Doctor Jonathan Plett

Doctor Jonathan Plett

Senior Lecturer in Plant: Microbe Interactions,
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment



  • PhD Queen's University (Canada)


  • Daniel McAlpine Medal (International Mycological Association) 2018-07-01
  • Peter Goldacre Award (Australian Society of Plant Scientists) 2017-08-01
  • NSW Young Tall Poppy Award (Australian Institute of Policy and Science) 2017-09-01
  • Thomas Davies Fellowship (Australian Academy of Science) 2016-06-01
  • Science and Innovation Award (Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries) 2014-03-01

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment


Phone: (02) 4570 1097
Location: L3.G.13

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 300543 Cell Biology, 2014
  • 300543 Cell Biology, 2015
  • 300543 Cell Biology, 2016
  • 300921 Plant Health and Biosecurity, 2018
  • 300921 Plant Health and Biosecurity, 2019
  • 300980 Principles of Evolution, 2017
  • 300980 Principles of Evolution, 2018
  • 300980 Principles of Evolution, 2019
  • 800186 Emerging Technologies for Biological Science, 2016
  • 800186 Emerging Technologies for Biological Science, 2017
  • 800186 Emerging Technologies for Biological Science, 2018


Chapters in Books

  • Daguerre, Y., Plett, J. and Veneault-Fourrey, C. (2017), 'Signaling pathways driving the development of ectomycorrhizal symbiosis', Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis, Wiley-Blackwell 9781118951415.
  • Veneault-Fourrey, C., Plett, J. and Martin, F. (2013), 'Who is controlling whom within the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis : insights from genomic and functional analyses', Molecular Microbial Ecology of the Rhizosphere. Vol. 1, John Wiley 9781118296172.
  • Plett, J. and Martin, F. (2012), 'Molecular interactions in mycorrhizal development', Biocomplexity of Plant-Fungal Interactions, Wiley-Blackwell 9780813815947.
  • Plett, J. and Martin, F. (2012), 'Mutualistic effectors : architects of symbiosis', Effectors in Plant-Microbe Interactions, Wiley-Blackwell 9780470958223.
  • Deveaux, A., Plett, J., Legue, V., Frey-Klett, P. and Martin, F. (2012), 'Communication between plant, ectomycorrhizal fungi and helper bacteria', Biocommunication of Fungi, Springer 9789400742635.
  • Plett, J., Kohler, A. and Martin, F. (2012), 'De-constructing a mutualist : how the molecular blueprints of model symbiotic fungi are changing our understanding of mutualism', The Mycota: A Comprehensive Treatise on Fungi as Experimental Systems for Basic and Applied Research, Springer 9783642308253.

