John Innes Centre

Dr Cristobal Uauy

Lab MembersExpand lab members list

Related links

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2001 B.Sc Agricultural Engineer, Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile
  • 2007 PhD in Genetics, University of California at Davis, USA
  • 2007-2008 Post-doctoral Scholar, University of California at Davis, USA
  • 2009- Project Leader, John Innes Centre, UK
  • 2009- Visiting Research Fellow, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), UK

Cristobal Uauy

Project Leader

Crop Genetics

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)1603 450195
cristobal.uauy@jic.ac.uk

Research interests

The study of quantitative variation is of special interest to agricultural scientists since it tries to explain the variation and inheritance of many of the most important traits related to food and fiber production (e.g. yield, nutritional value, etc). These traits are characterized by their large environmental dependency and the multiple genes controlling them (known as quantitative trait loci (QTL)). The genetic architecture of QTL has been extensively described in the last decade with the publication of thousands of QTL studies. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these traits are not well understood since there are a limited number of plant QTL in which the gene underlying the trait has been cloned.

Wheat offers the unique opportunity to work with a crop that has profound social and economical importance. It accounts for roughly 20% of the calories we consume and is an important food item across countries and cultures.

Our work seeks to identify genes underlying wheat QTL with significant agronomic impact and facilitate their effective deployment into modern breeding varieties. Using map-based cloning we have been able to identify genes that determine QTL for complex traits such as senescence and grain nutrient content (Uauy et al. 2006) as well as broad-race resistance to stripe rust (Uauy et al. 2005; Fu et al. 2009). In addition we have developed two TILLING populations in tetraploid and hexaploid wheat as reverse genetics resource that will hopefully enable more researchers to pursue wheat functional genomics and provide novel allelic diversity for wheat improvement (work done with Jorge Dubcovsky and Luca Comai at UC Davis).

Our long-term goal is to reduce the threshold for gene cloning in this polyploidy species and provide a pipeline for the identification of genes for wheat breeders. 

We are currently using molecular genetics approaches to:

  • identify the genes responsible for key yield QTLs in UK wheat germplasm,
  • develop genetic resources to enable effective translational research from model systems to crop species,
  • enhance the pipeline to translate this new knowledge into improved wheat varieties for growers, industry and consumers.

As part of this effort, I am a member of the alliance between the John Innes Centre and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) at Cambridge for pre-competitive germplasm improvement. 

Selected Publications

Uauy C., Paraiso F., Colasuonno P., Tran R., Tsai H., Berardi S., Comai L., Dubcosvky J. (2009)
A modified TILLING approach to detect induced mutations in tetraploid and hexaploid wheat
BMC Plant Biology 9 Art: 115
Fu D., Uauy C., Blechl A., Dubcovsky J. (2007)
RNA interference for wheat functional gene analysis.
Transgenic Research 16 (6) 689-701
DOI:10.1007/s11248-007-9150-7
Distelfeld A., Uauy C., Fahima T., Dubcovsky J. (2006)
Physical map of the wheat high-grain protein content gene Gpc-B1 and development of a high-throughput molecular marker.
New Phytologist 169 (4) 753-63
DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2005.01627.x
Uauy C., Brevis J. C., Dubcovsky J. (2006)
The high grain protein content gene Gpc-B1 accelerates senescence and has pleiotropic effects on protein content in wheat.
Journal of Experimental Botany 57 (11) 2785-94
DOI:10.1093/jxb/erl047
Uauy C., Distelfeld A., Fahima T., Blechl A., Dubcovsky J. (2006)
A NAC Gene regulating senescence improves grain protein, zinc, and iron content in wheat.
Science 314 (5803) 1298-301
DOI:10.1126/science.1133649
Uauy C., Brevis J. C., Chen X., Khan I., Jackson L., Chicaiza O., Distelfeld A., Fahima T., Dubcovsky J. (2005)
High-temperature adult-plant (HTAP) stripe rust resistance gene Yr36 from Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides is closely linked to the grain protein content locus Gpc-B1.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 112 (1) 97-105
DOI:10.1007/s00122-005-0109-x
Distelfeld A., Uauy C., Olmos S., Schlatter A. R., Dubcovsky J., Fahima T. (2004)
Microcolinearity between a 2-cM region encompassing the grain protein content locus Gpc-6B1 on wheat chromosome 6B and a 350-kb region on rice chromosome 2
Functional and Integrative Genomics 4 (1) 59-66
DOI:10.1007/s10142-003-0097-3

