Dr Kerrie Farrar PhD

Dr Kerrie Farrar

Principal Investigator

Contact Details

Profile

I graduated in 1996 with a Plant Sciences degree from the University of Edinburgh. I obtained a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Durham and spent three years (2000-2003) as a postdoc at Aberystwyth University. I have worked at IGER/IBERS since January 2004 as a postdoc (2004-2007) and started as a BBSRC Institute Career Path Fellow here on July 1st (2007-2013) and most recently as research group leader for Energy Crop Biology (2011-present).

Research in my lab aims to understand both plant development and plant-microbe interactions, with a focus on the energy grass Miscanthus. Miscanthus is a tall C4 grass from South East Asia which grows to a height of several metres even in temperate climates. Increasing biomass yield is essential in order to replace petroleum-based energy, liquid transport fuels, and bulk chemicals.

Additional Information

I participated in the first UKERC/NESTA Carbon Crucible programme, and subsequently the establishment of the THE award winning Welsh Crucible. I have a personal interest in promoting diversity among the research community, and have been appointed an Aberystwyth University Equalities Champion.
I co-organise the BioEnergy Grass Genomics workshop at the annual Plant and Animal Genome Conference.

Teaching

Research

Research in the Farrar lab focuses on increasing biomass yield in energy crops in order to replace fossil fuel usage, sequester atmospheric carbon, & ultimately contribute to climate change mitigation. In order to achieve this, there are two main research areas: Plant developmental biology & genetics and Plant-soil-microbe interactions.

Specialties

  • Energy crops
  • Perennial grasses
  • Bacterial endophytes

Current Projects

Lab members:

Sarah Hawkins (Lab Manager), Gareth Raynes ('Endophytic bacteria: co-existence and chemical warfare', BBSRC iCASE studentship), Rebecca Entwistle (‘Targeting extremophilic bacterial endosymbionts for plant growth promotion and phytoremediation applications’, IBERS PhD studentship), TBA (Dissecting perenniality – molecular & physiological factors regulating rhizome formation and function, BBSRC/IBERS PhD students[1]: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers/staff/kkf/plant-developmental-biology-&-genomics-projects/ "Home ? www.aber.ac.uk ? Home ? IBERS ? Staff ? Farrar, Dr Kerrie ? Plant developmental biology & genomics projects "

Publications

2017

Davey, C., Robson, P., Hawkins, S., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I., Slavov, G. 2017. Genetic relationships between spring emergence, canopy phenology and biomass yield increase the accuracy of genomic prediction in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Botany 10.1093/jxb/erx339

Jensen, E., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Thomas Jones, S., Clifton-Brown, J., Payne, R., Donnison, I. 2017. Towards Miscanthus combustion quality improvement: the role of flowering and senescence. GCB Bioenergy 9 (5) pp. 891-908. 10.1111/gcbb.12391 Cadair

McCalmont, J., McNamara, N., Donnison, I., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. Partitioning of ecosystem respiration of CO2 released during land-use transition from temperate agricultural grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus: Ecosystem respiration under Miscanthus. GCB Bioenergy 9 (4) GCB-B-OR-16-031 pp. 710-724. 10.1111/gcbb.12380 Cadair

van der Weijde, T., Huxley, L., Hawkins, S., Sembiring, E.H., Farrar, K., Dolstra, O., Visser, R.G.F., Trindade, L.M. 2017. Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production. GCB Bioenergy 9 (4) pp. 770-782. 10.1111/gcbb.12382 Cadair

McCalmont, J., Mcnamara, N., Donnison, I., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. An interyear comparison of CO2 flux and carbon budget at a commercial-scale land-use transition from semi-improved grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus. GCB Bioenergy 9 (1) pp. 229-245. 10.1111/gcbb.12323 Cadair