Journal Articles

  • Hill, R., Wong-Bajracharya, J., Anwar, S., Coles, D., Wang, M., Lipzen, A., Ng, V., Grigoriev, I., Martin, F., Anderson, I., Cazzonelli, C., Jeffries, T., Plett, K. and Plett, J. (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.
  • Moffitt, M., Wong-Bajracharya, J., Shuey, L., Park, R., Pegg, G. and Plett, J. (2022), 'Both constitutive and infection-responsive secondary metabolites linked to resistance against Austropuccinia psidii (myrtle rust) in Melaleuca quinquenervia', Microorganisms, vol 10, no 2 .
  • Plett, K., Kohler, A., Lebel, T., Singan, V., Bauer, D., He, G., Ng, V., Grigoriev, I., Martin, F., Plett, J. and Anderson, I. (2021), 'Intra-species genetic variability drives carbon metabolism and symbiotic host interactions in the ectomycorrhizal fungus Pisolithus microcarpus', Environmental Microbiology, vol 23, no 4 , pp 2004 - 2020.
  • Zhang, H., Powell, J., Power, S., Churchill, A., Plett, J., Macdonald, C., Jacob, V., Kim, G., Pendall, E., Tissue, D., Catunda, K., Igwenagu, C., Carrillo, Y., Moore, B. and Anderson, I. (2021), 'Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal-mediated reduction in N2O emissions were not impacted by experimental warming for two common pasture species', Pedobiologia, vol 87-88 .
  • Zhang, H., Powell, J., Plett, J., Churchill, A., Power, S., Macdonald, C., Jacob, V., Kim, G., Pendall, E., Tissue, D., Catunda, K., Igwenagu, C., Carrillo, Y., Moore, B. and Anderson, I. (2021), 'Climate warming negates arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal reductions in soil phosphorus leaching with tall fescue but not lucerne', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol 152 .
  • Plett, K., Bithell, S., Dando, A. and Plett, J. (2021), 'Chickpea shows genotype-specific nodulation responses across soil nitrogen environment and root disease resistance categories', BMC Plant Biology, vol 21, no 1 .
  • Plett, J., Solomon, J., Snijders, F., Marlow-Conway, J., Plett, K. and Bithell, S. (2021), 'Order of microbial succession affects rhizobia-mediated biocontrol efforts against Phytophthora root rot', Microbiological Research, vol 242 .
  • Plett, K., Buckley, S., Plett, J., Anderson, I., Lundberg-Felten, J. and Jamtgard, S. (2021), 'Novel microdialysis technique reveals a dramatic shift in metabolite secretion during the early stages of the interaction between the ectomycorrhizal fungus pisolithus microcarpus and its host eucalyptus grandis', Microorganisms, vol 9, no 9 .
  • Wong, J., Plett, K., Natera, S., Roessner, U., Anderson, I. and Plett, J. (2020), 'Comparative metabolomics implicates threitol as a fungal signal supporting colonization of Armillaria luteobubalina on eucalypt roots', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol 43, no 2 , pp 374 - 386.
  • Plett, K., Singan, V., Wang, M., Ng, V., Grigoriev, I., Martin, F., Plett, J. and Anderson, I. (2020), 'Inorganic nitrogen availability alters Eucalyptus grandis receptivity to the ectomycorrhizal fungus Pisolithus albus but not symbiotic nitrogen transfer', New Phytologist, vol 226, no 1 , pp 221 - 231.
  • Plett, J., Plett, K., Wong-Bajracharya, J., Freitas Pereira, M., Dutra Costa, M., Kohler, A., Martin, F. and Anderson, I. (2020), 'Mycorrhizal effector PaMiSSP10b alters polyamine biosynthesis in Eucalyptus root cells and promotes root colonization', New Phytologist Trust, vol 228, no 2 , pp 712 - 727.
  • Gilarte Padilla, P., Plett, J., Pendall, E., Carrillo, Y. and Nielsen, U. (2020), 'Direct and indirect trophic interactions of soil nematodes impact chickpea and oat nutrition', Plant and Soil, vol 457 , pp 255 - 268.
  • Wong-Bajracharya, J., Castaneda-Gomez, L., Plett, K., Anderson, I., Carrillo, Y. and Plett, J. (2020), 'Untangling the effect of roots and mutualistic ectomycorrhizal fungi on soil metabolite profiles under ambient and elevated carbon dioxide', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol 151 .
  • Daguerre, Y., Basso, V., Hartmann-Wittulski, S., Schellenberger, R., Meyer, L., Bailly, J., Kohler, A., Plett, J., Martin, F. and Veneault-Fourrey, C. (2020), 'The mutualism effector MiSSP7 of Laccaria bicolor alters the interactions between the poplar JAZ6 protein and its associated proteins', Scientific Reports, vol 10, no 1 .
  • Wong, J., Lutz, A., Natera, S., Wang, M., Ng, V., Grigoriev, I., Martin, F., Roessner, U., Anderson, I. and Plett, J. (2019), 'The influence of contrasting microbial lifestyles on the pre-symbiotic metabolite responses of Eucalyptus grandis roots', Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, vol 7 .
  • Naidoo, S., Slippers, B., Plett, J., Coles, D. and Oates, C. (2019), 'The road to resistance in forest trees', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol 10 .
