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Australian Research Centre invests in informatics system

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The Australian Research Centre's Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, based at the University of Western Australia (UWA), is using Agilent's informatics system in its research to build a plant protein monitoring database.

The database will serve as a vital research tool for current investigations of how plants respond to environmental change. Driven by Agilent’s informatics systems, the database will be shared with a global community of researchers and used to address a range of challenges such as how to feed an ever-increasing population and how to get plants to grow in arid, cold or high-salt environments. UWA will use an Agilent HPLC-Chip MS system, OpenLab Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) and Enterprise Content Manager (ECM).

'This collaboration will allow us to revolutionise the way scientists use their lab book and interrogate their data,' said Winthrop Professor Harvey Millar, plant energy biology chief investigator, UWA. 'We aim to produce an electronic notepad for lab results, where data are accessible for colleagues in the lab next door and also guarantee the integrity of data, so scientists can get on with the important tasks of discovery and innovation'

The UWA team will modify Agilent OpenLab ELN and ECM workflows to develop a research lab-specific electronic environment. Data on the response of plants to changes in environmental conditions will showcase the new research setting. The data will be used to search for unknown links between different plant species and their responses to drought, cold, salinity and low nutrition. The data will also provide a pipeline for targeted analysis of defined sets of plant proteins to answer specific research questions.