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Dr Vito Butardo

Agricultural Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia; BS Biology Major in Microbiology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines


Dr Vito Butardo Jr obtained his PhD degree in Agricultural Sciences at The University of Queensland in 2011 where he majored in plant molecular biology, biochemistry and biotechnology. He was then awarded postdoctoral research fellowships at the CSIRO Plant Industry (Canberra, Australia), International Rice Research Institute (Los Baños, Philippines) and Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia).  He holds a bachelor's degree in Biology Major in Microbiology from the University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños (Honours). He then worked and studied at the UP Diliman, where his major research focus is on marine microbiology. For his doctoral and postdoctoral research, he screened for low digestibility rice grain phenotypes from diverse wild, cultivated and mutant rice varieties. He then developed low digestibility rice grains by genetic engineering to alter the storage starch biosynthetic pathways in rice endosperm. This was accomplished by endosperm-specific RNA silencing of major starch branching enzymes and starch synthases in rice. He demonstrated that shifting the synthesis of starch to elevate the proportion not just of amylose but also of long chain amylopectin results in reduced starch hydrolysis and lowered glycemic impact. More recently, he employed nutritional biochemistry, grain quality genomics and systems genetics approaches to understand grain quality phenotypes using diverse collections of world rice accessions. He joined Swinburne University of Technology in September 2017, where his major research initiatives will focus on microbial and agricultural biotechnology. His major research goal is mitigating the impact of malnutrition by enhancing food security and nutritional value of cereal grains. He is also interested in understanding the impact of climate change on grain quality, yield and nutritional properties of cereals and in utilising agricultural wastes for industrial purposes. He is currently looking for MS and PhD research students who are keen on the topics listed below.

Potential Research Topics:

  1. Functional genomic validation of genes associated with cereal grain quality and nutrition
  2. Metabolomic analyses of coloured rice grains
  3. QTL mapping for nutritional quality of rice
  4. Nutritional and safety implications of micronutrients and heavy metals in rice and other cereals
  5. Utilisation of rice husks, hulls and bran for industrial purposes
  6. Surface chemistry and material science characterisation of cereal grains
  7. Resistant starch and dietary fibre in cereals and their importance in gut health
  8. Metabolomics of hempseed and other orphan crops
  9. Cloning and expression of thermophilic enzymes from microorganisms in agricultural and food wastes
  10. Metagenomics of beneficial microorganisms associated with cereals

Research interests

Cell Biology and Biochemistry; Microbiology; Plant Biotechnology

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Biochemistry And Cell Biology - 060100
  • Plant Biology - 060700
  • Agricultural Biotechnology - 100100

Teaching areas

Biotechnology;Cell Biology and Biochemistry;Molecular Biology


Also published as: Butardo, Vito; Butardo, V.; Butardo Jr, V.; Butardo Jr, V. M.; Butardo Jr, Vito; Butardo Jr, Vito M.; Butardo, V. M.; Butardo, Vito M.
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