LEC glasshouses

Plant and Crop Science

We work from the molecular to the crop scale with researchers and end-users of research, in both the natural (e.g. plant and soil ecology) and social sciences. Our particular strength is applying our research to provide solutions to real-world problems, particularly in relation to Agri-Food Challenges.  

Specific expertise exists in:

Plant-Environment Interactions:

• Plant responses to water availability ranging from stomatal physiology to long distance phytohormonal signalling, in aiming toimprove “crop per drop”

• Molecular and whole-plant responses to ozone

• Plant nutrient acquisition including regulation of root architecture and spectroscopic monitoring of plant health

• Field phenotyping and next generation genetics to uncover markers, genes and the biology underlying yield and stress tolerance

Pest and disease control:

• Novel, non-invasive methods for diagnosis

• Manipulating herbivore-natural enemy interactions for biological control

• Exploiting plant-induced resistance by understanding plant “stress memories” and developing seed priming techniques

• Plant volatile organic compounds as signalling molecules

• Biopesticide production

Photosynthesis and Photobiology:

• Increased efficiency of photosynthesis by improving the biochemistry of C assimilation

• Biotechnological approaches to introduce C-concentrating mechanisms from photosynthetic micro-organisms into crop plants

• Mechanisms of visible and ultra violet light sensing and signalling

• Interactions between light and temperature signalling

• Light spectral manipulation to enhance crop production

Plant communities and climate change:

• Nutrient capture and cycling (especially C, N and P)

• Biodiversity and ecosystem service provision in agricultural settings

• Remote sensing of above- and below-ground plant function