Research in the Plant Biology addresses all the three global challenges that the Department of Biology has prioritised. Below are examples of how plant biology research benefits society. You will find further examples in the Impact pages.
|Impacting on health and disease|
P4FIFTY is an FP7 funded European Marie Curie Training network led from York consisting of academic and industrial researchers looking to develop enzymatic methods for green oxidation chemistry through the isolation, redesign and application of cytochrome P450 enzymes.
Sustainable Liquid Biofuels from Biorefining (SUNLIBB) integrates Brazilian expertise in sugar cane breeding and bioethanol process engineering with EU expertise in genomics, plant science and green chemistry to open the way for sustainable lignocellulosic bioethanol production.
PHYTOCAT Catalysing the recovery of metals. Researchers from the Departments of Biology and Chemistry are investigating how plants extract platinum group metals from soil and redeposit the metal as nanoparticles. They aim to develop a green method for extracting metals from mine tailings that are currently uneconomical to recover.
Professor Ian Bancroft, Professor of Plant Genomics: the ways in which plant genome evolution impacts trait variation in crops
Professor Dianna J Bowles, OBE, Emeritus: how plants respond and adapt to environmental stresses including both abiotic, such as physical injury, and biotic, such as pathogen challenge
Professor Neil Bruce, Professor of Biotechnology: metabolism of xenobotic compounds, particularly explosives and engineering plants for phytoremediation applications
Professor Seth J Davis, Professor of Plant Biology: the plant circadian system and stress adaptation derived as a clock output
Professor Alastair Fitter, OBE, FRS: plant and microbial behaviour in a changing world, including belowground ecology and functional ecology of roots and mycorrhizal symbioses
Professor Ian A Graham, Head of Department and Weston Chair of Biochemical Genetics: regulation of processes associated with seed germination and discovering and improving the production of high value chemicals in plants
Professor Sue Hartley, Director of York Environmental Sustainability Institute: interactions between plants and insect and mammalian herbivores as well as fungi and parasitic plants
Dr Angela Hodge, Reader: plant-soil-microbe interactions particularly those involving mycorrhizal fungi and nutrient cycling in soil systems
Dr Louise Jones, Lecturer: RNA biology and post-transcriptional control of gene expression
Dr Frans Maathuis, Reader: plant nutrition and stress, molecular mechanisms of ion uptake and translocation
Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, Director of the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) and Chair of Materials Biology: plant cell wall biology for second generation liquid biofuels and understanding extensibility
Dr Kelly Redeker, Lecturer: soil-plant-atmosphere system for exchange of nitrogen, sulfur, chlorine, bromine and iodine
Dr Michael Schultze, Lecturer: characterisation of genes involved in the development and functioning of arbuscular mycorrhizas
Dr Richard Waites, Lecturer: use of genetic and computational techniques to study how and why plants make leaves of different shapes
Fight against ash dieback
Molecular markers for tolerance of European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) to dieback disease identified using Associative Transcriptomics. Bancroft et al. 2016, Nature
Morphinan biosynthesis in opium poppy requires a P450-oxidoreductase fusion protein. Thilo Winzer et al. 2015, Science
Monodehydroascorbate reductase mediates TNT toxicity in plants. Emily Johnston et al. 2015, Science