabolome Analysis. Publ. Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, NJ, USA

Book Chapters

  1. Fernie AR, Roessner U, Willmitzer L (2002) Metabolic profiling of plant cells. Web essay 11.2 in Taiz, L. and Zeiger, E. „Plant Physiology“, 3. Edition, Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publisher
  2. Roessner U, Pettolino F (2007) The importance of anatomy and physiology in plant metabolomics. In “Metabolomics” of the book series Trends in Current Genetics, Jewett MC and Nielson J, eds., Springer, Heidelberg, Germany
  3. Tarpley L, Roessner U (2007) Metabolomics: Enabling systems-level phenotyping in rice functional genomics. In "Rice Functional Genomics- Challenges, Progress and Prospects", Upadhyaya NM, ed., Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, pp 91-108
  4. Roessner-Tunali U (2007) Uncovering the plant metabolome: current and future challenges. In „Concepts in Plant Metabolomics.“ Nikolau BJ and Wurtele ES, eds., Springer, Dortrecht, The Netherlands
  5. Roessner U, Beckles DM (2009) Metabolite measurements. In “Plant Metabolic Networks” Junker B and Schwender J, eds., Springer, Heidelberg, Germany (in press)
  6. Gresshoff PM, Indrasumunar A, Miyahara A, Nontachaiyapoom S, Biswas B, Lin Y-H, Lin M-H, Reid D, Callahan D, Capon R,  Zhang H, Jiang Q, Hirani T, Kobe B, Men A, Hayashi S, Scott PT, Kereszt A, Miyagi M, Li DX, Chan PK, Roessner U, Djordjevic MA, Kinkema M, Ferguson B (2009) Functional genomic analysis of systemic cell division regulation in legumes. In: Shu QY (ed.) Induced Plant Mutations in the Genomics Era. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome , 2009, 399-402
  7. Roessner U, Nahid A, Hunter A, Bellgard M (2010) Metabolomics – the combination of analytical chemistry, biology and informatics. In: Comprehensive Biotechnology (in press)


  1. Roessner U, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR (2002) Metabolic profiling and biochemical phenotyping of   plant systems. Plant Cell Rep. 21, 189-196
  2. Bino RJ, Hall RH, Fiehn O, Kopka J, Saito K, Draper J, Nikolau B, Mendes P, Roessner-Tunali U, Beale M, Trethewey RN, Lange BM, Syrkin Wurtele E, Sumner L (2004) Opinion: Potential of metabolomics as a functional genomics tool. Trends Plant Sci., 9, 418-425
  3. Jenkins H, Hardy N, Beckmann M, Draper J, Smith AR, Taylor J, Fiehn O, Goodacre R, Bino RJ, Hall R, Kopka J, Lane GA, Lange BM, Liu JR, Mendes P, Nikolau BJ, Oliver SG, Paton NW, Rhee S, Roessner-Tunali U, Saito K, Smedsgaard J, Sumner LW, Wang T, Walsh S, Syrkin Wurtele E, Kell  DB (2004) A proposed framework for the description of plant metabolomics experiments and their results. Nature Biotech. 22, 1601-1606
  4. Fiehn O, Sumner L, Ward J, Rhee SY, Dickerson J, Lange M, Lane G, Roessner U, Last R, Nikolau B (2007) Minimum reporting standards for plan biology context in metabolomic studies. Metabolomics 3, 195-198
  5. Sanchez DH, Siahpoosh MR, Roessner U, Udvardi U, Kopka J (2008) Plant Metabolomics reveals conserved and divergent metabolic responses to salinity. Physiol Plantarium 132:209-219
  6. Roessner U, Bowne J (2009) What is metabolomics all about? Biotechniques 46:363-365
  7. Roessner U, Bacic A (2009) Metabolomics in Plant Research. Australian Biochemist, Vol 40 No 3, 9-13

Papers in refereed journals (Journal Impact Factors JIF)

