Doctor Sidra Anwar


Graduated PhD 2023

Thesis Title

A carotenoid-derived signal controls root architecture in Arabidopsis

Research Project

Carotenoids play key roles in plant development, photosynthesis, photoprotection, and the production of phytohormones, such as strigolactone and abscisic acid that reduce root growth and lateral root branching, respectively.  They provide a precursor for Vitamin A biosynthesis in animals and are essential for maintaining human health. Carotenoid derived molecules have emerged as regulators of root architecture. We identified carotenoid mutants having a short primary root with reduced lateral roots, yet enhanced anchor root formation. We have used a forward-genetics approach to restore wild type root phenotypes in the Arabidopsis carotenoid mutant. A next generation sequencing approach will be used to identify casual genetic loci, that can regulate carotenogenesis and/or production of an apocarotenoid that controls root architecture. Knowledge of new carotenoid-derived signalling processes can improve food nutrition and facilitate the development of genetic markers that advance horticultural breeding programs to engineer better anchoring root architectural systems.


Book Chapter

Anwar S, Nayak JJ, Alagoz Y, Wojtalewicz D, Cazzonelli CI, (2022) 'Chapter Two - Purification and use of carotenoid standards to quantify cis-trans geometrical carotenoid isomers in plant tissues', in Carotenoids: Carotenoid and Apocarotenoid Analysis, Edited by Eleanore T. Wurtzel

Journal Articles

Chavan SG, He X, Maier C, Alagoz Y, Anwar S, Chen Z-H, Ghannoum O, Cazzonelli CI, Tissue DT, (2023) 'An energy-saving glasshouse film reduces seasonal, and cultivar dependent Capsicum yield due to light limited photosynthesis', Annals of Agricultural Sciences, vol.68, no.1, pp 21 - 35

Dingley A, Anwar S, Kristiansen P, Warwick N, Wang C, Sindel B, Cazzonelli CI, (2022) 'Precision pollination strategies for advancing horticultural tomato cropping in Australia', MDPI Agronomy, vol.12, no.2, p 518

Hill RA, Wong-Bajracharya J, Anwar S, Coles D, Wang M, Lipzen A, Ng V, Grigoriev IV, Martin F, Anderson IC, Cazzonelli CI, Jeffries T, Plett KL, Plett JM, (2022) 'Abscisic acid supports colonization of Eucalyptus grandis roots by the mutualistic ectomycorrhizal fungus Pisolithus microcarpus', New Phytologist, vol.233, no.2, pp 966-982

Nayak JJ, Anwar S, Krishna P, Chen Z-H, Plett JM, Foo E, Cazzonelli CI, (2022) 'Tangerine tomato roots show increased accumulation of acyclic carotenoids, less abscisic acid, drought sensitivity, and impaired endomycorrhizal colonization', Plant Science, vol.321, Article no.111308

Anwar S, Brenya E, Alagoz Y, Cazzonelli CI, (2021) 'Epigenetic control of carotenogenesis during plant development', Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, vol.40, no.1, pp 23-48


Dr Chris Cazzonelli, Professor Priti Krishna, A/Professor Zhonghua Chen