2016

Cope-Selby, N., Cookson, A., Squance, M., Donnison, I., Flavell, R., Farrar, K. 2016. Endophytic bacteria in Miscanthus seed: Implications for germination, vertical inheritance of endophytes, plant evolution, and breeding. GCB Bioenergy 9 (1) pp. 57-77. 10.1111/gcbb.12364 Cadair

Lewandowski, I., Clifton-Brown, J., Trindade, L.M., Van De Linden, G., Schwarz, K., Müller-Sämann, K., Anisimov, A., Chen, C., Dolstra, O., Donnison, I., Farrar, K., Fonteyne, S., Harding, G., Hastings, A., Huxley, L., Iqbal, Y., Khokhlov, N., Kiesel, A., Lootens, P., Meyer, H., Mos, M., Muylle, H., Nunn, C., Ozguven, M., Roldán-Ruiz, I., Schüle, H., Tarakanov, I., van der Weijde, T., Wagner, M., Xi, Q., Kalinina, O. 2016. Progress on optimizing miscanthus biomass production for the European bioeconomy: Results of the EU FP7 project OPTIMISC. Frontiers in Plant Science 7 01620 10.3389/fpls.2016.01620 Cadair

Davey, C., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Jensen, E., Donnison, I., Slavov, G. 2016. Selection and Genome-Wide Prediction of Phenology and Biomass Yield in Miscanthus. Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV. Cadair

2014

Farrar, K., Bryant, D., Cope-Selby, N. 2014. Understanding and engineering beneficial plant–microbe interactions: plant growth promotion in energy crops. Plant Biotechnology Journal 12 (9) pp. 1193-1206. 10.1111/pbi.12279 Other Cadair

Harris, Z., Mcnamara, N., Rowe, R., Dondini, M., Finch, J., Perks, M., Morison, J., Donnison, I.S., Farrar, K., Sohi, S., Ineson, P., Oxley, J.C., Smith, P., Taylor, G. 2014. The ELUM project: Ecosystem Land-Use Modeling and Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial. Biofuels 5 (2) pp. 111-116. 10.4155/bfs.13.79 Other Cadair

Slavov, G.T., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Allison, G.G., Bosch, M., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S., Jensen, E. 2014. Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis. New Phytologist 201 (4) pp. 1227-1239. 10.1111/nph.12621 Cadair

Slavov, G.T., Nipper, R., Robson, P.R., Farrar, K., Allison, G.G., Bosch, M., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S., Jensen, E.F. 2014. Genome-wide association studies and prediction of traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in Miscanthus sinensis. Plant & Animal Genome XXII Conference. Other Cadair

Clifton-Brown, J.C., Purdy, S.J., Hayes, C.M., Ashman, C.R., Jones, L.E., Farrar, K., Huang, L.S., Gallagher, J.A., Glover, C.M., Hinton Jones, M.E., Jensen, E.F., Loosley, R.M., Maddison, A.L., McCalmont, J.P., Nunn, C., Robson, P.R., Slavov, G.T., Warren, R.D., Webster, R.J., Youell, S.J., Donnison, I.S., Davey, C.L., Jones, C.M., Barraclough, T., Castle, M., Cunniff, J., Cracroft-Eley, W., Greef, J.M., Hastings, A., Harding, G., Lewandowski, I., Meyer, H., Mos, M., Nelson, W., Richter, G., Rodgers, C., Schwarze, K., Squance, M., Swaller, T., Shield, I., Xi, Q., Karp, A., Flavell, R. 2014. Recent advances in Miscanthus science and breeding. International Bioenergy Conference 2014. Cadair

2013

Slavov, G., Robson, P., Jensen, E., Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Allison, G., Hawkins, S., Thomas-Jones, S., Ma, X., Huang, L., Swaller, T., Flavell, R., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. 2013. Contrasting geographic patterns of genetic variation for molecular markers vs. phenotypic traits in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis. GCB Bioenergy 5 (5) pp. 562-571. 10.1111/gcbb.12025 Cadair