  1. Zhu Z-P, Hylton CM, Roessner U, Smith AM (1998) Characterisation of starch-debranching enzymes in pea embryos. Plant Physiol., 118, 581-590
  2. Edwards A, Fulton DC, Hylton CM, Jobling SA, Gidley M, Roessner U, Martin C, Smith AM (1999) A combined reduction in activity of starch synthases II and III of potato has novel effects of the starch of tubers. Plant J., 17, 251-261
  3. Veramendi J, Roessner U, Renz A, Willmitzer L, Trethewey RN (1999) Antisense repression of hexokinase 1 leads to an accumulation of starch in leaves of transgenic potato plants but not to significant changes in tuber carbohydrate metabolism. Plant Physiol., 121, 123-133
  4. Roessner U, Wagner C, Kopka J, Trethewey RN, Willmitzer L (2000) Simultaneous analysis of metabolites in potato tuber by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Plant J., 23, 131-142
  5. Roessner U, Luedemann A, Brust D, Fiehn O, Linke T, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR (2001) Metabolic profiling allows comprehensive phenotyping of genetically or environmentally modified plant systems. Plant Cell, 13, 11-
  6. Roessner U, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR (2001) High-resolution metabolic phenotyping of genetically and environmentally diverse plant systems – identification of phenocopies. Plant Physiol., 127, 749-764
  7. Fernie AR, Roessner U, Geigenberger P (2001). The sucrose analog palatinose leads to a stimulation of sucrose degradation and starch synthesis when supplied to discs of growing potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum). Plant Physiol., 125, 1967-1977
  8. Farré EM, Tiessen A, Roessner U, Geigenberger P, Trethewey RN, Willmitzer L (2001) Analysis of the compartmentation of glycolytic intermediates, nucleotides, sugars, organic acids, amino acids and sugar alcohols in potato tubers using a non-aqueous fractionation method. Plant Physiol., 127, 685-700
  9. Fernie AR, Roessner U, Leisse A, Lubeck J, Trethewey RN, Willmitzer L (2001) Simultaneous antagonistic modulation of enzyme activities in transgenic plants through the expression of a chimeric transcript. Plant Physiol. Biochem., 39, 825-830
  10. Zeh M, Casazza AP, Kreft O, Roessner U, Bieberich K, Willmitzer L, Hoefgen R, Hesse H (2001) Antisense inhibition of threonine synthase leads to high methionine content in transgenic potato plants.Plant Physiol., 127, 792-802
  11. Fernie AR, Roessner U, Trethewey RN, Willmitzer L (2001) The contribution f plastidial phosphoglucomutase to the control of starch synthesis within potato tubers. Planta, 213, 418-426
  12. Fernie AR, Tauberger E, Roessner U, Lytochenko A, Trethewey RN, Willmitzer L (2002) Antisense repression of cytosolic phosphoglucomutase in potato (Solanum tuberosum) results in a severe growth retardation, reduction in tuber number and altered carbon metabolism. Planta, 214, 510-520
  13. Westram A, Lloyd JR, Roessner U, Riesmeier JW, Kossmann J (2002) Increases of 3-phosphoglyceric acid in potato plants through antisense reduction of cytoplasmic phosphoglycerate mutase impairs photosynthesis and growth, but does not increase starch contents. Plant Cell Environ., 25, 1133-1143
  14. Kühn C, Hajirezaei M-R, Fernie AR, Roessner-Tunali U, Czechowski T, Hirner B, Frommer WB (2002) Tuber-specific antisense inhibition of the sucrose transporter StSUT1 in transgenic potato plants. Plant Physiol., 131, 102-113
  15. Roessner-Tunali U, Hegemann B, Lytovchenko A, Carrari F, Bruedigam C, Granot D, Fernie AR (2003) Metabolic profiling of transgenic tomato plants overexpressing hexokinase reveals that the influence of hexose phosphorylation diminishes during fruit development. Plant Physiol., 133, 84-99
  16. Roessner-Tunali U, Urbanczyk-Wochniak E, Czechowski T, Kolbe A, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR (2003) De novo amino acid biosynthesis in plant storage tissues is regulated by sucrose levels. Plant Physiol., 133, 683-692
  17. Leggewie G, Kolbe A, Lemoine R, Roessner U, Lytovchenko A, Frommer WB, Riesmeier JW, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR (2003) Overexpression of the sucrose transporter SoSUT1 in potato results in alterations in leaf carbon partitioning and in sucrose export but has little impact on tuber metabolism. Planta, 217, 158-167
