Tailoring Plant Metabolism (ISP) Leader

Plant Sciences


Freddie's research focuses on targeted protein degradation in plants, in particular the N-end rule pathway. A combination of genetics, quantitative proteomics and conventional biochemistry is used to probe the functions and substrates of E3 ligases; the lab is also developing tools to measure protein lifetime in plants. We have a particular interest in protein turnover and oxygen sensing, with a long-term goal of improving flood tolerance in crops. Rothamsted Research is a centre of excellence for plant lipid metabolism, and the lab belongs to the Lipid Signalling and Metabolism "supergroup". We have expertise in peroxisomal transport proteins (especially ABC transporters) involved in lipid catabolism and have also identified novel regulators of lipid breakdown via genetic screens. Our discovery, that targeted protein degradation plays a role in the control of lipid metabolism, unites the two main research themes of the lab.


+44 (0) 1582 938 264


    Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ




      • 2008
        Verrier, P. J.,Bird, D.,Burla, B.,Dassa, E.,Forestier, C.,Geisler, M.,Klein, M.,Kolukisaoglu, U.,Lee, Youngsook,Martinoia, E.,Murphy, A.,Rea, P. A.,Samuels, L.,Shulz, B.,Spalding, E. J.,Yazaki, K.,Theodoulou, F. L.

        Plant ABC proteins - a unified nomenclature and updated inventory

        Trends in Plant Science 13 : pp.151-159
        doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.02.001

      • 2008
        Rensing, S. A.,Lang, D.,Zimmer, A. D.,Terry, A.,Salamov, A.,Shapiro, H.,Nishiyama, T.,Perroud, P-F.,Lindquist, E. A.,Kamisugi, Y.,Tanahashi, T.,Sakakibara, K.,Fujita, T.,Oishi, K.,Shin, T.,Kuroki, Y.,Toyoda, A.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Verrier, P. J.,Quatrano, R. S.,Boore, J. L.

        The Physcomitrella genome reveals evolutionary insights into the conquest of land by plants

        Science 319(5859) : pp.64-69
        doi: 10.1126/science.1150646

      • 2007
        Carrera, E.,Holman, T.,Medhurst, A.,Dietrich, D.,Footitt, S.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Holdsworth, M. J.

        Seed after-ripening is a discrete developmental pathway associated with specific gene networks in Arabidopsis

        Plant Journal 53 : pp.214-224
        doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03331.x

      • 2007
        Footitt, S.,Dietrich, D.,Fait, A.,Fernie, A. R.,Holdsworth, M. J.,Baker, A.,Theodoulou, F. L.

        The COMATOSE ATP-binding cassette transporter is required for full fertility in Arabidopsis

        Plant Physiology 144 : pp.1467-1480
        doi: 10.1104/pp.107.099903 Open Access

      • 2007
        Carrera, E.,Holman, T.,Medhurst, A.,Peer, W.,Schmuths, H.,Footitt, S.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Holdsworth, M. J.

        Gene expression profiling reveals defined functions of the ATP-binding cassette transporter COMATOSE late in phase II of germination

        Plant Physiology 143 : pp.1669-1679
        doi: 10.1104/pp.107.096057

      • 2006
        Rottensteiner, H.,Theodoulou, F. L.

        The ins and outs of peroxisomes: co-ordination of membrane transport and peroxisomal metabolism

        Biochimica et Biophysica Acts (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research 1763 : pp.1527-1540
        doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2006.08.012

      • 2006
        Mowla, S. B.,Cuypers, A.,Driscoll, S. P.,Kiddle, G.,Thomson, J.,Foyer, C. H.,Theodoulou, F. L.

        Yeast complementation reveals a role for an Arabidopsis thaliana late embryogenesis abundant (LEA)-like protein in oxidative stress tolerance

        Plant Journal 48 : pp.743-756
        doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02911.x

      • 2006
        Footitt, S.,Marquez, J.,Schmuths, H.,Baker, A.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Holdsworth, M.

        Analysis of the role of COMATOSE and peroxisomal beta-oxidation in the determination of germination potential in Arabidopsis

        Journal of Experimental Botany 57 : pp.2805-2814
        doi: 10.1093/jxb/erl045

      • 2006
        Baker, A.,Graham, I. A.,Holdsworth, M.,Smith, S. M.,Theodoulou, F. L.

