The Penfield group works to understand how weather and climate affect plant reproductive development and seed quality.
They are especially interested in the effects of temperature on crop yields, seed quality and seedling establishment.
Their work uses crop species from the Brassica family, especially oilseed rape (canola) and vegetable Brassicas, as well as model species such as Arabidopsis thaliana.
In this way they aim to understand precise mechanisms by which weather and climate affect crop performance, and consider strategies for increasing crop resilience, for instance using conventional plant breeding or genome editing techniques.
O'Neill C. M., Lu X., Calderwood A., Tudor E. H., Robinson P., Wells R., Morris R., Penfield S. (2019)Vernalization and Floral Transition in Autumn Drive Winter Annual Life History in Oilseed Rape.Current BiologyPublisher's version: 0960-9822
Brown J. K. M., Beeby R., Penfield S. (2019)Yield instability of winter oilseed rape modulated by early winter temperature.Scientific reports (9)Publisher's version: 2045-2322
Lu X, O'Neill CM, Warner S, Xiong Q, Chen X, Wells R, Penfield (2022)Winter warming post floral initiation delays flowering via bud dormancy activation and affects yield in a winter annual crop.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of AmericaPublisher's version: 0027-8424