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Dr Anna Koltunow is recognized for her work in fruit and seed formation in plants, in particular apomixis (an
asexual form of seed formation). Her team’s efforts have led to the understanding of mechanisms controlling
seedless fruit formation. Her team has also identified similarities and differences in the mechanisms
controlling apomixis and sexual seed formation by developing and using an apomict species, where
remarkably, female gametes form without meiosis allowing seeds to develop in the absence of paternal
fertilization. Anna has held leadership roles both within CSIRO and as a director on boards of various
scientific bodies and has been president of the International Association for Plant Reproduction Research.
She is an affiliate Professor at the University of Adelaide and La Trobe University in Australia and is a Fellow
of the Australian Academy of Science.
Career History:
Team and Major Project Leader CSIRO Agriculture and Food
Deputy Chief CSIRO Plant Industry
Group Leader CSIRO Plant Industry
Deputy Chief CSIRO Plant Industry
Program Leader CSIRO Plant Industry
Appointed to CSIRO
Australian Research Council 5 year Research Fellow (CSIRO Horticulture)
Postdoctoral Fellow UCLA, Los Angeles (Prof Bob Goldberg)
Postdoctoral Fellow CSIRO Horticulture (Dr Ali Rezain)
PhD University of Adelaide (Biochemistry; Prof George E Rogers)
Fellow Australian Academy of Science
Outstanding Service Award (International Association for Plant Reproduction Research)
Professional Committees, Affiliations, Service.
Australian Research Council College of Experts (Biology and Biotechnology).
Affiliate Professor, LaTrobe University, Australia.
Director, New Zealand Crown Research Institute Plant and Food Research Ltd.
South Australian Premiers Science and Research Council member
Director New Zealand Crown Research Institute, HortResearch
Director, Board International Association for Plant Reproduction Research (as Past
Director, Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture
Director, Provisor Pty.Ltd. (Grape and Wine Research)
Chair, Australian National Horticultural Research Network
President International Association for Plant Reproduction Research.
Affiliate Professor, University of Adelaide. School of Agriculture and Wine
Board of International Society of Plant Molecular Biology (elected)
International Conferences
International Plant Reproduction Congress, Gifu Japan, Organizing Committee
Co-organizer 22nd International Congress of Plant Reproduction: Plant Reproduction for
Food. Melbourne February 13th-17th
Scientific Program Co-chair. International Botanical Congress Melbourne 25-29 July.
Chair/Convenor 8th International Congress of Plant Molecular Biology. Adelaide, August 2025th.
(Programming and promotion of four International Plant Reproduction Congresses in Beijing (2004), Budapest
(2006), Brasilia (2008) and Bristol (2010) as President and Past-president of the International Association for
Plant Reproduction)
Selected journal publications
Hands P, Rabiger DS Koltunow A (2016) Mechanisms of endosperm initiation. Plant Reproduction 29: 215225.
Salinas-Gamboa R, Johnson SD, Sanchez-Leon N, Koltunow AM, BIelle-Calzada JP (2016) New
observations on gametogenic development nd reproductive experimental tools to support seed yield
improvement in cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] Plant Reproduction 29 :165-177.
Koltunow A and Rabiger DS (2015) Turning on endosperm in seeds. Nature Plants 1 (12) article number
15189. DOI:10.1038/NPLANTS.2015.189
Luo M, Day RC, Talbot MJ, Ivanova A, Ashton AR, Chaudhury AM, Macknight RC, Hrmova M, Koltunow AM
(2015) Developmentally regulated Heart Stopper, a mitochondrially targeted L18 ribosomal protein gene is
required for cell division, differentiation and seed development in Arabidopsis. J. Experimental Botany 66:
5867-5880. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv296
Hand M, Vít P, Krahulcová A, Johnson S, Oelkers K, Siddons H, Chrtek J, Fehrer J, Koltunow A (2015)
Evolution of apomixis loci in Pilosella and Hieracium (Asteraceae) inferred from the conservation of apomixislinked markers in natural and experimental populations. Heredity, 114: 17-26. doi:10.1038/hdy.2014.612014.
Shirasawa S, Hand ML, Henderson ST, Okada T, Johnson SD, Taylor JM, Spriggs A, Siddons H, Hirakawa H,
Isobe S, Tabata S and Koltunow AM (2014). A reference genetic linkage map of apomictic Hieracium species
based on expressed markers derived from developing ovule transcripts. Annals of Botany 115:567-80
doi:10.1093/aob/mcu249 (Cover)
Du M, Luo M, Zhang R, Finnegan, E; Koltunow A (2014) Imprinting in rice: the role of DNA and histone
methylation in regulating parent-of-origin specific expression and determining transcript start sites. Plant
Journal 79: 232-242.
