Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows

Plant Biology and Crop Science

To carry out world-class plant biology and crop science research that delivers new knowledge, innovation and practices that will increase crop productivity and quality and develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production.

Research in PBCS contributes to our Institute themes:

  • 20:20 Wheat®: Increasing wheat productivity to yield 20 tonnes per hectare in 20 years.
  • Cropping Carbon: Optimising carbon capture by grasslands and perennial energy crops, such as Willow, to help underpin the UK's transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Designing Seeds: Harnessing our expertise in seed biology and biochemistry to deliver improved health and nutrition through seeds.
  • Sustainable Systems: Designing, modelling and assessing sustainable agricultural systems that increase productivity while minimising environmental impact.

Research Teams

PHI-base

PHI-base, the Pathogen-Host Interaction database is an open access internet resource which provides information on pathogenicity, virulence and effector genes from different pathogens, where the contribution of the genes to pathogenicity has been experimentally tested. In addition, at the request of the international community, negative results obtained from well designed and executed experiments have been included. PHI-base also provides information on commercially used drug targets and variant pathogen gene sequences which lead to drug-resistance / drug insensitivity.

Take-all root disease

The aim of our work is to identify and characterise genetic solutions for the control of take-all disease in wheat. Take-all is a serious root disease of wheat which is a major constraint during consecutive wheat cropping. The disease is caused by the soil dwelling ascomycete fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici (Ggt) (Freeman & Ward, 2004). The fungus causes black necrotic lesions in the root tissue which restrict the uptake of water and nutrients from the soil (Figure 1).

Science Team

Head of Department
Dr Malcolm J Hawkesford

Deputy Head of Department
Dr Peter Eastmond

Departmental Secretary
Susan Steele

Departmental Administrator
Helen Jenkins

Project leads
Cell Walls: Rowan Mitchell, Till Pellny
Photosynthesis and Water Use Efficiency: John Andralojc
Plant Architecture: Andy Phillips, Peter Hedden, Stephen Thomas
Plant Nutrition: Malcolm Hawkesford, Peter Buchner
Plant Pathogens: Kim Hammond-Kosack, Kostya Kanyuka, Jon West
Wheat Quality: Peter Shewry
Oil Quality: Peter Eastmond, Smita Kurup, Alison Huttly
Wheat Transformation: Alison Huttly
Signalling: Nigel Halford
Metabolomics: Mike Beale, Jane Ward
Bioimaging: Smita Kurup
Sugar Beet: Belinda Townsend
 

Department Press Releases

Major pathogen of barley decoded: new avenues for control

Since the late 1990s, UK farmers growing barley have seen the yields and quality of their harvests hurt by an emerging disease called Ramularia leaf spot. The disease is caused by the pathogenic fungus Ramularia collo-cygni. Now a team of scientists studying this fungus have sequenced and explored its genome.

On the surface: genes identified that give wheat and barley their matte appearance

In young plants, you can sometimes distinguish cultivated wheat varieties from wild species by their colour. Wild wheat appears either glossy green or a matte bluish-grey, but cultivated varieties are almost always the latter. The bluish-grey colour comes from a waxy film thought to increase yields and protect the plant from environmental stress, particularly drought and diseases. The genes that produce the coating have long eluded researchers, but work by an international team has now revealed them.

Professor Peter Shewry awarded the Clyde H. Bailey Medal

Professor Peter Shewry has received the Clyde H. Bailey medal in recognition of his research into the development, structures and composition of the wheat grain. His work at Rothamsted Research focuses on improving wheat quality for human health, particularly on enhancing fibre and phenolic acid content, and performance in milling and bread-making. The medal recognises outstanding achievements in the service of cereal science and technology.

Indo-UK Centre for the improvement of Nitrogen use Efficiency in Wheat (INEW)

The Indo-UK Centre for the improvement of Nitrogen use Efficiency in Wheat (INEW) was launched today at the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (ICAR-IIWBR, Karnal, Haryana, India). The centre will generate new types of wheat with improved use of nitrogen, which can be used in breeding programmes in both countries, carrying out a joint research programme, developing shared technologies and facilities and providing training opportunities for early career scientists.

Unravelling the mechanism of chloroplast inheritance in wheat

Chloroplasts are important structures in plant cells that perform photosynthesis and mature from small precursors called plastids. Wheat, like many other plants, inherit their chloroplasts only from their mother via the egg cell. However, the mechanism that leads to this was not known. Scientists at Rothamsted Research and colleagues at the University of Manchester labelled plastids in wheat with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) and observed them in developing pollen grains. They show for the first time that plastids are degraded in mature sperm cells just prior to fertilization.

Scientists work to help wheat fend off Fusarium

The model plant Arabidopsis, infected by Fusarium, is used to advance understanding of how Fusarium infects wheat.  