Clifton-Brown, J.C., Robson, P.R., Davey, C.L., Farrar, K., Hayes, C.M., Huang, L.S., Jensen, E.F., Jones, L.E., Hinton Jones, M.E., Maddison, A.L., Meyer, H., Norris, J.A., Purdy, S.J., Rodgers, C., Schwarz, K., Salvatore, C., Slavov, G.T., Valentine, J., Webster, R.J., Youell, S.J., Donnison, I.S. 2013. Breeding Miscanthus for bioenergy. In M. C. Saha., H. S. Bhandari., J. H. Bouton. (eds) Biomass Crops: Breeding and Genetics. Wiley 10.1002/9781118609477.ch5 Cadair

Fletcher, A.J., Smith, M.A., Heinemeyer, A., Lord, R., Ennis, C.J., Hodgson, E.M., Farrar, K. 2013. Production factors controlling the physical characteristics of biochar derived from phytoremediated willow for agricultural applications. Bioenergy Research 7 (1) pp. 371-380. 10.1007/s12155-013-9380-x Cadair

Slavov, G.T., Robson, P.R., Jensen, E.F., Farrar, K., Ma, X., Swaller, T., Flavell, R., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2013. A population genomics approach to accelerating the domestication of the energy grass Miscanthus. Plant & Animal XXI Conference. Other Cadair

Jensen, E., Robson, P., Norris, J., Cookson, A., Farrar, K., Donnison, I., Clifton-Brown, J. 2013. Flowering induction in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus is a quantitative short-day response, whilst delayed flowering under long days increases biomass accumulation. Journal of Experimental Biology 64 (2) pp. 541-552. 10.1093/jxb/ers346 Cadair

Robson, P.R.H., Farrar, K., Gay, A.P., Jensen, E.F., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2013. Variation in canopy duration in the perennial biofuel crop Miscanthus reveals complex associations with yield: Canopy duration and yield in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Biology 64 (8) pp. 2373-2383. 10.1093/jxb/ert104 Cadair

Robson, P., Jensen, E., Hawkins, S., White, S.R., Kenobi, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I., Farrar, K. 2013. Accelerating the domestication of a bioenergy crop: identifying and modelling morphological targets for sustainable yield increase in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Botany 64 (14) pp. 4143-4155. 10.1093/jxb/ert225 Cadair

2012

Ma, X., Jensen, E., Alexandrov, N., Troukhan, M., Zhang, L., Thomas-Jones, S., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I., Swaller, T., Flavell, R. 2012. High resolution genetic mapping by genome sequencing reveals genome duplication and tetraploid genetic structure of the diploid Miscanthus sinensis. PLoS One 7 (3) e33821 10.1371/journal.pone.0033821 Cadair

Farrar, K., Bryant, D.N., Turner, L.B., Gallagher, J.A., Thomas, A.M., Farrell, M.S., Humphreys, M.O., Donnison, I.S. 2012. Breeding for Bio-ethanol Production in Lolium perenne L.: Association of Allelic Variation with High Water-Soluble Carbohydrate Content. Bioenergy Research 5 (1) pp. 149-157. 10.1007/s12155-011-9156-0 Cadair

Pachebat, J.A., Cope-Selby, N., Edwards, J.E., Huws, S., Lyonds, L., Swarbreck, D., Rees Stevens, P., Febrer, M., Bryant, D., Donnison, I., Kingston-Smith, A., Farrar, K. 2012. Applying next generation sequencing towards understanding microbial-plant interactions. Plant Molecular Biology, Gordon Conference. Cadair

2011

Jensen, E.F., Farrar, K., Jones, S.T., Hastings, A., Donnison, I.S., Clifton-Brown, J.C. 2011. Characterization of flowering time diversity in Miscanthus species. GCB Bioenergy 3 (5) pp. 387-400. 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01097.x Cadair