Recent Publications

Borrill P., Connorton J., Balk J., Miller T., Sanders D., Uauy C. (2014)
Biofortification of wheat grain with iron and zinc: integrating novel genomic resources and knowledge from model crops
Frontiers in Plant Science 5 (53)
DOI:10.3389/fpls.2014.00053
Bryant R. M., McGrann G. R. D., Mitchell A. R., Schoonbeek H., Boyd L. A., Uauy C., Dorling S., Ridout C. (2014)
A change in temperature modulates defence to yellow (stripe) rust in wheat line UC1041 independently of resistance gene Yr36
BMC Plant Biology 14 10
DOI:doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-10
Adamski N. M., Bush M. S., Simmonds J., Turner A. S., Mugford S. G., Jones A., Findlay K., Pedentchouk N., von Wettstein-Knowles P., Uauy C. (2013)
The Inhibitor of wax 1 locus (Iw1) prevents formation of ß- and OH-ß-diketones in wheat cuticular waxes and maps to a sub-cM interval on chromosome arm 2BS.
Plant Journal
DOI:10.1111/tpj.12185
Adamski N. M., Bush M. S., Simmonds J., Turner A. S., Mugford S. G., Jones A., Findlay K., Pedentchouk N., von Wettstein-Knowles P., Uauy C. (2013)
The inhibitor of wax 1 locus (Iw1) prevents formation of ß- and OH-ß-diketones in wheat cuticular waxes and maps to a sub-cM interval on chromosome arm 2BS.
Plant Journal 74 (6) 989-1002
DOI:10.1111/tpj.12185
Bevan M. W., Uauy C. (2013)
Genomics reveals new landscapes for crop improvement.
Genome Biology 14 (6) 206
DOI:10.1186/gb-2013-14-6-206
Hazard B., Zhang X., Colasuonno P., Uauy C., Beckles D., Dubcovsky J. (2013)
Induced mutations in the SBE genes increase amylose and resistant starch content in durum wheat
Crop Science 52 1754-1766
Jones H., Gosman N., Horsnell R., Rose G. A., Everest L. A., Bentley A. R., Tha S., Uauy C., Kowalski A., Novoselovic D., Simek R., Kobiljski B., Kondic-Spika A., Brbaklic L., Mitrofanova O., Chesnokov Y., Bonnett D., Greenland A. (2013)
Strategy for exploiting exotic germplasm using genetic, morphological, and environmental diversity: the Aegilops tauschii Coss. example.

DOI:10.1007/s00122-013-2093-x
Krasileva K. V., Buffalo V., Bailey P., Pearce S., Ayling S., Tabbita F., Soria M., Wang S., Consortium I., Akhunov E., Uauy C., Dubcovsky J. (2013)
Separating homeologs by phasing in the tetraploid wheat transcriptome.
Genome Biology 14 (6) R66
DOI:10.1186/gb-2013-14-6-r66
Krasileva K. V., Buffalo V., Bailey P., Pearce S., Ayling S., Tabbita F., Soria M., Wang S., Consortium I., Akhunov E., Uauy C., Dubcovsky J. (2013)
Separating homeologs by phasing in the tetraploid wheat transcriptome.
Genome Biology 14 (6) R66
DOI:10.1186/gb-2013-14-6-r66
Allen A., Barker G. L. A., Wilkinson P., Burridge A., Winfield M., Coghill J., Uauy C., Griffiths S., Jack P., Berry S., Werner P., Melichar J. P. E., McDougall J., Gwilliam R., Robinson P., Edwards K. J. (2012)
Discovery and development of exome-based, co-dominant single nucleotide polymorphism markers in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Plant Biotechnology Journal 11 279
DOI:10.1111/pbi.12009
Distelfeld A., Pearce S. P., Avni R., Scherer B., Uauy C., Piston F., Slade A., Zhao R., Dubcovsky J. (2012)
Divergent functions of orthologous NAC transcription factors in wheat and rice.
Plant Molecular Biology
DOI:10.1007/s11103-012-9881-6
Gooding M. J., Uppal R. K., Addisu M., Harris K. D., Uauy C., Simmonds J. R., Murdoch A. J. (2012)
Reduced height alleles (Rht) and Hagberg falling number of wheat
Journal of Cereal Science 55 (3) 305-311
Trick M., Adamski N. M., Mugford S. G., Jiang C. C., Febrer M., Uauy C. (2012)
Combining SNP discovery from next-generation sequencing data with bulked segregant analysis (BSA) to fine-map genes in polyploid wheat.
BMC Plant Biology 12 (1) 14
DOI:10.1186/1471-2229-12-14
Wang T. L., Uauy C., Robson F., Till B. (2012)
TILLING in extremis.
Plant Biotechnology Journal 10 (7) 761-72
DOI:10.1111/j.1467-7652.2012.00708.x