Dr Philippa BorrillGroup Leader Designing Future Wheat, Genes in the Environment
The Borrill group focuses on understanding the wheat genome to improve the nutritional value of wheat grain.
They study wheat, which is a staple food for billions of people around the world.
Although wheat is mainly considered to be a source of calories, it also provides protein and micronutrients in the human diet. The levels of key micronutrients such as iron and zinc are low in wheat grains.
The group’s aim is to improve the nutritional value of wheat grain by harnessing the genetic potential of this polyploid crop.
Their research addresses two main questions:
- Which genes control wheat grain nutrient content?
- How are physical characteristics determined in crops with polyploid genomes?
Wheat is a polyploid species, therefore it has multiple copies of each gene, known as homoeologs. In general, it is not known if these copies have the same or different biological roles.
If the homoeologs have the same biological role then all the homoeologs would need to be targeted for crop improvement.
Therefore the group aims to understand how homoeologs influence wheat biology and to use this knowledge to improve the nutrient content of wheat.
To do this they use a wide range of techniques: from genetics, genomics and bioinformatics to greenhouse and field experiments.
Andleeb T, Knight E, Borrill (2022)Wheat NAM genes regulate the majority of early monocarpic senescence transcriptional changes including nitrogen remobilisation genes.G3 Genes|Genomes|GeneticsPublisher's version: 2160-1836
Borrill P, Mago R, Xu T, Ford B, Williams SJ, Derkx A, Bovill WD, Hyles J, Bhatt D, Xia X, MacMillan C, White R, Buss W, Molnár I, Walkowiak S, Olsen OA, Doleel J, Pozniak CJ, Spielmeyer (2022)An autoactive NB-LRR gene causes Rht13 dwarfism in wheat.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of AmericaPublisher's version: 0027-8424
Evans CEB, Ramesh A, Borrill (2022)Transcription factor retention through multiple polyploidisation steps in wheat.G3 (Bethesda, Md.)Publisher's version: 2160-1836
Mentoring and training the next generation of leading wheat researchers is a top priority of the Borrill Lab, providing0 a supportive, intellectually stimulating and inclusive environment for the team.
If you are looking to join the lab as as a post-doc email your CV and a cover letter describing your past and future research, career goals, what you hope to get out of the Borrill Lab and what you would bring to the group. Experience in bioinformatics and genomics is desirable.
Applications from home and international students for potential PhD projects with students who have obtained or seek to obtain their own funding source are welcome. Get in touch to discuss potential projects and applications by emailing your CV and a brief statement describing your research/career goals. The Borrill lab also offers projects to Masters and BSc students.
If you are a student looking to visit a lab for three to 12 months to fulfil the requirements of an undergraduate or master’s thesis or as part of Erasmus+, email your CV and a brief statement about your research/career goals.