Staff Members with ACPFG

Hrmova, Maria
PositionLeader of the Structural Biology Group
Phone+61 8 8313 7160
Research Interests

My research is focused is on proteins involved in abiotic stress tolerance, such as membrane transporters and transcription factors, and on enzymes participating in formation of cell surface structures of cereal plants. The projects address fundamental questions as to how these proteins mediate their biological functions.


Maria joined ACPFG in 2010 as an Associate Professor and a program leader of the Structural Biology team. She obtained BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in chemistry and biochemistry from the Comenius University in Czecho-Slovakia, and in 2011 a Doctor Scientiarum degree. She has worked in Czecho-Slovakia, USA, Germany, France and Australia. In 2012 she was appointed Professor.

At the ACPFG Maria Hrmova leads the structural biology group. She is a member of numerous editorial boards of journals and reviews research proposals for international funding agencies. She has been invited to speak at Australian and international conferences and has chaired session at these venues.


Nagarajan Y, Rongala J, Luang S, Shadiac N, Hayes J, Sutton T, Gilliham M, Tyerman SD, McPhee G, Voelcker NH, Mertens HDT, Kirby NM, Sing A, Lee J-G, Yingling YG, Hrmova M (2016) A barley efflux transporter operates in a Na+-dependent manner, as revealed through a multidisciplinary platform. Plant Cell 28, 202-218.

Kovalchuk N, Chew W, Sornaraj P, Borisjuk N, Yang N, Singh R, Bazanova N, Shavrukov Y, Guendel A, Munz E, Borisjuk L, Langridge P, Hrmova M, Lopato S (2016) The homeodomain transcription factor TaHDZipI-2 from wheat regulates frost tolerance, flowering time and spike development in transgenic barley. New Phytologist, accepted on 03 February 2016.

Harris JC, Sornaraj P, Taylor M, Bazanova N, Baumann U, Lovell B, Langridge P, Lopato S, Hrmova M (2016) Molecular interaction of the γ-Clade Homeodomain-Leucine Zipper class I transcription factors during the wheat response to water deficit. Plant Molecular Biology, doi 10.1007/s11103-015-0427-6.

Li B, Evrard A, Qiu J, Johnson AAT, Baumann U, Birnbaum KD, Hrmova M, Mayo GM, Jha D, Henderson S, Tester M, Gilliham M, Roy SJ (2016) Identification of a stelar-localised transport protein that facilitates root-to-shoot transfer of chloride in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, doi:10.1104/pp.15.01163.

Sornaraj P, Luang S, Lopato S, Hrmova M (2016) Basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors involved in abiotic stresses: A molecular model of a wheat bZIP factor and implications of its structure in function. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects 1850, 46-56.

Yadav D, Shavrukov Y, Bazanova N, Chirkova L, Borisjuk N, Kovalchuk N, Ismagul A, Parent B, Hrmova M, Langridge P, Lopato S (2015) Constitutive over-expression of the TaNF-YB4 gene in transgenic wheat significantly improves grain yield. Journal of Experimental Botany, doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv370.

Amalraj A, Luang S, Kumar M, Sornaraj P, Eini O, Kovalchuk N, Bazanova N, Li Y, Yang N, Eliby S, Langridge P, Hrmova M, Lopato S (2015) Change of function of the wheat stress-responsive transcriptional repressor TaRAP2.1L by repressor motif modification. Plant Biotechnology Journal 14, 820-832.

Zhang H, Luo M, Day R, Talbot MJ, Ivanova A, Ashton AR, Chaudhury AM, Macknight R, Hrmova M, Koltunow AM (2015) Developmentally regulated HEART STOPPER, a mitochondrially targeted L18 ribosomal protein gene, is required for cell division, differentiation and seed development in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany, doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv296.

Tankrathok A, Iglesias-Fernández J, Williams RJ, Pengthaisong S, Baiya S, Hakki Z, Robinson RC, Hrmova M, Rovira C, Williams SJ, Ketudat Cairns JR (2015) A single glycosidase harnesses different transition state conformations for hydrolysis of mannosides and glucosides. American Chemical Society: Catalysis, 5, 6041-6051.