Hand M, Koltunow A (2014) The genetic control of apomixis. Genetics. 197: 441-450
Kotani Y, Henderson ST, Suzuki G, Johnson SD, Okada T, Siddons H, Mukai Y, Koltunow AM (2014). The
LOSS OF APOMEIOSIS (LOA) locus in Hieracium praealtum can function independently of the associated
large-scale repetitive chromosomal structure. New Phytologist 201(3):973-981.
Page 2 of 5
Tucker MR, Koltunow, AMG (2014). Traffic monitors at the cell periphery: the role of cell walls during early
female reproductive cell differentiation in plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 17:137-145.
Okada T, Hu Y, Tucker MR, Taylor JM, Johnson SD, Spriggs A, Tsuchiya T, Oelkers K, Rodrigues JCM,
Koltunow AMG, (2013). Enlarging cells initiating apomixis in Hieracium praealtum transition to an embryo sac
program prior to entering mitosis. Plant Physiology 163(1): 216-31
Ogawa, D., Johnson, S. D., Henderson, S. T. & Koltunow, A. M. (2013). Genetic separation of autonomous
endosperm formation (AutE) from the two other components of apomixis in Hieracium. Plant Reproduction
26(2): 113-123.
Tucker MR, Okada T, Hu YK, Scholefield A, Taylor JM, Koltunow AMG (2012). Somatic small RNA pathways
promote the mitotic events of megagametogenesis during female reproductive development in Arabidopsis.
Development. 139: 1399-1404. (Cover; Faculty of 1000 must read paper).
Tucker MR, Okada T, Johnson SD, Takaiwa F, Koltunow AM (2012). Sporophytic ovule tissues modulate the
initiation and progression of apomixis in Hieracium. J. Experimental Botany. 63: 3229-3241. (Cover)
Drews GN and Koltunow AMG. (2011). The Female Gametophyte. The Arabidopsis Book, published by the
American Society of Plant Biologists. Volume: 9 Pages: e0155 DOI:10.1199/tab.0155
Okada T, Ito K, Johnson SD, Oelkers K, Suzuki G, Houben A, Mukai Y, Koltunow AM (2011). Chromosomes
carrying meiotic avoidance loci in three apomictic eudicot Hieracium subgenus Pilosella species share
structural features with two monocot apomicts. Plant Physiology. 157: 1327-1341.
Koltunow AMG, Johnson SD, Rodrigues JCM, Okada, T, Hu YK, Tsuchiya T, Wilson S, Fletcher P, Ito K,
Suzuki G, Mukai Y, Fehrer J, Bicknell RA. (2011). Sexual reproduction is the default mode in apomictic
Hieracium subgenus Pilosella in which two dominant loci function to enable apomixis. Plant Journal 66: 890902 (Cover)
Koltunow A M, Johnson SD, Okada T. (2011). Apomixis in Hawkweed: Mendel’s experimental nemesis. J
Experimental Botany 62:1699-1701. (Cover)
Luo M, Taylor JM, Spriggs A, Zhang HY, Wu XJ, Russell S, Singh M, Koltunow AM (2011). A genomewide survey of imprinted genes in rice seeds reveals imprinting primarily occurs in the endosperm. PLoS
Genetics Volume: 7 Issue: 6 e1002125 Source DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002125 (Faculty of 1000 must
read paper).
Rodrigues, JCM, Okada T, Johnson SD, Koltunow AM (2010). A MULTICOPY SUPPRESSOR OF IRA1
(MSI1) homologue is not associated with the switch to autonomous seed development in apomictic (asexual)
Hieracium plants. Plant Science 179: 590-597.
Rodrigues JCM, Luo M, Berger F and Koltunow AM (2010). Polycomb group gene function in sexual and
asexual seed development in Angiosperms. Sex Plant Reprod 23: 123-133.
Tucker MR and Koltunow AMG (2009). Sexual and asexual (apomictic) seed development in flowering plants:
molecular, morphological and evolutionary relationships. Functional Plant Biology. 36: 490-504.
Li SF, Milliken ON, Pham H, Seyit R, Napoli, R, Preston J, Koltunow AM, and Parish RW (2009).The
Arabidopsis AMYB5 gene regulates mucilage synthesis, seed coat development and trichome
morphogenesis. Plant Cell. 28: 72-89.
Rodruiges JCM, Tucker MR, Johnson SD, Hrmova M and Koltunow AMG. (2008). Sexual and apomictic seed
formation in Hieracium requires the plant Polycomb group gene Fertilization Independent Endosperm (FIE).
Plant Cell 20: 2372-2386. (Cover)
Goetz M, Hooper LC, Johnson SD, Rodruiges JCM, Vivian-Smith A, Koltunow AM (2007). Expression of
aberrant forms of auxin response factor 8 stimulate parthenocarpy in Arabidopsis and tomato. Plant
Physiology 145: 351-366.
Page 3 of 5
Okada T, Catanach AS, Johnson SD, Bicknell RA, Koltunow AM (2007). An Hieracium mutant loss of
apomeiosis 1 is defective in the initiation of apomixis. Sex Plant Reprod. 20: 199 -211.
