Dr Steve Penfield
Seeds are the largest source of human and animal nutrition on the planet, and seed sales are central to the agro-economy. Optimising seed performance is therefore a key goal for the seed industry, growers and food producers. Because seed vigour is highly contingent on the temperature during seed production, climate change is a major confounding factor for future production of resilient high quality seeds.
As seed biologists, we are interested in understanding how environmental sensing in seeds generates seasonal plant behaviour and crop seed performance. My group’s focus is on understanding how environmental information gathered by the mother plant is used to control progeny seed traits and life history, via seed dormancy and germination vigour.
Using this knowledge we are devising and testing strategies to engineer crop seeds to be less sensitive to the seed production environment. Working with industrial partners we are to taking novel germplasm through to field trials to evaluate potential for genetic seed quality improvement.
Dr Steve Penfield to lead research for more vigorous seedsread more
Scientists discover why flowers bloom earlier in a warming climateread more
Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/erw436 pdoi:10.1093/jxb/erw436
Publisher’s version: 10.1093/jxb/erw436
Journal of Experimental Botany 67 p2277-84
Publisher’s version: 10.1093/jxb/erw028
Analysis of plant leaf metabolites reveals no common response to insect herbivory by Pieris rapae in three related host-plant species.
Journal of Experimental Botany 66 p2547-56
Publisher’s version: 10.1093/jxb/erv045
Journal of Experimental Botany 66 p1661-71
Publisher’s version: 10.1093/jxb/erv022
Flowering time and seed dormancy control use external coincidence to generate life history strategy.
eLife 4 p05557
Publisher’s version: 10.7554/eLife.05557
- Dr Min Chen Postdoctoral Scientist
- Matthew Dale Undergraduate Project Student
- Isabelle Camu Postgraduate Student
- Dr Nick Pullen Postdoctoral Scientist
- Naichao Zhang Research Assistant
- Carmel O'Neill Research Assistant
- Dr Dana MacGregor Postdoctoral Scientist
- Dr Albor Dobon Alonso Postdoctoral Scientist
- Dr Joyita Deb Postdoctoral Scientist
- Dr FeiYian Yoong Postdoctoral Scientist