Genes in the Environment research areas

The Genes in the Environment ISP comprises three themes that will explore the relationships between genome regulation, developmental pathways and resulting plant response to the environment.

A fourth theme focusses on developing new resources, applications and technologies, such as quantitative growth models for crops grown in large, field-scale conditions.

Genome and Epigenome: Regulation and Diversity

Theme Leader: Dr Kirsten Bomblies

In this theme we aim to understand how the diversity and regulation of genes in plants give rise to different physical traits (or 'phenotypes'), for example, early flowering and salt responses. We also aim to further our understanding of the consequences of disruptions such as whole genome duplication, environmental change, and domestication and how these have shaped plant genomes (the entire set of its genes).

Genome and Epigenome objectives

Organogenesis and Plant Architecture

Theme Leader: Professor Enrico Coen

This theme aims to understand how plant cells execute genetic instructions to produce particular physical plant structures. We will develop a deeper understanding of how cells respond to genetic instructions as they form the organs of a plant, and identify useful variations in individual genes in wheat, barley and oilseed rape which can improve yield and yield stability.

Organogenesis and Plant Architecture objectives

Phenotypic Plasticity in Response to Environmental Challenges

Theme Leader: Dr Steve Penfield

We aim to understand how a rise in temperature affects how a plant’s genome is regulated and how this regulation affects plant growth and development. This knowledge can be used to identify how variations at individual gene level can help adapt crops to future growing conditions and improve yield stability in unstable growing conditions.

Phentotypic Plasticity in Response to Environmental Challenges objectives

Innovative Approaches, Technologies and Resources

Theme Leader: Dr Stan Marèe

In this theme we aim to develop and apply the advanced bio-imaging and genome engineering techniques and tools based at the Norwich Research Park to analyse plant growth at a cellular level and also to analyse the dynamics of plant growth and development in field conditions.

Innovative Approaches, Technologies and Resources objectives


Brassica Research
Find out more about Brassica research in GEN

Learn more about the Brassica Rapeseed And Vegetable Optimisation Project 

Designing Future Wheat
 Discover more about the Designing Future Wheat ISP

Learn more about the ABCEED project

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