Prof Dale Sanders

Director of John Innes Centre
John Innes Centre

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

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

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

Whiteman S. A., Serazetdinova L., Jones A. M. E., Sanders D., Rathjen J., Peck S. C., Maathuis F. J. M. (2008)

Identification of novel proteins and phosphorylation sites in a tonoplast enriched membrane fraction of Arabidopsis thaliana

Proteomics 8 p3536-3547

Palmgren M. G., Clemens S., Williams L. E., Kraemer U., Borg S., Schjorring J. K., Sanders D. (2008)

Zinc biofortification of cereals: problems and solutions

Trends in Plant Science 13 p464-473

Recent Publications

Vincent T. R., Canham J., Toyota M., Avramova M., Mugford S. T., Gilroy S., Miller A. J., Hogenhout S., Sanders D. (2017)

Real-time In Vivo Recording of Arabidopsis Calcium Signals During Insect Feeding Using a Fluorescent Biosensor

JOVE 126 p56142

Publisher’s version: 10.3791/56142

Vincent T. R., Avramova M., Canham J., Higgins P., Bilkey N., Mugford S. T., Pitino M., Toyota M., Gilroy S., Miller A. J., Hogenhout S., Sanders D. (2017)

Interplay of plasma membrane and vacuolar ion channels, together with BAK1, elicits rapid cytosolic calcium elevations in Arabidopsis during aphid feeding.

Plant Cell Epub ahead of print pEpub ahead of print

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.17.00136

Menguer P., Vincent T., Miller A. J., Brown J. K. M., Vincze E., Borg S., Holm P. B., Sanders D., Podar D. (2017)

Improving zinc accumulation in barley endosperm using HvMTP1, a transition metal transporter.

Plant Biotechnology Journal Plant Biotechnol J. 2017 Apr 24. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12749. [Epub ahead of print] pdoi: 10.1111/pbi.12749

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/pbi.12749

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 p13-9

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/nph.13532

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