Profile image of Jim Rookes

Dr Jim Rookes



Lecturer In Biological Sciences


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Life & Env. Sciences


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


Bachelor of Science (Biological Science), Deakin University, 1999
Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University, 2004

+61 3 522 71394


From an initial interest in Cell Biology and Plant Pathology, my research has expanded in recent years to encompass studies in the areas of Agricultural Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Materials Science and Biomedicine.

During my PhD studies at Deakin University I investigated signal transduction pathways and defence responses triggered in plants when challenged by pathogens. To facilitate this, I constructed genetically modified plants to enable real time tracking of plant defence induction through the development of a green fluorescent protein-reporter system. Following this, I spent the next three years of my career at the University of Queensland studying the role Heterotrimeric G proteins in plants. Interestingly, amongst other findings, we discovered that G protein-coupled signalling is in fact very important for the mounting of plant defence responses. 

In 2006 I returned to Deakin University to take up a Research Fellow position investigating plant interactions with the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. This pathogen poses a major threat to the biodiversity of natural ecosystems across Australia and is listed by the Australian Government (Department of Environment) as a 'key threatening process'. This project investigated how plants defend themselves against this pathogen, using model plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana and also Australian native plants. 

In 2009 I became a lecturer within the School of Life & Enviro Sci. Since then my role his had a strong focus on teaching and I have taught across a  range of disciplines including Biotechnology, Cell biology, Biomedicine, Molecular Biology and of course, Plant Biology. I have also been involved in the coordination of the Master of Biotechnology Postgraduate Course since 2009.

Read more on Jim's profile

Research interests

Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Plant Science

Teaching interests

Biotechnology, Biomedical and Plant Sciences

Units taught

SLE141, SLE346, SLE704, SLE712 & SLE713

Knowledge areas

Cell Biology

Molecular Biology


Plant Science


  • School of Life & Enviro Sci - Award for Teaching Excellence; 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013.
  • Deakin University - Commendation for Excellence in Teaching; 2010.


Filter by


Plant-pathogen interactions: toward development of next-generation disease-resistant plants

Naghmeh Nejat, Dr Jim Rookes, Nitin L. Mantri, Prof David Cahill

(2017), Vol. 37, pp. 229-237, Critical reviews in biotechnology, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Nanostructured liquid crystalline particle assisted delivery of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid to weeds, crops and model plants

Mr Pavani Nadiminti, Dr Jim Rookes, Yao D. Dong, Chad Sayer, Dr Benjamin Boyd, Prof David Cahill

(2016), Vol. 82, pp. 17-29, Crop protection, Amsterdam, The Nethelands, C1


Mesoporous silica nanoparticles enhance seedling growth and photosynthesis in wheat and lupin

Mr Dequan Sun, Dr Hashmath Hussain, Dr Zhifeng Yi, Dr Jim Rookes, Prof Lingxue Kong, Prof David Cahill

(2016), Vol. 152, pp. 81-91, Chemosphere, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Ethephon increases rubber tree latex yield by regulating aquaporins and alleviating the tapping-induced local increase in latex total solid content

An Feng, Dr Jim Rookes, Guishui Xie, Prof David Cahill, Xiuqing Cai, Zhi Zou, Prof Lingxue Kong

(2016), Vol. 35, pp. 701-709, Journal of plant growth regulation, New York, N.Y., C1


Sub-lethal UV-C radiation induces callose, hydrogen peroxide and defence-related gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana

Dr Sharl Mintoff, Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

(2015), Vol. 17, pp. 703-711, Plant biology, London, Eng., C1


Latex dilution reaction during the tapping flow course of Hevea brasiliensis and the effect of Ethrel stimulation

An Feng, Xiuqing Cai, Dr Jim Rookes, Guishui Xie, Zhi Zou, Prof David Cahill, Prof Lingxue Kong

(2015), Vol. 38, pp. 211-221, Brazilian journal of botany, New York, N. Y., C1


Confocal laser scanning microscopy elucidation of the micromorphology of the leaf cuticle and analysis of its chemical composition

Mr Pavani Nadiminti, Dr Jim Rookes, Dr Benjamin Boyd, Prof David Cahill

(2015), Vol. 252, pp. 1475-1486, Protoplasma, Berlin, Germany, C1


Real-time measurement of phloem turgor pressure in Hevea brasiliensis with a modified cell pressure probe

An Feng, Prof David Cahill, Dr Jim Rookes, Lin Weifu, Prof Lingxue Kong

(2014), Vol. 55, pp. 1-11, Botanical Studies, Taiwan, Republic of China, C1


Variation of phloem turgor pressure in Hevea brasiliensis: An implication for latex yield and tapping system optimization

Mr Feng An, Prof Weifu Lin, Prof David Cahill, Dr Jim Rookes, Prof Lingxue Kong

(2014), Vol. 58, pp. 182-187, Industrial crops and products, Amsterdam, Netherlands, C1


Nanostructured liquid crystalline particles as an alternative delivery vehicle for plant agrochemicals

Mr Pavani Nadiminti, Yao D. Dong, Chad Sayer, Mr Phillip Hay, Dr Jim Rookes, Dr Benjamin Boyd, Prof David Cahill

(2013), Vol. 5, pp. 1818-1826, ACS applied materials and interfaces, Washington, D.C., C1


Transcriptional profiling of Zea mays roots reveals roles for jasmonic acid and terpenoids in resistance against Phytophthora cinnamomi

Dr Jane Allardyce, Dr Jim Rookes, Dr Hashmath Inayath Hussain, Prof David Cahill

(2013), Vol. 13, pp. 217-228, Functional and integrative genomics, Berlin, Germany, C1


Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as a biomolecule delivery vehicle in plants

Dr Hashmath Inayath Hussain, Dr Zhifeng Yi, Dr Jim Rookes, Prof Lingxue Kong, Prof David Cahill

(2013), Vol. 15, pp. 1-15, Journal of nanoparticle research, Berlin, Germany, C1


Defining plant resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi : a standardized approach to assessment

Jane Cullum, Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

(2012), Vol. 160, pp. 269-276, Journal of phytopathology, Berlin, Germany, C1


Analysis of global host gene expression during the primary phase of the Arabidopsis thaliana-Plasmodiophora brassicae interaction

Dr Arati Agarwal, Vijay Kaul, Dr Robert Faggian, Dr Jim Rookes, Jutta Ludwig-Muller, Prof David Cahill

(2011), Vol. 38, pp. 462-478, Functional plant biology, Collingwood, Vic., C1


Use of high resolution digital multi-spectral imagery to assess the distribution of disease caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi on heathland at Anglesea, Victoria

R.J. Hill, A/Prof Barbara Wilson, Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

(2009), Vol. 38, pp. 110-119, Australasian plant pathology, Adelaide, S. Aust, C1


Heterotrimeric G proteins-mediated resistance to necrotrophic pathogens includes mechanisms independent of salicylic acid-, jasmonic acid/ethylene- and abscisic acid-mediated defense signaling

Yuri Trusov, Nasser Sewelam, Dr Jim Rookes, Matt Kunkel, Ekaterina Nowak, Dr Peer Schenk, Jose Ramon Botella

(2009), Vol. 58, pp. 69-81, Plant journal, Malden, Mass., C1-1


Elucidation of defence responses and signalling pathways induced in Arabidopsis thaliana following challenge with Phytophthora cinnamomi

Dr Jim Rookes, Ms Marion Wright, Prof David Cahill

(2008), Vol. 72, pp. 151-161, Physiological and molecular plant pathology, London, England, C1


Phytophthora cinnamomi and Australia’s biodiversity : impacts, predictions and progress towards control

Prof David Cahill, Dr Jim Rookes, A/Prof Barbara Wilson, Dr Lesley Gibson, Keith L McDougall

(2008), Vol. 56, pp. 279-310, Australian journal of botany, Melbourne, Vic., C1


Heterotrimeric G protein γ subunits provide functional selectivity in Gβγ dimer signaling in arabidopsis

Yuri Trusov, Dr Jim Rookes, Kimberley Tilbrook, David Chakravorty, Michael Glenn Mason, David Anderson, Jin-Gui Chen, Alan M. Jones, Jose Ramon Botella

(2007), Vol. 19, pp. 1235-1250, Plant cell, Rockville, Md., C1-1


Heterotrimeric G proteins facilitate arabidopsis resistance to necrotrophic pathogens and are involved in jasmonate signaling

Yuri Trusov, Dr Jim Rookes, David Chakravorty, David Armour, Dr Peer Schenk, Jose Ramon Botella

(2006), Vol. 140, pp. 210-220, Plant physiology, Bethesda, Md., C1-1


A PAL1 gene promoter-green fluorescent protein reporter system to analyse defence responses in live cells of Arabidopsis thaliana

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

(2003), Vol. 109, pp. 83-94, European journal of plant pathology, Dordrecht, Netherlands, C1


Microtubule dynamics in compatible and incompatible interactions of soybean hypocotyl cells with Phytophthora sojae

Prof David Cahill, Dr Jim Rookes, Dr Agnes Michalczyk, K McDonald, Anne Drake

(2002), Vol. 51, pp. 629-640, Plant pathology, Oxford, England, C1



Other Public Sector Funding

Monitoring the control and spread of Phytophthora cinnamomi in the fire affected areas of Brisbane Ranges National Park

Prof David Cahill, Dr Jim Rookes

  • 2008: $4,000
  • 2007: $4,132

Analysis of Phytophthora cinnamoni decontamination procedures in the Brisbane Ranges National Park

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2012: $10,000
  • 2011: $10,000

Industry and Other Funding

Nufarm Contract Testing Agreements

Prof David Cahill, Dr Jim Rookes

  • 2011: $13,520
  • 2010: $23,980

Deakin-Phenoxy NG Screen 2

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2011: $6,335

Deakin-Star - 2,4-D and Deakin Star - MCPA Screen 2011

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2011: $30,840

Deakin - Flurox NG Prescreen 2011

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2011: $4,160

Deakin Tebcaps & Bromngxscreen 2011 and Flurox NG Screen 2012

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2012: $23,800


Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2013: $11,540

Project Star Leaf Screen 2012

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2013: $6,950
  • 2012: $6,950

Phytophthora soil testing for the Warby Ovens National Park

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2012: $3,500

Piclorum Range Finding Experiment

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2014: $5,960

Sampling and analysis of the presence of Phytophthora cinnamomi at Cape Sir William Grant Wind Farm

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2015: $6,670


Associate Supervisor

Zhifeng Yi

Thesis entitled: Functionalised Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for Smart Agrochemical Delivery System

Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), Institute for Frontier Materials


Feng An

Thesis entitled: Role of aquaporins and phloem-turgor-pressure in Hevea yield: mechanism of Ethrel stimulation

Doctor of Philosophy (Biol & Chem), Institute for Frontier Materials


Jane Allardyce

Thesis entitled: Defence Mechanisms of a Resistant Monocot Model to Phytophthora Cinnamomi

Doctor of Philosophy (Biol & Chem), School of Life and Environmental Sciences