  18. Giege P, Heazlewood JL, Roessner-Tunali U, Millar AH, Fernie AR, Leaver CJ, Sweetlove LJ (2003) Enzymes of glycolysis are functionally associated with the mitochondrion in Arabidopsis cells. Plant Cell, 15, 2140-2151
  19. Urbanczyk-Wochniak E, Luedemann A, Kopka J, Selbig J, Roessner-Tunali U, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR (2003) Parallel analysis of transcript and metabolic profiles: a new approach in systems biology. EMBO Rep., 4, 989-992
  20. Fernie AR, Leisse A, Urbanczyk-Wochniak E, Roessner-Tunali U, Lytovchenko A, Riesmeier J, Willmitzer L (2003) Expression of a bacterial glucose (xylose) isomerase in potato tubers results in an altered hexose composition and a consequent induction of metabolism. Plant Cell Physiol., 44, 1359-1367
  21. Roessner-Tunali U, Lui J, Leisse A, Balbo I, Perez-Melis A, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR (2004) Flux analysis of organic and amino acid metabolism in potato tubers by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry following incubation in 13C labelled isotopes. Plant J., 39, 668-679
  22. Schauer N, Steinhauser D, Strelkov S, Schomburg D, Allison G, Moritz T, Lundgren K, Roessner-Tunali U, Forbes MG, Willmitzer L, Fernie AR, Kopka J (2005) GC-MS libraries for the rapid identification of metabolites in complex biological samples. FEBS Lett. 579, 1332-1337
  23. Gass N, Glagotskaia T, Mellema S, Barone M, Mandel T, Roessner-Tunali U, Kuhlemeier C (2005) Pyruvate decarboxylase provides growing pollen tubes with a competitive advantage in petunia. Plant Cell 17, 2355-2368
  24. Schauer N, Semel Y, Roessner U, Gur A, Balbo I, Carrari F, Pleban T , Perez-Melis A, Bruedigam C, Kopka J, Willmitzer L, Zamir D, Fernie AR (2006) Comprehensive metabolic profiling and phenotyping of interspecific introgression lines for tomato improvement. Nature Biotech. 24, 447-454
  25. Roessner U, Patterson JH, Forbes MG, Fincher GB, Langridge P, Bacic A (2006) An Investigation of boron toxicity in barley using metabolomics. Plant Physiol. 142, 1087-1101
  26. Hosp J, Tashpulatov A, Roessner U, Barsova E, Katholnigg H, Steinborn R, Melikant B, Lukyanov S, Heberle-Bors E, Touraev A (2006) Transcriptional and metabolic profiles of stress-induced, embryogenic tobacco microspores. Plant Mol Biol 63, 137-149
  27. Glassop D, Roessner U, Bacic A, Bonnett G (2007) Changes in the sugarcane metabolome with stem development. Are they related to sucrose accumulation? Plant Cell Physiol. 48, 573-584
  28. Semel Y, Schauer N, Roessner U, Zamir D, Fernie AR (2007) Metabolite analysis for the comparison of irrigated and non-irrigated field grown tomato of varying genotype. Metabolomics 3, 289-295
  29. Jacobs A, Lunde C, Bacic A, Tester M, Roessner U (2007) The impact of constitutive expression of a moss Na+ transporter on the metabolomes of rice and barley. Metabolomics 3, 307-317
  30. Callahan DL, Roessner U, Dumontet V, Perrier N, Wedd AG, O'Hair RAJ, Baker AJM, Kolev SD (2008) LC-MS and GC-MS metabolite profiling of nickel(II) complexes in the latex of nickel- hyperaccumulating tree Sebertia acuminata and identification of methylated aldaric acid as a new nickel(II) ligand. Phytochem 69, 240-251
  31. Huang CY, Roessner U, Eickmeier I, Genc Y, Callahan DL, Shirley N, Langridge P, Bacic A (2008) Metabolite profiling reveals distinct changes in carbon and nitrogen metabolism in phosphate-deficient barley plants (Hordeum vulgare L.). Plant Cell Physiol 49, 691-703
  32. Pereira-Netto AB, Roessner U, Fujioka S, Bacic A, Asami T, Yoshida S, Clouse SD. (2009) Shooting control by brassinosteroids: metabolomic analysis and effect of brassinazole on Malus prunifolia, the Marubakaido apple rootstock. Tree Physiol. 29, 607-620
  33. Stamova BS, Roessner U, Suren S, Laudencia-Chingcuanco D, Bacic A, Beckles DM (2008) Metabolic profiling of transgenic wheat over-expressing the high- molecular-weight Dx5 glutenin subunit. Metabolomics 5, 239-350
  34. Callahan DL, DeSouza D, Bacic A, Roessner U (2009) Profiling of polar metabolites in biological extracts using diamond hydride-based aqueous normal phase chromatography. J Sep Sci 32, 2273-2280
  35. Widodo, Patterson JH, Newbigin E, Tester M, , Bacic A, Roessner U (2009) Metabolic responses to salt stress of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars, Sahara and Clipper, which differ in salinity tolerance. J Exp Bot 60, 4089-103


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