Pages

Department People

title First Name Last Name Department Location
View Miss Mihaela Agova Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Ms Sulekha Ali Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr John Andralojc Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Matt Audley Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Laura Baggaley Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Caihong Bai Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Peter Barraclough Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Shib Basu Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Carlos Bayon Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Prof Michael Beale Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Alice Belliasai Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Nicholas Black Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Jeevan Bola Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr John Booth Plant Biology and Crop Science Brooms Barn
View Mr Clement Bouton Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Neil Brown Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Peter Buchner Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Gail Canning Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Elizabete Carmo-Silva Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr March Castle Agroecology, Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Alex Chambers-Ostler Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Antonin Chauveau Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Ms Anupama Chembath Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Nick Chichester-Miles Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Robert Clarke Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Aisling Clifford Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Delia Corol Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Tanya Curtis Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Alayne Cuzick Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mrs Clare Dale Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Matt Dale Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mrs Shaoli Das Gupta Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Claudia De Jesus Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Michele De Santis Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Tess Dilks Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Angela Doherty Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Imogen Durenkamp Plant Biology and Crop Science, Agroecology Harpenden
View Mr Clement Duvacher Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Peter Eastmond Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Bethany Ellis Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Matthew Evans Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Nick Evens Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Gilvan Ferreira Da Silva Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Miss Leanne Freeman Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection, Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Jacqueline Freeman Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Ms Catalina Fuentes Zenteno Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Mark Gardner Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Martin Gardner Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Yaoxiang Ge Plant Biology and Crop Science, Sustainable Soil and Grassland Systems
View Dr Irene Gonzalez-Thuillier Plant Biology and Crop Science, Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection Harpenden
View Mr Stephen Goward Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Philip Griffiths Business Information Services, Plant Biology and Crop Science North Wyke
View Dr Cara Griffiths Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Rui Guan Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Nigel Halford Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Georgina Halford Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Mike Hall Agroecology, Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Timothy Hall Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Kirstie Halsey Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Joshua Ham Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Michael Hammond-Kosack Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Prof Kim Hammond-Kosack Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Jillian Handley Business Information Services, Plant Biology and Crop Science North Wyke
View Dr Claudia Harflett Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Suzanne Harris Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Jamie Hawkesford Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Malcolm Hawkesford Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Prof Peter Hedden Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Clemence Henry Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Sandy Hey Plant Biology and Crop Science, Agroecology
View Miss Rebecca Holmes Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Ms Eleanor Horner Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Lucy Hunt Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Alison Huttly Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Lucy Hyde Plant Biology and Crop Science, Directorate Harpenden
View Ms Helen Jenkins Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Prof Huw Jones Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Agata Kaczmarek Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Chethana Kalleshappa Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Kostya Kanyuka Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Iryna Kanyuka Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Graeme Kettles Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Alfred Keys Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Ondrej Kosik Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Tracey Kruger Plant Biology and Crop Science, Agroecology Harpenden
View Dr Grzegorz Kulczycki Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Smita Kurup Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Ms Mollie Langdon Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Rebecca Lauder Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Prof Peter Lea Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Frederick Ledbury Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Sam Lee Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Young Nam Lee Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr David Lloyd Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Charlotte Lomax Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Alison Lovegrove Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr George Lund Plant Biology and Crop Science, Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection Harpenden
View Ms Yan Ma Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Miss Ana Machado Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Chris Mackay Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Damiano Martignago Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr George McCluskey Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Vanessa McMillan Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Guillaume Menard Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Adam Michalski Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Byoung Min Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Rowan Mitchell Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Andrew Moss Computational and Systems Biology, Plant Biology and Crop Science, Agroecology, Business Information Services, Sustainable Soil and Grassland Systems, Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection Harpenden
View Mr Joseph Moughan Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Olaya Munoz-Azcarate Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Laurie Neal Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Miss Rachel O'Neill Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Alessandro Occhialini Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Vilma Ortiz Cortes Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Miss Sarah-Jane Osborne Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Maria Oszvald Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection, Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Tim Parfitt Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Saroj Parmar Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Prof Martin Parry Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Archana Patil Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Alexandra Paul Plant Biology and Crop Science, Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection Harpenden
View Dr Matthew Paul Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Till Pellny Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Joao Pennacchi Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Alejandro Perdomo Lopez Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Sarah Perryman Computational and Systems Biology, Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Andy Phillips Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr David Phillips Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Michael Phillips Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Amy Plummer Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Megan Pownall Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Lucia Primavesi Plant Biology and Crop Science, Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection
View Dr Charukesi Rajulu Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Raphael Raverdy Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr Andrew Riche Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Amanda Riley Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Luis Robledo-Arratia Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Ms Anne Rossmann Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Jason Rudd Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Gianluca Ruvo Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Kasra Sabermanesh Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Pouria Sadeghi-Tehran Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Mr George Savill Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Ms Grace Scott Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Xiaohui Shan Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Prof Peter Shewry Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Zhiqiang Shi Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Ben Sibbett Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Ms Megan Singer Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Miss Caroline Sparks Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Melloney St. Leger Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Susan Steele Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr David Steele Plant Biology and Crop Science, Sustainable Soil and Grassland Systems, Agroecology Harpenden
View Miss Olivia Tasker Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Ahmed Tawfike Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Ms Marie Tewkesbury Business Information Services, Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Stephen Thomas Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Mohan Thotegowdanapalya Chandrashekarai Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Belinda Townsend Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Guillermo Ulibarri Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Martin Urban Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Harrie Van-Erp Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Ms Dalila Villano Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Nicolas Virlet Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Miss Catherine Walker Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Hannah Walpole Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Yongfang Wan Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mrs Aakriti Wanchoo-Kohli Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Jane Ward Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr Richard Washbrooke Plant Biology and Crop Science, Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection
View Prof Jon West Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Dr Mark Wilkinson Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Mr George Williams-Gunn Plant Biology and Crop Science Harpenden
View Miss Abby Wood Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Dr Qin Zhou Plant Biology and Crop Science
View Ms Claudia Zielke Plant Biology and Crop Science