Li M, Lopato S, Hrmova M, Pickering M, Shirley N, Koltunow AM, Langridge P (2014) Expression patterns and protein structure of a lipid transfer protein END1 from Arabidopsis. Planta 240, 1319-1334.

Lopato S, Borisjuk N, Langridge P, Hrmova M (2014) Endosperm transfer cell-specific genes and proteins: structure, function and applications in biotechnology. Frontiers in Plant Science 5, article 64, 1-14.

Borisjuk N, Hrmova M, Lopato S (2014) Transcriptional regulation of cuticle biosynthesis. Biotechnology Advances 32, 526-540.

Hrmova M, Lopato S (2014) Enhancing abiotic stress tolerance in plants by modulating properties of stress responsive transcription factors. In: Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources (Tuberosa R, Graner A, Frison E, eds.), Springer Netherlands, 515 pp, Volume 2, Part II: Crop productivity, food security and nutritional quality, pp 291-316. Invited review.

Tankrathok A, Luang S, Robinson R, Kimura A, Rovira C, Hrmova M, Ketudat Cairns J (2013) Structural analysis and insights into glycon specificity of the rice GH1 Os7BGlu26 β-d-mannosidase. Acta Crystallographica Section D69, 2124-2135.

Chew W, Hrmova M, Lopato S (2013) Role of HD-Zip IV transcription factors in plant development and plant protection from deleterious environmental factors. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14, 8122-8147.

Waters S, Gilliham M, Hrmova M (2013) Plant high affinity potassium (HKT) transporters involved in salinity tolerance: structural insights to probe differences in ion selectivity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14, 7660-7680.

Eini O, Yang N, Pyvovarenko T, Pillman K, Bazanova N, Tikhomirov N, Eliby S, Shirley N, Sivasankar S, Tingey S, Langridge P, Hrmova M, Lopato S (2013) Complex regulation by Apetala2 domain-containing transcription factors revealed through analysis of the stress-responsive TdCor410b promoter from durum wheat. PLoS ONE 8, e58713.

Shadiac N, Nagarajan Y, Waters S, Hrmova M (2013) The close allies in membrane protein research: cell-free synthesis and nanotechnology. Molecular Membrane Biology 30, 229-245.

Periasamy A, Shadiac N, Amalraj A, Garajová S, Nagarajan Y, Waters S, Mertens HD, Hrmova M (2013) Cell-free protein synthesis of membrane (1,3)-β-d-glucan (curdlan) synthase: co-translational insertion in liposomes and reconstitution in nanodiscs. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1828, 743-757.

Cotsaftis O, Plett D, Shirley N, Tester M, Hrmova M (2012) A two-staged model of Na+ exclusion in rice explained by 3D modeling of HKT transporters and alternative splicing. PLoS ONE 7, e39865.

Fernandez i Marti A, Wirthensohn M, Alonso J, Socias i Company R, Hrmova M (2012) Molecular modelling of S-RNases involved in almond self-incompatibility. Frontiers in Crop Science and Horticulture 3, 1-4.

Kovalchuk N, Smith J, Bazanova N, Pyvovarenko T, Singh R, Shirley N, Ismagul A, Johnson A, Milligan AS, Hrmova M, Langridge P, Lopato S (2012) TdPR61 is a marker for nutrient fluxes and transport pathways in the endosperm and embryo of wheat, barley and rice. Journal of Experimental Botany 63, 2025-2040. Feature article with a front cover photograph.

Harris J, Hrmova M, Lopato S, Langridge P (2011) Modulation of plant growth by HDZip class I and II transcription factors in response to environmental stimuli. New Phytologist 190, 823-837. Tansley review.

Rivandi J, Miyazaki J, Hrmova M, Pallotta M, Tester M, Collins NC (2011) A SOS3 homologue maps to HvNax4, a barley locus controlling an environment-dependent Na+ exclusion trait. Journal of Experimental Botany 62, 1201-1211. Feature article with a front cover photograph.

