Prof Richard Morris

Programme Leader (Plant Health)
Computational and Systems Biology

Plants can undergo striking developmental changes in response to biotic stimuli. We are interested in how the signaling and information flow is established between plants and microbes and in particular how the subsequent mechanical and developmental changes are coordinated. 

We employ mathematical and computational methods to help understand plant-microbe interactions. 

Main themes include calcium oscillations (1) and plant biomechanics (2). 

1) Legumes enter mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships with microbes to aid their nutritional demands. Calcium oscillations have been shown to be key for the activation of developmental changes associated with both bacteria and fungi. We wish to understand how these important signals and encoded and decoded. 

2) Stomata are pores formed by specialised cells on the leaf epidermis through which plants acquire carbon dioxide, release oxygen and evaporate water. Plants close stomata in the presence of pathogens to prevent infection. We wish to understand how plants control this biomechanical closure.

Selected Publications

Calderwood A., Kopriva S., Morris R. J. (2016)

Transcript Abundance Explains mRNA Mobility Data in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Plant Cell 28 p610-5

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.15.00956

Jaeger K. E., Pullen N., Lamzin S., Morris R. J., Wigge P. A. (2013)

Interlocking feedback loops govern the dynamic behavior of the floral transition in Arabidopsis.

Plant Cell 25 p820-33

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.113.109355

Granqvist E., Wysham D., Hazledine S., Kozlowski W., Sun J., Charpentier M., Vaz Martins T., Haleux P., Tsaneva-Atanasova K., Downie J. A., Oldroyd G. E., Morris R. J. (2012)

Buffering capacity explains signal variation in symbiotic calcium oscillations.

Plant Physiology 160 p2300-2310

Publisher’s version: 10.1104/pp.112.205682

Sambade A., Pratap A., Buschmann H., Morris R. J., Lloyd C. (2012)

The influence of light on microtubule dynamics and alignment in the Arabidopsis hypocotyl.

Plant Cell 24 p192-201

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.111.093849

Recent Publications

Norris M., Kwok C., Cheema J., Hartley M., Morris R., Aviran S., Ding Y. (2016)

FoldAtlas: a repository for genome-wide RNA structure probing data

Bioinformatics Sep 22 2016 p1-3

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw611

Vaz Martins T., Evans M. J., Wysham D. B., Morris R. J. (2016)

Nuclear pores enable sustained perinuclear calcium oscillations

BMC Systems Biology 10 p55

Publisher’s version: 10.1186/s12918-016-0289-9

Evans M. J., Choi W. G., Gilroy S., Morris R. J. (2016)

A ROS-Assisted Calcium Wave Dependent on the AtRBOHD NADPH Oxidase and TPC1 Cation Channel Propagates the Systemic Response to Salt Stress.

Plant Physiology 171 p1771-84

Publisher’s version: 10.1104/pp.16.00215

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

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., Winter Sederoff H., Stevenson D. W., Surek B., Zhang Y., Sussman M. R., Dunand C., Morris R. J., Roux C., Wong G. K. S., Oldroyd G. E. D., Ané J. M. (2015)

The algal ancestor of land plants was pre-adapted for symbiosis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 27 p3410-3424

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.15.00461

View All

Richard Morris

  • Dr Jitender Cheema Senior Scientist
  • Matthew Evans Postgraduate Student
  • Marc Jones Postgraduate Student
  • Dr Nick Pullen Postgraduate Student
  • Dr Teresa Vaz Martins Postdoctoral Training Fellow
  • Dr Hugh Woolfenden Postdoctoral Scientist


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