Goetz M, Vivian-Smith A., Johnson SD and Koltunow AM. (2006). Auxin Response Factor 8 is a negative
regulator of fruit initiation in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 18: 1873-1886.
Bicknell RA, Koltunow AM. (2004). Understanding apomixis: recent advances and remaining conundrums.
Plant Cell.16: S228-S245. (Cover)
Payne T, Johnson SD, Koltunow AM. (2004). KNUCKLES (KNU) encodes a C2H2 zinc -finger protein that
regulates development of basal pattern elements of the Arabidopsis gynoecium. Development. 131: 3737 3749. (Cover)
Tucker MR, Araujo A-CG, Paech NA, Hecht V, Schmidt EDL, Rossell J-B, de Vries SC and Koltunow AMG
(2003). Sexual and apomictic reproduction in Hieracium subgenus pilosella are closely interrelated
developmental pathways. Plant Cell 15: 1524-1537.
Koltunow AM and Grossniklaus U (2003). Apomixis; a developmental perspective. Annual Reviews of Plant
Biology 54: 547-574.
Koltunow AM, Johnson SD, Lynch M, Yoshihara T, Costantino P. (2001). Expression of rolB in apomictic
Hieracium piloselloides Vill. Causes ectopic meristems in planta and changes in ovule formation where apomixis
initiates at higher frequency. Planta 214: 196-205.
Vivian-Smith A, Luo M, Chaudhury A, Koltunow AM (2001). Fruit development is actively restricted in the absence
of fertilization in Arabidopsis. Development 128: 2321-2331.
Chaudhury A.M., Koltunow AM, Payne T, Luo M, Tucker MR, Dennis ES, Peacock W.J. (2001). Control of Early
Seed Development. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 17: 677-699.
Tucker M.R., Paech N.A., Willemse M.T.M. and Koltunow A.M. (2001). Dynamics of callose deposition and ß-1,3glucanase expression during reproductive development in sexual and apomictic Hieracium. Planta. 212: 487-498.
Koltunow A.M. Johnson S.D. and Bicknell R.A. (2000). Apomixis is not developmentally conserved in related,
genetically characterised Hieracium plants of varying ploidy. Sexual Plant Reproduction. 12:253-266.
Bicknell R.A., Borst N.K. and Koltunow A.M. (2000). Monogenic inheritance of apomixis in two Hieracium species
with distinct mechanisms. Heredity 84: 228-237.
Vivian-Smith, A, and Koltunow AM (1999) Genetic analysis of growth-regulator induced parthenocarpy in
Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 121: 437-451.
Luo, M., Bilodeau, P., Koltunow A., Dennis E.S. Peacock W.J. and Chaudhury A, (1999). Genes controlling
fertilization-independent seed development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences USA. 96: 296-301.
Koltunow A.M., and Brennan P. (1998). Paternal transmission of a seed size reduction gene varies with age of a
primary transformant and seed set is influenced by gene expression in maternal tissues. Molecular Breeding 4:
Koltunow A.M., Brennan, P., Bond, J.E. and Barker, S.J., (1998). Evaluation of genes to reduce seed size in
Arabidopsis and tobacco and their application to Citrus. Molecular Breeding 4: 235-251.
Koltunow A.M., Johnson S.D. and Bicknell R.A. (1998). Sexual and apomictic development in Hieracium. Sexual
Plant Reproduction. 11: 213-230.
Koltunow A.M., Hidaka, T. and Robinson, S.P. (1996) Polyembryony in Citrus: accumulation of seed storage
proteins in seeds and in embryos cultured in vitro. Plant Physiol. 110: 599-609.
Koltunow A.M., Bicknell, R.A. and Chaudhury A. (1995). Apomixis: Molecular strategies for the generation of
genetically identical seeds without pollination. Plant Physiol. 108: 1345-1352.
Page 4 of 5
Koltunow A.M., Soltys, K., Nito, N. and McClure, S. (1995). Anther, Ovule, Seed and Nucellar Embryo
Development in Citrus sinensis cv. Valencia. Canadian Journal of Botany 73: 1567-1582.
Yadegari R, dePaiva G.R., Laux T, Koltunow A.M., Apuya N, Zimmerman J.L. Fischer R. L. Harada J.J. and
Goldberg R.B. (1994). Cell differentiation and morphogenesis are uncoupled in Arabidopsis raspberry embryos.
Plant Cell 6: 1713-1729. (Cover).
Koltunow A.M. (1993). Apomixis-Embryo sacs and Embryos formed without meiosis and fertilization in ovules.
Plant Cell 5: 1425-1437. (Cover).
Koltunow A.M. Truettner J. Cox KH. Wallroth M and Goldberg R.B. (1990). Different temporal and spatial gene
expression patterns occur during anther development. Plant Cell 2: 1201-1224. (Cover)
Page 5 of 5