Jensen, E.F., Loosley, M., Farrar, K., Robson, P.R., Norris, J., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2011. Impact of photoperiod and ambient temperature on days to flowering in Miscanthus species. 2010 Society of Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting. Cadair

Hodgson, E.M., Bevan, A., Farrar, K.Smith, S.P., Spikes, K.J. 2011. Biochar for sustainable soil, agriculture and energy systems. Other Other Cadair

Jensen, E.F., Jones, S.T., Farrar, K., Robson, P.R., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2011. Flowering time in Miscanthus. Plant and Animal Genome XIX Conference . Other Cadair

Robson, P., Jensen, E., Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Slavov, G., Allison, G., Hawkins, S., Jones, S., Valentine, J., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. 2011. Harnessing natural variation in phenotypic and chemotypic traits in Miscanthus for breeding improved bioenergy crops: A review of long term results from perennial energy cropping work at IBERS. Aspects of Applied Biology 112 Cadair

Jensen, E., Squance, M., Hastings, A., Thomas-Jones, S., Farrar, K., Huang, L., King, R., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. 2011. Understanding the value of hydrothermal time on flowering in Miscanthus species. Aspects of Applied Biology 112 pp. 181-189. Cadair

2010

Farrar, K. 2010. Yield improvement in Miscanthus. Next Generation Sequencing Workshop, Genome Centre. Cadair

Farrar, K. 2010. Effect of biochar and biochar quality on energy crop performance. BReW (Biochar Research Wales) Meeting, University of Wales, Gregynog, UK. Cadair

Farrar, K., Robson, P.R., Jensen, E.F., Hawkins, S., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2010. Manipulation of plant architecture to optimise biomass yield in Miscanthus. Plant and Animal Genome XVIII Conference. Cadair

Hodgson, E.M., Farrar, K., Gallagher, G., Ennis, C., Fletcher, A., Heinemeyer, A., Donnison, I.S. 2010. Biochar production and application - ancient techniques with modern technology. 2nd UKBRC Workshop. Cadair

2009

Winters, A.L., Heywood, S., Farrar, K., Donnison, I.S., Thomas, A.M., Webb, K.J. 2009. Identification of an extensive gene cluster among a family of PPOs in Trifolium pratense L. (red clover) using a large insert BAC library. BMC Plant Biology 9 94 10.1186/1471-2229-9-94 Cadair Other

Langdon, T., Thomas, A., Huang, L., Farrar, K., King, J., Armstead, I. 2009. Fragments of the key flowering gene GIGANTEA are associated with helitron-type sequences in the Pooideae grass Lolium perenne. BMC Plant Biology 9 70 10.1186/1471-2229-9-70 Cadair Other

Farrar, K., Thomas, A.M., Gallagher, J.A., Turner, L.B., Armstead, I.P., Humphreys, M.W., Donnison, I.S. 2009. Identification of SNP markers for molecular breeding in Lolium perenne and other energy grasses. Plant and Animal Genome XVII Conference. Other Cadair

Farrar, K. 2009. Bioenergy research at IBERS. Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) Conference, 'Collaborating For A Low Carbon Wales', Cardiff. Cadair

Farrar, K. 2009. Manipulation of plant architecture to optimise biomass yield in Miscanthus. International Symposium for 21st Century Biofuels. Cadair

Farrar, K. 2009. Miscanthus morphology. IBERS-Noble Symposium. Cadair

Farrar, K. 2009. Understanding and exploiting the diversity of form in Miscanthus. Talk given at the BBSRC Fellows Conference. Cadair

Donnison, I.S., Farrar, K., Allison, G.G., Hodgson, E., Adams, J.M., Hatch, R., Gallagher, J.A., Robson, P.R., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Morris, P. 2009. Functional genomics of forage and bioenergy quality traits in the grasses. In T. Yamada., G. Spangenberg. (eds) Molecular Breeding of Forage Turf: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage Turf. 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf. pp. 111-123. Cadair Other

