Metabolic Biology

The Metabolic Biology department at the John Innes Centre carries out research into fundamental aspects of plant metabolism within the broader remit of increasing our knowledge of plant biology.

We study;

  • the relationship between plant metabolism and plant growth and productivity
  • the diversity of compounds made by plants
  • how and why plants make such an elaborate array of compounds
  • how the synthesis of individual compounds within a closely-related family is controlled

This paves the way in harnessing the potential of plants for the production of food, animal feed and pharmaceuticals, as well as promoting health, good nutrition, food security and a sustainable agriculture.

In the course of our research, we learn how plant metabolism changes in response to environmental conditions and the mechanisms underpinning metabolic diversity.

Our research spans a wide range of disciplines, from biochemical genetics to computational and synthetic biology, and looks at both model and crop plants.

The impact of our research is evident in many areas; we produce ground-breaking fundamental insights into plant biochemistry and genetics, we present our research to public and specialist groups and relevant industries, we engage with breeders and end users within a wide portfolio of projects and we are committed to training programmes for young researchers, including undergraduate and postgraduate students.