Stone BA, Jacobs AK, Hrmova M, Burton RA, Fincher GB (2011) The biosynthesis of plant cell wall and related polysaccharides by enzymes of the GT2 and GT48 families. In: Plant Polysaccharides, Series: Annual Plant Reviews 41, 109-166. Blackwell Publishing Inc, Danvers, MA, USA (Ulvskov P, ed). Invited review.

Drew DP, Hrmova M, Lunde C, Jacobs A, Tester M, Fincher GB (2011) Structural and functional analyses of PpENA1 provide insights into cation binding by type IID P-type ATPases in lower plants and fungi. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1808, 1483-1492.

Kaiser BN, Hrmova M (2010) A glimpse at regulation of nitrogen homeostasis. Structure 18, 1395-1397. Invited commentary.

Kuntothom T, Raab M, Tvaroška I, Fort S, Pengthaisong S, Cañada FJ, Calle L, Jiménez-Barbero J, Ketudat Cairns JR, Hrmova M (2010) Binding of β-d-glucosides and β-d-mannosides by rice and barley β-d-glycosidases with distinct substrate specificities. Biochemistry (USA) 49, 8779-8793.

Luang S, Ketudat Cairns JR, Streltsov VA, Hrmova M (2010) Crystallisation of wild-type and variant forms of a recombinant β-d-glucan glucohydrolase from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) by macroseeding with wild-type native microcrystals and preliminary X-ray analysis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 11, 2759-2769.

Schnurbusch T, Hayes J, Hrmova M, Baumann U, Ramesh SA, Tyerman SD, Langridge P, Sutton T (2010) Boron toxicity tolerance in barley through reduced expression of the multifunctional aquaporin, HvNIP2;1. Plant Physiology 153, 1706-1715.

Kaewthai N, Harvey AJ, Hrmova M, Brumer H, Ezcurra I, Teeri TT, Fincher GB (2010) Recombinant expression of a diversity of barley XTH genes in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Plant Biotechnology 27, 251-258.

Luang S, Hrmova M, Ketudat Cairns JR (2010) High-level expression of barley β-d-glucan exohydrolase HvExoI from a codon-optimized cDNA in Pichia pastoris. Protein Expression and Purification 73, 90-98.

Kosik O, Auburn RP, Stratilova E, Garajova S, Hrmova M, Farkas V (2010) Polysaccharide micro-arrays for screening of transglycosylase activities in plant extracts. Glycoconjugate Journal 27, 79-87.

Hanlin RL, Hrmova M, Harbertson JF, Downey MO (2010) Condensed tannin and grape cell wall interactions and impact on tannin extractability into wine - a review. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 16, 173-188. Feature article with a front cover photograph.

Kovalchuk N, Li M, Wittek F, Reid N, Shirley N, Ismagul A, Eliby S, Johnson A, Milligan AS, Hrmova M, Langridge P, Lopato S (2010) Defensin promoters as tools for engineering disease resistance in cereal grains. Plant Biotechnology Journal 8, 47-64. Feature article with a front cover photograph.

Vaaje-Kolstad G, Farkas V, Fincher GB, Hrmova M (2010) Barley xyloglucan xyloglucosyl transferases bind xyloglucan-derived oligosaccharides in their acceptor binding regions in multiple conformational states. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 496, 61-68.

Vaaje-Kolstad G, Farkaš V, Hrmova M, Fincher GB (2010) Xyloglucan xyloglucosyl transferases from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) bind oligomeric and polymeric xyloglucan molecules in their acceptor binding sites. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects 1800, 674-684.

Zhang Q, Shirley NJ, Burton RA, Lahnstein J, Hrmova M, Fincher GB (2010) The genetics, transcriptional profiles and catalytic properties of UDP-α-d-xylose 4-epimerases from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Plant Physiology 153, 555-568.

Hrmova M, Stone BA, Fincher GB (2010) High-yield production, refolding and molecular modelling of the catalytic module of (1,3)-β-d-glucan (curdlan) synthase from Agrobacterium sp. Glycoconjugate Journal 27, 461-476.

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