  • Wong, J. and Plett, J. (2019), 'Root renovation : how an improved understanding of basic root biology could inform the development of elite crops that foster sustainable soil health', Functional Plant Biology, vol 46, no 7 , pp 597 - 612.
  • Egidi, E., Delgado Baquerizo, M., Plett, J., Wang, J., Eldridge, D., Bardgett, R., Maestre, F. and Singh, B. (2019), 'A few Ascomycota taxa dominate soil fungal communities worldwide', Nature Communications, vol 10, no 1 .
  • Plett, K., Raposo, A., Anderson, I., Piller, S. and Plett, J. (2019), 'Protein arginine methyltransferase expression affects ectomycorrhizal symbiosis and the regulation of hormone signaling pathways', Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, vol 32, no 10 , pp 1291 - 1302.
  • Plett, J. and Martin, F. (2018), 'Know your enemy, embrace your friend : using omics to understand how plants respond differently to pathogenic and mutualistic microorganisms', The Plant Journal, vol 93, no 4 , pp 729 - 746.
  • Plett, K., Raposo, A., Bullivant, S., Anderson, I., Piller, S. and Plett, J. (2017), 'Root morphogenic pathways in Eucalyptus grandis are modified by the activity of protein arginine methyltransferases', BMC Plant Biology, vol 17 .
  • Plett, J., Yin, H., Mewalal, R., Hu, R., Li, T., Ranjan, P., Jawdy, S., De Paoli, H., Butler, G., Burch-Smith, T., Guo, H., Chen, C., Kohler, A., Anderson, I., Labbe, J., Martin, F., Tuskan, G. and Yang, X. (2017), 'Populus trichocarpa encodes small, effector-like secreted proteins that are highly induced during mutualistic symbiosis', Scientific Reports, vol 7 .
  • Hortal, S., Plett, K., Plett, J., Cresswell, T., Johansen, M., Pendall, E. and Anderson, I. (2017), 'Role of plant-fungal nutrient trading and host control in determining the competitive success of ectomycorrhizal fungi', The ISME Journal, vol 11, no 12 , pp 2666 - 2676.
  • Lorrain, C., Gervais, J., Petit, Y. and Plett, J. (2017), 'New insights into plant-microbe interactions through advances in fungal genetics', New Phytologist, vol 216, no 3 , pp 647 - 650.
  • Plett, J., Plett, K., Bithell, S., Mitchell, C., Moore, K., Powell, J. and Anderson, I. (2016), 'Improved Phytophthora resistance in commercial chickpea (Cicer arietinum) varieties negatively impacts symbiotic gene signalling and symbiotic potential in some varieties', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol 39, no 8 , pp 1858 - 1869.
  • Hortal, S., Powell, J., Plett, J., Simonin, A. and Anderson, I. (2016), 'Intraspecific competition between ectomycorrhizal Pisolithus microcarpus isolates impacts plant and fungal performance under elevated CO2 and temperature', FEMS Microbiology Ecology, vol 92, no 8 .
  • Plett, J., Kohler, A., Khachane, A., Keniry, K., Plett, K., Martin, F. and Anderson, I. (2015), 'The effect of elevated carbon dioxide on the interaction between Eucalyptus grandis and diverse isolates of Pisolithus sp. is associated with a complex shift in the root transcriptome', New Phytologist, vol 206, no 4 , pp 1423 - 1436.
  • Plett, J., Tisserant, E., Brun, A., Morin, E., Grigoriev, I., Kuo, A., Martin, F. and Kohler, A. (2015), 'The mutualist Laccaria bicolor expresses a core gene regulon during the colonization of diverse host plants and a variable regulon to counteract host-specific defenses', Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, vol 28, no 3 , pp 261 - 273.
  • Plett, J. and Martin, F. (2015), 'Reconsidering mutualistic plant-fungal interactions through the lens of effector biology', Current Opinion in Plant Biology, vol 26 , pp 45 - 50.
  • Kohler, A., Kuo, A., Nagy, L., Morin, E., Barry, K., Buscot, F., Canback, B., Choi, C., Plett, J. and et al, .. (2015), 'Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists', Nature Genetics, vol 47, no 4 , pp 410 - 415.
  • Plett, J., Khachane, A., Ouassou, M., Sundberg, B., Kohler, A. and Martin, F. (2014), 'Ethylene and jasmonic acid act as negative modulators during mutualistic symbiosis between Laccaria bicolor and Populus roots', New Phytologist, vol 202, no 1 , pp 270 - 286.
  • Labbe, J., Uehling, J., Payen, T. and Plett, J. (2014), 'Fungal biology : compiling genomes and exploiting them', New Phytologist, vol 203, no 2 , pp 359 - 361.
  • Tschaplinski, T., Plett, J., Engle, N., Deveau, A., Cushman, K., Martin, M., Doktycz, M., Tuskan, G., Brun, A., Kohler, A. and Martin, F. (2014), 'Populus trichocarpa and Populus deltoides exhibit different metabolomic responses to colonization by the symbiotic fungus Laccaria bicolor', Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, vol 27, no 6 , pp 546 - 556.
