Prof Dale Sanders

John Innes Centre

Project Leader
Metabolic Biology

My research focusses on how plant cells respond to changes in their environment and how they store the nutrients they acquire. In particular, my laboratory works on how transport of chemical elements across cell membranes in plants is integrated with cellular signalling and nutritional status.

Plant transport systems have key roles in the control of crucial crop traits such as nutritional value of foods, seed germination, the response to drought conditions and how plants cope with toxic compounds in the soil.

Zinc deficiency is thought to impact on 30% of the world’s population, due in part, to the near absence of the metal in cereal endosperm.  Work in my laboratory on the characterisation of novel cation diffusion facilitators in Arabidopsis and cereals involved in the transport of zinc is identifying a bio-fortification strategy to enrich the endosperm in this heavy metal.

Nutrient accumulation in plant vacuoles is energised by a proton-motive force established by two types of phosphohydrolase: an ATPase and an inorganic pyrophosphatase.  We are unravelling the distinct roles in nutrient acquisition played by these two classes of enzyme.

I have authored over 140 scientific papers, many of which have been highly cited and in 2001 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and co-awarded the European Science Prize of the Körber Foundation.

John Innes Centre's submission to inquiry into the UK government's science budget

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John Innes Centre to become Employer Champion for UK Science Council

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Plant scientists and microbiologists ask: “What’s important to you?”

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Become a John Innes Centre Trustee Director

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Selected Publications

Schroeder J. I., Delhaize E., Frommer W. B., Guerinot M. L., Harrison M. J., Herrera-Estrella L., Horie T., Kochian L. V., Munns R., Nishizawa N. K., Tsay Y. F., Sanders D. (2013)

Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production.

Nature 497 p60-6

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/nature11909

Podar D., Scherer J., Noordally Z., Herzyk P., Nies D., Sanders D. (2012)

Metal selectivity determinants in a family of transition metal transporters.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 287 p3185-96

Publisher’s version: 10.1074/jbc.M111.305649

Dodd A. N., Kudla J., Sanders D. (2010)

The language of calcium signaling.

Annual Review of Plant Biology 61 p593-620

Publisher’s version: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-070109-104628

Uelker B., Peiter E., Dixon D. P., Moffat C., Capper R., Bouche N., Edwards R., Sanders D., Knight H., Knight M. R. (2008)

Getting the most out of publicly available T-DNA insertion lines

Plant Journal 56 p665-677

Whiteman S. A., Nuhse T. S., Ashford D. A., Sanders D., Maathuis F. J. M. (2008)

A proteomic and phosphoproteomic analysis of Oryza sativa plasma membrane and vacuolar membrane

Plant Journal 56 p146-156

Recent Publications

Charpentier M., Sun J., Martins T. V., Radhakrishnan G. V., Findlay K., Soumpourou E., Thouin J., Véry A. A., Sanders D., Morris R. J., Oldroyd G. E. (2016)

Nuclear-localized cyclic nucleotide-gated channels mediate symbiotic calcium oscillations.

Science 352 p1102-5

Publisher’s version: 10.1126/science.aae0109

Patron N. J., Orzaez D., Marillonnet S., Warzecha H., Matthewman C., Youles M., Raitskin O., Leveau A., Farré G., Rogers C., Smith A., Hibberd J., Webb A. A., Locke J., Schornack S., Ajioka J., Baulcombe D. C., Zipfel C., Kamoun S., Jones J. D., Kuhn H., Robatzek S., Van Esse H. P., Sanders D., Oldroyd G., Martin C., Field R., O'Connor S., Fox S., Wulff B., Miller B., Breakspear A., Radhakrishnan G., Delaux P. M., Loqué D., Granell A., Tissier A., Shih P., Brutnell T. P., Quick W. P., Rischer H., Fraser P. D., Aharoni A., Raines C., South P. F., Ané J. M., Hamberger B. R., Langdale J., Stougaard J., Bouwmeester H., Udvardi M., Murray J. A., Ntoukakis V., Schäfer P., Denby K., Edwards K. J., Osbourn A., Haseloff J. (2015)

Standards for plant synthetic biology: a common syntax for exchange of DNA parts.

New Phytologist 208 p1319

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/nph.13532

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

Publisher’s version: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00053

Dodd A. N., Kudla J., Sanders D. (2010)

The language of calcium signalling

Annual Reviews in Plant Biology 61 p593-620

Peiter E., Sun J., Heckmann A. B., Venkateshwaran M., Riely B. K., Otegui M. S., Edwards A., Freshour G., Hahn M. G., Cook D. R., Sanders D., Oldroyd G. E. D., Downie J. A., Ane J. M. (2007)

The Medicago trunculata DMI1 protein modulates cytosolic calcium signaling

Plant Physiology 145 p192-203

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