        Chewing the fat: beta-oxidation in signalling and development

        Trends in Plant Science 11 : pp.124-132
        doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2006.01.005

      • 2006
        Theodoulou, F. L.,Holdsworth, M.,Baker, A.

        Peroxisomal ABC transporters

        FEBS Letters 580 : pp.1139-1155
        doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.12.095

      • 2005
        Bartoli, C. G.,Guiamet, J. J.,Kiddle, G.,Pastori, G. M.,Di Cagno, R.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Foyer, C. H.

        Ascorbate content of wheat leaves is not determined by maximal L-galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase (GalLDH) activity under drought stress

        Plant, Cell & Environment 28 : pp.1073-1081

      • 2005
        Theodoulou, F. L.,Job, K.,Slocombe, S. P.,Footitt, S.,Holdsworth, M.,Baker, A.,Larson, T. R.,Graham, I. A.

        Jasmonic acid levels are reduced in COMATOSE ATP-binding cassette transporter mutants. Implications for transport of jasmonate precursors into peroxisomes

        Plant Physiology 137 : pp.835-840

      • 2004
        Mittova, V.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Kiddle, G.,Volokita, M.,Tal, M.,Foyer, C. H.,Guy, M.

        Comparison of mitochondrial ascorbate peroxidase in the cultivated tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum , and its wild, salt-tolerant relative, L. pennellii - a role for matrix isoforms in protection against oxidative damage

        Plant, Cell & Environment 27 : pp.237-250

      • 2003
        Mittova, V.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Kiddle, G.,Gomez, L.,Volokita, M.,Tal, M.,Foyer, C. H.,Guy, M.

        Coordinate induction of glutathione biosynthesis and glutathione-metabolizing enzymes is correlated with salt tolerance in tomato

        FEBS Letters 554 : pp.417-421

      • 2003
        Lao, S-H.,Loutre, C.,Brazier, M.,Coleman, J. O. D.,Cole, D. J.,Edwards, R.,Theodoulou, F. L.

        3,4-Dichloroaniline is detoxified and exported via different pathways in Arabidopsis and soybean

        Phytochemistry 63 : pp.653-661

      • 2003
        Millar, A. H.,Mittova, V.,Kiddle, G.,Heazlewood, J. L.,Bartoli, C. G.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Foyer, C. H.

        Control of ascorbate synthesis by respiration and its implications for stress responses

        Plant Physiology 133 : pp.443-447

      • 2003
        Swarbreck, D.,Ripoll, P-J.,Brown, D. A.,Edwards, K. J.,Theodoulou, F. L.

        Isolation and characterisation of two multidrug resistance associated protein genes from maize

        Gene 315 : pp.153-164

      • 2003
        Theodoulou, F. L.,Clark, I. M.,He, X-L.,Pallett, K. E.,Cole, D. J.,Hallahan, D. L.

        Co-induction of glutathione-S-transferases and multidrug resistance associated protein by xenobiotics in wheat

        Pest Management Science 59 : pp.202-214

      • 2001
        Foyer, C. H.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Delrot, S.

        The functions of inter- and intracellular glutathione transport systems in plants

        Trends in Plant Science 6 : pp.486-492

      • 2000
        Zhou, J-J.,Trueman, L. J.,Boorer, K. J.,Theodoulou, F. L.,Forde, B. G.,Miller, A. J.

        A high affinity fungal nitrate carrier with two transport mechanisms

        Journal of Biological Chemistry 275 : pp.39894-39899


      Strategic programme

      • Tailoring Plant Metabolism (TPM)

      Science project

      • Cleavage of acyl-CoA by peroxisomal ABC subfamily D transporters in peroximes:mechansim and functional roles

      PhD project

      • Molecular characterisation of the plant N-end rule, a pathway of agricultural importance


      • 1992 - DPhil, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, UK
      • 1989 - BA (Hons), first class, Botany, University of Oxford, UK


      • 2015 - present - Honorary Professor (Plant Biochemistry), Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield
      • 2010 -present - Science Editor, The Biochemist, magazine of the Biochemical Society
      • Membership representative, Biochemical Society Awards Committee
      • Steering Committee and founding member, UK Plant Sciences Federation
      • External PhD Examiner for numerous UK and overseas universities