Dr Scott Boden

Project Leader
Crop Genetics

Scott’s research, in wheat, is focused on understanding how the structure of the inflorescence is controlled by both genetic and environmental factors.

Scott has identified mutants from a TILLING population to investigate the developmental pathways which influence the formation of floral branches called spikelets, and how these impact upon wheat yield. This includes research into both flowering time genes and hormonal control which play a role in inflorescence development.

  • Wheat spike development for improved yield
  • Genetic control of paired spikelets
  • Environmental influences on flowering


The group are particularly interested in the pathways that regulate development of wheat spikelets, which are reproductive branches of the inflorescence that contain grain-producing florets.

To investigate these pathways, they are examining novel spikelet arrangements in wheat, including paired spikelets, which are characterised by the development of two spikelets at single node, rather than the typical single spikelet. This research includes analysis of flowering-time genes that influence spikelet architecture, and the contribution of hormones to inflorescence development.

This research has the ultimate aim of increasing grain yield by optimizing spikelet architecture and the duration of inflorescence development. They hope to use this work to translate important research outcomes from model plants into wheat, and to improve our understanding of the comparative biology of inflorescence architecture amongst the major cereal crops including wheat, rice, maize and barley. 

Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops

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Dr Scott Boden awarded a University Research Fellowship from the Royal Society

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Scott Boden joins the John Innes Centre

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Selected Publications

Dixon L. E., Farre A., Finnegan E. J., Orford S., Griffiths S., Boden S. A. (2018)

Developmental responses of bread wheat to changes in ambient temperature following deletion of a locus that includes FLOWERING LOCUS T1

Plant, Cell and Environment

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/pce.13130

Recent Publications

Dixon L. E., Greenwood J. R., Bencivenga S., Zhang P., Cockram J., Mellers G., Ramm K., Cavanagh C., Swain S. M., Boden S. A. (2018)

TEOSINTE BRANCHED1 Regulates Inflorescence Architecture and Development in Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum).

Plant Cell 30 p563-581

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.17.00961

Dixon L. E., Bencivenga S., Boden S. A. (2018)

A new opening for wheat seed production

Journal of Experimental Botany

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/jxb/erx430

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 4 p23-29

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

Serrano-Mislata A., Bencivenga S., Bush M., Schiessl K., Boden S., Sablowski R. (2017)

DELLA genes restrict inflorescence meristem function independently of plant height.

Nature plants Aug 21 2017 pdoi: 10.1038/s41477-017-0003-y

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/s41477-017-0003-y

Boden S. A. (2017)

How hormones regulate floral architecture in barley

Nature Genetics 49 p8-9

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/ng.3750

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