Trevor’s research history has been on various aspects of legume biology, using natural and induced mutants with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of legume crops.
Trevor has used both models and crops to investigated seed development, storage products, the legume-rhizobium symbiosis and several aspects of primary and secondary metabolism.
His current focus is working with Cathie Martin to improve the crop legume, Lathyrus sativus (grasspea), with the aim of removing the neurotoxin that it contains (β-N-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid, ODAP).
They have employed mutagenesis, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and genomics to investigate the biosynthesis of the compound in the hope of eliminating it completely from the plant. This will allow them to explore the true role of this compound in the plant.
Trevor is also collaborating on grass pea with a former student, Peter Emmrich , now based in Africa where he is using his mutants to develop safer varieties for its farmers to grow.
Emmrich P. M. F., Rejzek M., Hill L., Brett P., Edwards A., Sarkar A., Field R. A., Martin C., Wang T. L. (2019)Linking a rapid throughput plate-assay with high-sensitivity stable-isotope label LCMS quantification permits the identification and characterisation of low ß-L-ODAP grass pea lines.BMC Plant Biology (19)Publisher's version: 1471-2229
Sarkar A., Emmrich P., Sarker A., Zhong X., Martin C., Wang T. (2019)Grass Pea: Remodeling an Ancient Insurance Crop for Climate Resilience
Wang T. L., Uauy C., Robson F., Till B. (2012)TILLING in extremis.Plant Biotechnology Journal (10)Publisher's version: 1467-7644