Profile image of Jim Rookes

Dr Jim Rookes



Senior Lecturer In Biological Sciences


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Life & Env. Sciences


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


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

+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.


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Vanillin mediated green synthesis and application of gold nanoparticles for reversal of antimicrobial resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates

S Arya, M Sharma, R Das, J Rookes, D Cahill, S Lenka

(2019), Vol. 5, pp. 1-11, Heliyon, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Nanoapplication of a resistance inducer to reduce phytophthora disease in pineapple (Ananas comosus l.)

X Lu, D Sun, J Rookes, L Kong, X Zhang, D Cahill

(2019), Vol. 10, pp. 1-14, Frontiers in Plant Science, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1


Transcriptome analysis, using RNA-seq, of Lomandra longifolia roots infected with Phytophthora cinnamomi reveals the complexity of the resistance response

M Islam, H Hussain, J Rookes, D Cahill

(2018), Vol. 20, pp. 130-142, Plant biology, Chichester, Eng., C1


Delivery of abscisic acid to plants using glutathione responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticles

D Sun, H Hussain, Z Yi, J Rookes, L Kong, D Cahill

(2018), Vol. 18, pp. 1615-1625, Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology, Valencia, Calif., C1


The influence of ascorbic acid on root growth and the root apical meristem in Arabidopsis thaliana

Noura Kka, James Rookes, David Cahill

(2018), Vol. 129, pp. 323-330, Plant physiology and biochemistry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Enhanced polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons degradation in rhizosphere soil planted with tall fescue: bacterial community and functional gene expression mechanisms

Meixia Guo, Zongqiang Gong, Renhui Miao, Chunyun Jia, James Rookes, David Cahill, Jie Zhuang

(2018), Vol. 212, pp. 15-23, Chemosphere, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


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

N Nejat, J Rookes, N Mantri, D Cahill

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


Quantitation of ascorbic acid in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals distinct differences between organs and growth phases

N Kka, J Rookes, D Cahill

(2017), Vol. 81, pp. 283-292, Plant growth regulation, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons bioavailability in industrial and agricultural soils: linking SPME and Tenax extraction with bioassays

M Guo, Z Gong, X Li, G Allinson, J Rookes, D Cahill

(2017), Vol. 140, pp. 191-197, Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Active defence by an Australian native host, lomandra longifolia, provides resistance against phytophthora cinnamomi

M Islam, J Rookes, D Cahill

(2017), Vol. 44, pp. 386-399, Functional plant biology, Clayton, Australia, C1


Microbial mechanisms controlling the rhizosphere effect of ryegrass on degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in an aged-contaminated agricultural soil

M Guo, Z Gong, R Miao, J Rookes, D Cahill, J Zhuang

(2017), Vol. 113, pp. 130-142, Soil biology and biochemistry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


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

P Nadiminti, J Rookes, Y Dong, C Sayer, B Boyd, D 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.

D Sun, H Hussain, Z Yi, J Rookes, L Kong, D 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

A Feng, J Rookes, G Xie, D Cahill, X Cai, Z Zou, L 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

S Mintoff, J Rookes, D Cahill

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


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

P Nadiminti, J Rookes, B Boyd, D Cahill

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


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

F An, X Cai, J Rookes, G Xie, Z Zou, D Cahill, L Kong

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


Transcriptomics-based analysis using RNA-Seq of the coconut (Cocos nucifera) leaf in response to yellow decline phytoplasma infection

N Nejat, D Cahill, G Vadamalai, M Ziemann, J Rookes, N Naderali

(2015), Vol. 290, pp. 1899-1910, Molecular genetics and genomics, New York , N. Y., C1


Regulation of HbPIP2;3, a latex-abundant water transporter, is associated with latex dilution and yield in the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.)

F An, Z Zou, X Cai, J Wang, J Rookes, W Lin, D Cahill, L Kong

(2015), Vol. 10, pp. 1-21, PLoS one, San Francisco, Calif., C1


Functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles with redox-responsive short-chain gatekeepers for agrochemical delivery.

