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|2010-||Professor of Crop Protection||Department of Biology, University of York|
|2010-||Chief Scientist||The Food and Environment Research Agency|
|2008-2010||Head of Biological Sciences||Durham University|
|1988-1991||Section Head||Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK|
|1986-1988||Group Leader||Schering Agrochemicals, Cambridge|
|1984-1986||Postdoctoral Research Associate||Royal Holloway|
|1981-1984||PhD||St. Mary's Hospital Medical School|
|1977-1981||BSc Biochemistry||Bath University|
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The major themes of our research programme are based around the enzymes responsible for the biotransformation of xenobiotics and secondary metabolites in plants to yield products with modified biological activities. Through the identification and functional characterization of these proteins, our research goals are to understand the integrated biosystem involved in xenobiotic detoxification in plants (the xenome) and establish its associated functions in endogenous metabolism and physiology. Areas of specialization include determining the role of the xenome in herbicide metabolism and selectivity in crops and weeds and using these enzyme systems for the metabolic engineering of plant and microbial secondary metabolism.
Our group is best known for our classification and functional genomic work with the plant glutathione transferases, which included the discovery of two new classes and the identification of their roles in the metabolism of herbicides in soybean, wheat, maize and of natural products in Arabidopsis. Most recently we have defined a new role for GSTs in mediating herbicide resistance in black-grass, a major weed of wheat. Other firsts for our group include the identification and structural elucidation of an N-glucosyltransferase which conjugates aniline pollutants and the isolation of herbicide bioactivating esterase’s in grass weeds and Arabidopsis. Collectively, these studies have advanced our understanding of the plant xenome and its role in controlling the biological activity of crop protection agents and natural products in both crops and weeds.
|Postdoctoral Fellow||Melissa Brazier-Hicks||Understanding the mode of action of herbicide safeners.|
|Federico Sabbadin||Biotransforming Phenylpropanoids derived from biorefining: A toolkit approach.|
|Research Student||David Wortley||
The role of glutathione transferases in multiple herbicide resistance in grass weeds.
Molecular diagnostics to counteract herbicide resistance in wild grasses.
|Research Student||Keir Sam Bailey||
Biotechnological applications for phenylpropanoids derived from biorefining.
|Research Administrator||Julia Crawford|