  • Veneault-Fourrey, C., Commun, C., Kohler, A., Morin, E., Balestrini, R., Plett, J., Danchin, E., Coutinho, P., Wiebenga, A., Vries, R., Henrissat, B. and Martin, F. (2014), 'Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of Laccaria bicolor CAZome reveals insights into polysaccharides remodelling during symbiosis establishment', Fungal Genetics and Biology, vol 72 , pp 168 - 181.
  • Plett, J., Daguerre, Y., Wittulsky, S., Vayssieres, A., Deveau, A., Melton, S., Kohler, A., Morrell-Falvey, J., Brun, A., Veneault-Fourrey, C. and Martin, F. (2014), 'Effector MiSSP7 of the mutualistic fungus Laccaria bicolor stabilizes the Populus JAZ6 protein and represses jasmonic acid (JA) responsive genes', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 111, no 22 , pp 8299 - 8304.
  • Plett, J., Williams, M., LeClair, G., Regan, S. and Beardmore, T. (2014), 'Heterologous over-expression of ACC SYNTHASE8 (ACS8) in Populus tremula x P. alba clone 717-1B4 results in elevated levels of ethylene and induces stem dwarfism and reduced leaf size through separate genetic pathways', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol 5, no 514 .
  • Tyler, B., Kale, S., Wang, Q., Tao, K., Clark, H., Drews, K., Antignani, V., Rumore, A., Hayes, T., Plett, J., Fudal, I., Gu, B., Qinghe, C., Affeldt, K., Berthier, E., Fischer, G., Dou, D., Shan, W., Keller, N., Martin, F., Rouxel, T. and Lawrence, C. (2013), 'Microbe-independent entry of oomycete RxLR effectors and fungal RxLR-like effectors into plant and animal cells is specific and reproducible', Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, vol 26, no 6 , pp 611 - 616.
  • Plett, J. and Martin, F. (2012), 'Poplar root exudates contain compounds that induce the expression of MiSSP7 in Laccaria bicolor', Plant Signaling & Behavior, vol 7, no 1 , pp 12 - 15.
  • Plett, J., Gibon, J., Kohler, A., Duffy, K., Hoegger, P., Velagapudi, R., Han, J., Kues, U., Grigoriev, I. and Martin, F. (2012), 'Phylogenetic, genomic organization and expression analysis of hydrophobin genes in the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor', Fungal Genetics and Biology, vol 49, no 3 , pp 199 - 209.
  • Plett, J. and Martin, F. (2011), 'Blurred boundaries : lifestyle lessons from ectomycorrhizal fungal genomes', Trends in Genetics, vol 27, no 1 , pp 14 - 22.
  • Plett, J., Montanini, B., Kohler, A., Ottonello, S. and Martin, F. (2011), 'Tapping genomics to unravel ectomycorrhizal symbosis', Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 722 , pp 249 - 281.
  • Plett, J., Kemppainen, M., Kale, S., Kohler, A., Legue, V., Brun, A., Tyler, B., Pardo, A. and Martin, F. (2011), 'A secreted effector protein of laccaria bicolor is required for symbiosis development', Current Biology, vol 21, no 14 , pp 1197 - 1203.
  • Plett, J., Wilkins, O., Campbell, M., Ralph, S. and Regan, S. (2010), 'Endogenous overexpression of Populus MYB186 increases trichome density, improves insect pest resistance, and impacts plant growth', Plant Journal, vol 64 , pp 419 - 432.
  • Plett, J. (2010), 'Ethylene-a key arbitrator to plant-fungal symbiotic interactions?', New Phytologist, vol 185, no 4 , pp 868 - 871.
  • McDonnell, L., Plett, J., Andersson-Gunneras, S., Kozela, C., Dugardeyn, J., Van Der Straeten, D., Glick, B., Sundberg, B. and Regan, S. (2009), 'Ethylene levels are regulated by a plant encoded 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase', Physiologia Plantarum, vol 136, no 1 , pp 94 - 109.
  • Plett, J., Mathur, J. and Regan, S. (2009), 'Ethylene receptor ETR2 controls trichome branching by regulating microtubule assembly in Arabidopsis thaliana', Journal of Experimental Botany, vol 60, no 13 , pp 3923 - 3933.
  • Plett, J., Cvetkovska, M., Makenson, P., Xing, T. and Regan, S. (2009), 'Arabidopsis ethylene receptors have different roles in Fumonisin B1-induced cell death', Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, vol 74, no 1 , pp 18 - 26.
  • Plett, J., McDonnell, L. and Regan, S. (2009), 'Plant encoded 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity implicated in different aspects of plant development', Plant Signaling and Behavior, vol 4, no 12 , pp 1186 - 1189.
  • Harrison, E., Bush, M., Plett, J., McPhee, D., Vitez, R., O'Malley, B., Sharma, V., Bosnich, W., Seguin, A., MacKay, J. and Regan, S. (2007), 'Diverse developmental mutants revealed in an activation-tagged population of poplar', Canadian Journal of Botany, vol 85, no 11 , pp 1071 - 1081.
  • Foto, M., Plett, J., Berghout, J. and Miller, J. (2004), 'Modification of the Limulus amebocyte lysate assay for the analysis of glucan in indoor environments', Analytical and Bioanalytical chemistry, vol 379, no 1 , pp 156 - 162.

