Prof Graham Moore

Programme Leader (Designing Future Wheat)
Crop Genetics

Graham’s research provides an understanding of chromosome pairing within wheat and enables the incorporation of genes from wild relatives into the wheat genome to provide beneficial traits for yield and resilience.

His research has focused on recombination within the cereals.

Graham is also working to understand the genes involved in the temperature sensitivity of meiosis which will be important for growing wheat in a warming environment. 

  • Wheat breeding
  • Genetic recombination in wheat and cereals
  • The effect of temperature on meiosis


Inducing chromosomes derived from different wheat varieties to recombine is fundamental to plant breeding. Fertility of polyploid species, such as many flowering plants, depends on pairing and recombination at meiosis occurring only between true homologous chromosomes. Pairing between the highly related, but more diverged homoeologous chromosomes also present does not produce fertile plants.

In hexaploid wheat, a single major locus (Ph1) ensures that chromosome pairing and recombination at meiosis is restricted to true homologues. Investigating the mechanism of Ph1 provides novel insights into the control and regulation of homologue recognition and crossover. To this end, Graham's group developed the concept of cereal synteny and applied this to characterize the Ph1 locus. At the same time, in collaboration with Peter Shaw, they have been applying cell biology approaches to investigate the Ph1 mechanism.

The group is also involved in understanding the effect of temperature on wheat meiosis, and its subsequent effect on seed set; and in characterizing the gametocidal locus, which is involved in inducing chromosome fragmentation during pollen mitosis.

Professor Graham Moore recognised for exceptional contribution to wheat research

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New wheat genome sequence assembly is most accurate and complete to date

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WISP course on Wheat Genetics 2015

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Uncovered, the mystery of exchanging genes with wild relatives

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Selected Publications

Rey M. D., Martin A. C., Smedley M., Hayta S., Harwood W., Shaw P., Moore G. (2018)

Magnesium Increases Homoeologous Crossover Frequency During Meiosis in ZIP4 (Ph1 Gene) Mutant Wheat-Wild Relative Hybrids

Frontiers in Plant Science NA pNA

Publisher’s version: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00509

Rey M. D., Martin A., Higgins J., Swarbreck D., Uauy C., Shaw P., Moore G. (2017)

Exploiting the ZIP4 homologue within the wheat Ph1 locus has identified two lines exhibiting homoeologous crossoverin wheat-wild relative hybrids

Molecular Breeding 37 p95

Publisher’s version: 10.1007/s11032-017-0700-2

Martin A. C., Rey D. R., Shaw P., Moore G. (2017)

Dual effect of the wheat Ph1 locus on chromosome synapsis and crossover

Chromosoma 126 p669-680

Publisher’s version: 10.1007/s00412-017-0630-0

Moore G. (2015)

Strategic pre-breeding for wheat improvement

Nature Plants 1 p15018

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/NPLANTS.2015.18

Martin A., Shaw P., Phillips D., Reader S., Moore G. (2014)

Licensing MLH1 sites for crossover during meiosis

Nature Communications 5 p5580

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/ncomms5580

Recent Publications

Watson A., Ghosh S., Williams M., Cuddy W. S., Simmonds J., Santome M. -. D., Hatta M. A. M., Hinchliffe A., Steed A., Reynolds D., Adamski N., Breakspear A., Korolev A., Rayner T., Dixon L. E., Riaz A., Martin W., Ryan M., Edwards D., Batley J., Raman H., Rogers C., Domoney C., Moore G., Harwood W., Nicholson P., Dieters M. J., DeLacy I. H., Zhou J., Uauy C., Boden S. A., Park R. F., Wulff B. B. H., Hickey L. T. (2018)

Speed breeding: a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding

Nature Plants

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/s41477-017-0083-8

Draeger T., Moore G. (2017)

Short periods of high temperature during meiosis prevent normal meiotic progression and reduce grain number in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik N/A pN/A

Publisher’s version: 10.1007/s00122-017-2925-1

Knight E., Binnie A. C., Draeger T., Moscou M. D., Rey M. D., Sucher J., Mehra S., King I., Moore G. (2015)

Mapping the ‘breaker’ element of the gametocidal locus proximal to a block of sub-telomeric heterochromatin on the long arm of chromosome 4Ssh of Aegilops sharonensis

Theoretical and Applied Genetics 128 p10.1007/s00122-015-2489-x

Publisher’s version: 10.1007/s00122-015-2489-x

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Graham Moore


Royal Society Darwin Medal (jointly with Professor Mike Gale), 1998


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