Staff profile

Dr Mathew G

Dr Mathew G Lewsey

Senior Lecturer

College of Science, Health and Engineering

Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences

Melbourne (Bundoora)

Research centres

AgriBio, the Centre for AgriBioscience


PhD, BSc



Area of study

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Brief profile

My lab investigates gene expression from the individual gene to genome-scale using a combination of wet bench and computational approaches. We focus particularly on RNA silencing, DNA methylation, plant hormone signalling networks and seed germination. I am actively recruiting talented postdocs at students at all levels - contact me if you are interested.


Available for consulting.

Recent publications

Partial publication list. See for complete works.

O’Malley, R.C., Huang, S.C., Song, L., Lewsey, M.G., Bartlett, A., Nery, J.R., Galli, M., Gallavotti, A., Ecker, J.R. (2016) Cistrome and Epicistrome Features Shape the Regulatory DNA Landscape. Cell, .

Lewsey, M.G., Hardcastle, T.J., Melnyk, C.W., Molnar, A., Urich, M.A., Nery, J.R., Baulcombe, D.C., Ecker, J.R. (2016) Mobile small RNAs regulate genome-wide DNA methylation and target specific transposable element classes. PNAS,

Publication selected for a News and Views article in Nature Plants (, an audio commentary ( and press coverage (

Weirauch, M.T, Yang, A., Albu, M., Najafabadi, H.S., Cote, A., Montenegro-Montero, A., Drewe, P., Lambert, S.A., Mann, I., Cook, K., Zheng, H., Goity, A., van Bakel, H., Lozano, J.-C., Galli M., Lewsey M.G., Huang, E., Mukherjee, T., Chen, X., Reece-Hoyes, J.S., Govindarajan, S., Shaulsky, G., Walhout, A.J.M., Bouget, F.-Y., Ratsch, G., Larrondo, L.F., Ecker, J.R., Hughes, T.R. (2014). Determination and inference of eukaryotic transcription factor sequence specificity. Cell,

Westwood, J.H, Lewsey, M.G., Murphy, A.M., Tungadi, T., Bates, A., Gilligan, C.A., Carr, J.P. (2014). Interference with jasmonic acid-regulated gene expression is a general property of viral suppressors of RNA silencing but only partly explains virus-induced changes in plant–aphid interactions. J Gen Virol,

Schweizer, F., Fernández-Calvo, P., Zander, M., Glauser, G., Diez Diaz, M., Fonseca, S., Glauser, G., Lewsey, M.G., Ecker, J.R., Solano, R., Reymond, P. (2013). Arabidopsis basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors MYC2, MYC3, and MYC4 regulate glucosinolate biosynthesis, insect performance, and feeding behaviour. Plant Cell, doi: 1105/ tpc. 113. 115139.

Schmitz, R.J., Schultz, M.D., Lewsey, M.G., O’Malley, R.C., Urich, M.A., Libiger, O., Schork, N.J., Ecker, J.R., (2011). Transgenerational epigenetic instability is a source of novel methylation variants. Science 334, 369-373.

Ziebell, H., Murphy A.M., Westwood, J.H., Groen, S.C., Tungadi, T., Lewsey, M.G., Kleczkowski, A., Moulin, M., Smith, A.G., Stevens, M., Powell, G., Carr, J.P. (2011). Cucumber mosaic virus and its 2b RNA silencing suppressor modify plant-aphid interactions in tobacco. Sci. Rep. 1, 187.

Harvey, J.J.W., Lewsey, M.G., Patel, K, Westwood, J., Heimstädt, S., Carr, J.P., Baulcombe, D.C. (2011). An antiviral defense role of AGO2 in plants. PLoS ONE 6, e14639.

Lewsey, M.G., Murphy, A.M., MacLean, D., Dalchau, N., Westwood, J.H., Macaulay, K., Bennet, M., Moulin, M., Hanke, D.E., Powell, G., Smith, A.G., Carr, J.P. (2010).  Disruption of two defensive signaling pathways by a viral RNA silencing suppressor. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 23, 835-845.

González, I., Martínez, L., Rakitina, D.V., Lewsey, M.G., Atienzo, F., Llave, C., Kalinina, N.O., Carr, J.P., Palukaitis, P. and Canto, T. (2010).  Cucumber mosaic virus 2b protein subcellular targets and interactions: their significance to its RNA silencing suppressor activity. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 23, 294-303.

Lewsey, M.G., Carr, J.P. (2009). Effects of DICER-like proteins 2, 3 and 4 on cucumber mosaic virus and tobacco mosaic virus infections in salicylic acid-treated plants. J Gen Virol 90, 3010-3014.

Lewsey, M., Palukaitis, P., Carr, J.P. (2009). Plant-virus interactions: defence and counter-defence. In: Parker, J. (Eds.), Molecular aspects of plant disease resistance. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, U.K., pp. 134-176.

Lewsey, M., Surette, M., Robertson, F.C., Ziebell, H., Choi, S.H., Ryu, K.H., Canto, T., Palukaitis, P., Payne, T., Walsh, J.A., Carr, J.P. (2009). The role of the cucumber mosaic virus 2b protein in viral movement and symptom induction. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 22, 642-654.

Lewsey, M., Robertson, F.C., Canto, T., Palukaitis, P., Carr, J.P. (2007). Selective targeting of miRNA-regulated plant development by a viral counter-silencing protein. Plant J 50, 240-252.