Z Yi, H Hussain, C Feng, D Sun, F She, J Rookes, D Cahill, L Kong

(2015), Vol. 7, pp. 9937-9946, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, United States, C1


A new insight into growth mechanism and kinetics of mesoporous silica nanoparticles by in situ small angle x-ray scattering

Z Yi, L Dume, C Garvey, C Feng, F She, J Rookes, S Mudie, D Cahill, L Kong

(2015), Vol. 31, pp. 8478-8487, Langmuir, Washington, DC, C1


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

F An, W Lin, D Cahill, J Rookes, L Kong

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


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

F An, D Cahill, J Rookes, W Lin, L Kong

(2014), Vol. 55, pp. 1-11, Botanical Studies, London, Eng., C1


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

P Nadiminti, Y Dong, C Sayer, P Hay, J Rookes, B Boyd, D Cahill

(2013), Vol. 5, pp. 1818-1826, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, C1


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

J Allardyce, J Rookes, H Hussain, D Cahill

(2013), Vol. 13, pp. 217-228, Functional and Integrative Genomics, C1


Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as a biomolecule delivery vehicle in plants

H Hussain, Z Yi, J Rookes, L Kong, D Cahill

(2013), Vol. 15, Journal of Nanoparticle Research, C1


Defining Plant Resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi: A Standardized Approach to Assessment

J Allardyce, J Rookes, D Cahill

(2012), Vol. 160, pp. 269-276, Journal of Phytopathology, C1


Analysis of global host gene expression during the primary phase of the Arabidopsis thalianaPlasmodiophora brassicae interaction

A Agarwal, V Kaul, R Faggian, J Rookes, J Ludwig-Mller, D Cahill

(2011), Vol. 38, pp. 462-478, Functional Plant Biology, 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 Hill, B Wilson, J Rookes, D Cahill

(2009), Vol. 38, pp. 110-119, Australasian Plant Pathology, C1


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

Y Trusov, N Sewelam, J Rookes, M Kunkel, E Nowak, P Schenk, J Botella

(2009), Vol. 58, pp. 69-81, Plant Journal, C1-1


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

J Rookes, M Wright, D Cahill

(2008), Vol. 72, pp. 151-161, Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, C1


Turner review no. 17. Phytophthora cinnamomi and Australia's biodiversity: Impacts, predictions and progress towards control

D Cahill, J Rookes, B Wilson, L Gibson, K McDougall

(2008), Vol. 56, pp. 279-310, Australian Journal of Botany, C1


Heterotrimeric G protein ? subunits provide functional selectivity in G?? dimer signaling in Arabidopsis

Y Trusov, J Rookes, K Tilbrook, D Chakravorty, M Mason, D Anderson, J Chen, A Jones, J Botella

(2007), Vol. 19, pp. 1235-1250, Plant Cell, C1-1


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

Y Trusov, J Rookes, D Chakravorty, D Armour, P Schenk, J Botella

(2006), Vol. 140, pp. 210-220, Plant Physiology, C1-1


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

J Rookes, D Cahill

(2003), Vol. 109, pp. 83-94, European Journal of Plant Pathology, C1


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

D Cahill, J Rookes, A Michalczyk, K McDonald, A Drake

(2002), Vol. 51, pp. 629-640, Plant Pathology, C1


Funded Projects at Deakin

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

Evaluation of Phytophthora cinnamomi at the Eumeralla Mountain Bike Park, Anglesea, Victoria

Dr Jim Rookes, Prof David Cahill

  • 2017: $3,900

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

Warby-Ovens National Park vegetation and Phytophthora cinnamomi monitoring.

Dr Jim Rookes

  • 2018: $7,100



Dequan Sun

Thesis entitled: Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles as a Biomolecule Delivery System in Plants

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

Noura Masseh Ellya Kka

Thesis entitled: Plant Ascorbate Influence on Cell Division, Growth and Seed Production of Arabidopsis thaliana

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


Arjun Challagulla

Thesis entitled: Precision Engineering of the Chicken Genome for Disease Control

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


Pavani Nadiminti

Thesis entitled: Nanostructured liquid crystalline particles as next generation agrochemical delivery vehicles

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


Sharl Mintoff


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

Associate Supervisor

Xinhua Lu

Thesis entitled: Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticle Delivery of Biomolecules into Plants

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


Md Tohidul Islam

Thesis entitled: Interactions of Phytophthora cinnamomi with Model and Native Plant Species

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

Yuanyuan Guo

Thesis entitled: Development of Novel High Performance Protein Materials as Bioadhesives

Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), Institute for Frontier Materials


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 Alisa Allardyce

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

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