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matthew paul


Dr Matthew Paul

Plant Scientist

Sustainable Soils and Crops

Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ
+44 (0) 1582 938 230
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Matthew is a passionate, enthusiastic scientist and leader. He focuses on excellence, originality, translation and impact; and he aims to initiate, inspire, lead and champion fundamental plant and crop science research for transformational yield improvements. Matthew is currently focused on a central mechanism that regulates sucrose allocation in plants and crops because of the importance of the fundamental science and the opportunities this presents for crop yield improvement. With external funding, the lab has pioneered the trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) sugar signalling system since 1999 as a means to improve and combine crop yield potential with abiotic resilience. We have collaborated with the University of Oxford (BBSRC funded) and Syngenta to improve both wheat and maize yields through chemical intervention (Griffiths et al. 2016 Nature) and genetic modification (Nuccio et al. 2015 Nature Biotechnology) of T6P signalling. These have produced yield improvements of between 20% (wheat) and 120% (maize drought in the field). In further BBSRC-funded work in collaboration with CIMMYT, we are seeking genetic variation in the trehalose pathway in wheat and its association with drought tolerance. Our vision is to further define and modify the sucrose homeostatic regulatory system for large improvements in global crops and environments through genetics and chemistry.

Strategic Programme

  • Designing Future Wheat (DFW)

Science Projects

  • Increasing wheat drought tolerance throughout the life cycle through regulation of plant growth mechanisms (SARIC)


  • PhD Plant Science, University of Leicester
  • BSc Agricultural Botany, University College of North Wales, Bangor

Measures of Esteem

  • Invited plenary speaker, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 2017
  • Invited plenary speaker, Gatsby Summer School 2017
  • Invited plenary speaker, James Hutton Institute 2017
  • BBSRC Committee B Pool of Experts 2016
  • Guest Professor, North Eastern Forestry University, Harbin, China
  • Associate Editor BMC Plant Biology
  • Consultant for industry and academia
  • PhD examiner