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.
The Miller lab are also collaborating with Professor Davey Jones at Bangor University on a project titled; ‘Real-time in situ sensing of soil nitrogen status to promote enhanced nitrogen use efficiency in agricultural systems’.
Capstaff N. M., Miller A. J. (2018)Improving the Yield and Nutritional Quality of Forage CropsFrontiers in Plant Science (9)
Helliwell J. R., Strurrock C. J., Mairhofer S., Craigon J., Ashton R. W., Miller A. J., Whalley W. R., Mooney S. J. (2017)The emergent rhizosphere: imaging the development of the porous architecture at the root-soil interfaceScientific Reports (Published online)Publisher's version: 2045-2322
Vincent T. R., Avramova M., Canham J., Higgins P., Bilkey N., Mugford S. T., Pitino M., Toyota M., Gilroy S., Miller A. J., Hogenhout S., Sanders D. (2017)Interplay of plasma membrane and vacuolar ion channels, together with BAK1, elicits rapid cytosolic calcium elevations in Arabidopsis during aphid feeding.Plant CellPublisher's version: 1040-4651
The Miller lab are currently looking for a Research Assistant to use novel soil sensors to measure the input of soil nitrogen that can be provided by legumesmospheric nitrogen.
The 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.