Current Projects

Title: Are Secreted Proteins determinants of host range in ectomycorrhizal fungi?
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Ian Anderson and Jonathan Plett
Years: 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31
ID: P00027247
Title: Develop novel disease management strategies for delivering solutions to mitigate the impact of major broccolini diseases - CRC
  • Future Food Systems Limited CRC
Western Researchers: Ian Anderson, Jeff Powell and Jonathan Plett
Years: 2021-12-06 - 2025-07-31
ID: P00027674
Title: Using metabolites as biomarkers for the identification of innate resistance to myrtle rust
  • Australian Plant Biosafety Science Foundation (APBSF Ltd)
Western Researchers: Michelle Moffitt and Jonathan Plett
Years: 2021-01-01 - 2022-08-31
ID: P00026872
Title: National Tree Genomics Program - Genotype Prediction Toolbox [via QUT]
  • Horticulture Innovation Australia (non ACRG)
Western Researchers: Chris Cazzonelli, Jonathan Plett and Alexie Papanicolaou
Years: 2018-03-01 - 2023-12-01
ID: P00025295

Previous Projects

Title: Enhancing root health through a better understanding of plant genetics that enable mutualistic beneficial relationships with soil microbes
  • Australian Academy of Science
Western Researchers: Jonathan Plett
Years: 2014-11-06 - 2016-11-05
ID: P00022332
Title: Identification and characterisation of genetic markers in pulse crops that promote disease resistance without compromising symbiotic interactions
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (non ACRG)
Western Researchers: Jonathan Plett
Years: 2014-05-16 - 2015-03-31
ID: P00021887
Title: Investigating the impact of nutrient trading dynamics between plants and symbiotic fungi on the outcomes of fungal competition in the rhizosphere
  • Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Ltd (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Sara Hortal Botifoll, Jonathan Plett and Ian Anderson
Years: 2014-07-01 - 2015-06-30
ID: P00022162
Title: Improving management of Phytophthora root rot of chickpea [via NSW DPI]
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries
Western Researchers: Jonathan Plett
Years: 2019-07-01 - 2022-04-30
ID: P00024741
Title: DA - Sustainable pasture systems under climate extremes
  • Dairy Australia (non ACRG)
Western Researchers: Sally Power, Mark Tjoelker, Elise Pendall, David Tissue, Jeff Powell, Ian Anderson, Ben Moore, Catriona Macdonald, Brajesh Singh, Yolima Carrillo Espanol and Jonathan Plett
Years: 2017-06-01 - 2021-08-31
ID: P00023777
Title: Characterising controls of carbon flow from trees into mycorrhizal fungi
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Ian Anderson and Jonathan Plett
Years: 2016-06-01 - 2019-05-31
ID: P00022586
Title: MLA - Sustainable pasture systems under climate extremes
  • MLA Donor Company Limited
Western Researchers: Sally Power, Mark Tjoelker, Elise Pendall, David Tissue, Jeff Powell, Ian Anderson, Ben Moore, Catriona Macdonald, Brajesh Singh, Yolima Carrillo Espanol and Jonathan Plett
Years: 2017-03-01 - 2021-08-31
ID: P00023845
Title: Understanding plant:fungal communication to increase plant productivity
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Jonathan Plett
Years: 2015-01-05 - 2018-01-04
ID: P00022183
Title: Factors controlling ectomycorrhizal contributions to plant N nutrition
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Ian Anderson and Jonathan Plett
Years: 2019-05-01 - 2022-05-01
ID: P00024859

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