Prof Giles Oldroyd

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

The ability to take up mineral nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, is generally the major limitation to plant growth. Because of this farmers apply nitrogen and phosphorus through fertiliser application to promote crop growth. Sustained yields are dependent on this fertiliser application, but it comes at a high price, both in the cost of the fertiliser and the environmental damage that results from its use. 

A number of plant species have evolved beneficial interactions with micro-organisms that facilitate the uptake of these nutrients. Legumes form symbiotic interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi that facilitate phosphate uptake and with rhizobial bacteria that provide the plant with a source of nitrogen. The establishment of these symbioses involves a conserved symbiosis signalling pathway. This signalling pathway is present in most plant species, including cereals, as the arbuscular mycorrhizal association is widespread. 

Our work focuses on understanding the signalling mechanisms that allow the associations with these beneficial micro-organisms and the use of this information to transfer the nitrogen-fixing capability from legumes to cereal crops. Our work has implications for global agriculture, but we are most interested in the application of our work to benefit small-holder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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Recent Publications

Delaux P. M., Radhakrishnan G. V., Jayaraman D., Cheema J., Malbreil M., Volkening J. D., Sekimoto H., Nishiyama T., Melkonian M., Pokorny L., Rothfels C. J., Sederoff H. W., Stevenson D. W., Surek B., Zhang Y., Sussman M. R., Dunand C., Morris R. J., Roux C., Wong G. K., Oldroyd G. E., Ané J. M. (2015)

Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1515426112

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

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/nph.13532

Granqvist E., Sun J., Op den Camp R., Pujic P., Hill L., Normand P., Morris R. J., Downie J. A., Geurts R., Oldroyd G. E. (2015)

Bacterial-induced calcium oscillations are common to nitrogen-fixing associations of nodulating legumes and nonlegumes.

New Phytologist

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/nph.13464

Delaux P. M. D., Radhakrishnan G. V. R., Oldroyd G. E. O. (2015)

Tracing the evolutionary path to nitrogen-fixing crops

Current Opinion in Plant Biology 26 p95-99

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.pbi.2015.06.003

Sun J., Miller J. B., Granqvist E., Wiley-Kalil A., Gobbato E., Maillet F., Cottaz S., Samain E., Venkateshwaran M., Fort S., Morris R. J., Ané J. M., Dénarié J., Oldroyd G. E. (2015)

Activation of symbiosis signaling by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in legumes and rice.

Plant Cell 27 (3) p823-38

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.114.131326

View All

Giles Oldroyd

  • Dr Irina Demina Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Katharina Schiessl Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Pierre-Marc Delaux Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Hikota Miyazawa Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Akira Akamatsu Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Ioannis Tamvakis Researcher
  • Aisling Cooke Postgraduate Student
  • Doreen Feike Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Guillaume Ravaux Support Specialist
  • Dr Jongho Sun Research Assistant
  • Sylvia Singh Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Myriam Charpentier Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Jose Nuno De Araujo Leitao Postgraduate Student
  • Jian Feng Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Feng Feng Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Jodi Lilley Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Leonie Luginbuehl Postgraduate Student
  • Dr Ben Miller Visiting Worker
  • Dr Ponraj Paramasivan Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Guru Vighnesh Radhakrishnan Postgraduate Student
  • Matt Heaton Support Specialist


Thomson Reuters Top 1% Highly Cited Researcher, 2014

European Research Council Young Investigator, 2009 - present

President's Medal, Society of Experimental Biology, 2006

European Molecular Biology Organisation Young Investigator Award, 2005-08

Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, 2002-05

BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, 2002-07


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