Professor Tony MillerSenior Scientist Head of Department Harnessing Biosynthesis for Sustainable Food and Health (HBio)
Tony’s research brings together an interest in membrane transporters with plant nutrition, with the aim of improving the efficiency of fertiliser use.
He investigates plant nitrogen content and how a balance between nitrate and ammonium is facilitated by nitrogen transporters to maintain pH within the cell.
As part of this research Tony has developed soil sensors for monitoring nitrogen content of soils.
His research also extends to other plant nutrients including;
- The biofortification and bioavailability of zinc
- Nitrogen use efficiency through nitrogen transporters
- Nutrient uptake
- Calcium signalling
- Heavy metal transporters
Sensor development for measuring soil nutrients the Miller lab addresses fundamental questions in plant nutrition with a specialist interest in membrane transporters.
Nitrogen nutrition is a particular focus of the groups research and the structure and function of membrane transporters for nitrate, ammonium and amino acids is being studied. Some of these transporters play a key role in sensing nitrogen availability in the soil.
Nitrogen cycling at the root/soil interface is important for uptake by plants and typically around 60% of the N fertiliser applied to crops is not taken up and can be leached into the environment.
They work closely with soil scientists and microbiologists to identify ways to improve nitrogen use efficiency in crops. Close collaborations with Chinese scientists have led to the development of cereals with much improved yield and nitrogen use efficiency.
- WISH-ROOTS; Wheat roots in soil health | John Innes Centre (jic.ac.uk)
- CATCH-BNI Catch crops for biological nitrification inhibition CATCH-BNI (suscrop.eu)
Tony is Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Metabolism.
Capstaff NM,Morrison F,Cheema J,Brett P,Hill L,Muñoz-García JC,Khimyak YZ,Domoney C,Miller AJ (2020)Fulvic acid increases forage legume growth inducing preferential upregulation of nodulation and signalling-related genes.Journal of experimental botanyPublisher's version: 0022-0957
Wang X,Whalley WR,Miller AJ,White PJ,Zhang F,Shen J (2020)Sustainable Cropping Requires Adaptation to a Heterogeneous Rhizosphere.Trends in plant sciencePublisher's version: 1360-1385
Li W., He X., Chen Y., Jing Y., Shen C., Yang J., Teng W., Zhao X., Hu W., Hu M., Li H., Miller A. J., Tong Y. (2019)A wheat transcription factor positively sets seed vigour by regulating the grain nitrate signal.New PhytologistPublisher's version: 0028-646X
The Miller lab are always looking to welcome new PhD students to the lab and PhD studentships may become available throughout the year and also welcomes applications from undergraduates wishing to undertake summer projects.