Farrar, K., Hawkins, S., Jensen, E., Robson, P., Sanderson, R., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. 2009. Exploiting model species to increase biomass yield in energy crops. 20th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (IACR). Cadair

2008

Jensen, E.F., Jones, S.T., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2008. Unravelling the genetic control of flowering time in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology 150 (3) 2008 Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting. pp. S180-S185. 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.04.482 Cadair

Donnison, I.S., Farrar, K., Robson, P.R., Clifton-Brown, J.C.Smith, S.P., Spikes, K.J. 2008. Bioenergy and biorenewables from grasses. Other Cadair

Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S., Valentine, J., Farrar, K. 2008. Increasing biomass for bioenergy in perennial grasses. 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. Cadair

Farrar, K., Donnison, I.S., Clifton-Brown, J.C. 2008. Manipulation of plant architecture for increased biomass in Miscanthus. 2008 Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting. 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.04.483 Cadair

Jensen, E.F., Jones, S.T., Farrar, K., Robson, P.R.H., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2008. Optimising flowering time in Miscanthus for improved biomass yield and quality. GARNet/SEB Joint Plant Symposium, Vet School, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham. Cadair

Armstead, I.P., Turner, L.B., Humphreys, M.O., Farrell, M.S., Cairns, A.J., Skøt, K.P., Farrar, K., Donnison, I.S.Lubberstedt, T. 2008. Changes in SSR allele frequencies during phenotypic selection for water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) in an experimental population of perennial ryegrass. 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. pp. 19-23. Cadair

Clifton-Brown, J.C., Robson, P.R., Allison, G.G., Lister, S.J., Sanderson, R., Morris, C., Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Hawkins, S., Jensen, E.F., Jones, S.T., Huang, L., Roberts, P.C., Youell, S.J., Jones, B.R., Wright, A., Valentine, J., Donnison, I.S.Booth, E., Green, M., Karp, A., Shield, I., Stock, D., Turley, D. 2008. Miscanthus: breeding our way to a better future. Aspects of Applied Biology 90 pp. 199-206. Cadair Other

2007

Farrar, K., Donnison, I.S. 2007. Construction and screening of BAC libraries made from Brachypodium genomic DNA. Nature Protocols 2 (7) pp. 1661-1674. 10.1038/nprot.2007.204 Cadair

Lubberstedt, T., Thomas, A.M., Humphreys, M.O., Donnison, I.S., Asp, T., Farrar, K., Xu, M., Christiansen, C. 2007. Construction of two Lolium perenne BAC libraries and identification of BACs containing candidate genes for disease resistance and forage quality. Molecular Breeding pp. 15-23. 10.1007/s11032-006-9036-z Cadair

Donnison, I.S., Gallagher, J.A., Farrar, K., Thain, S.C., Allison, G.G., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Hodgson, E., Morris, C., Turner, L.B., Morris, S.M., Humphreys, M.O., Morris, P.Lubberstedt, T. 2007. Quality traits for bioenergy in grasses. Proceedings, 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. pp. 46. Cadair

Donnison, I., Thain, S.C., Hodgson, E., Morris, C., Clifton-Brown, J., Turner, L., Gallagher, J., Humphreys, M.O., Farrar, K., Morris, P. 2007. Phenotyping and mapping quality traits for bioenergy in grasses. Plant and Animal Genome XV Conference. Cadair

Farrar, K., Thomas, A.M., Gallagher, J.A., Armstead, I., Turner, L., Humphreys, M.O., Donnison, I. 2007. Identification of SNps for molecular breeding in Lolium perenne. Plant and Animal Genome XV Conference. Cadair

2006

Farrar, K., Thomas, A., Armstead, I., Turner, L., Humphreys, M.O., Donnison, I.S. 2006. Identification of SNPs for molecular breeding in Lolium perenne. Plant Genomics European Meeting. Cadair

2005

Bishop, G.J., Nomura, T., Montoya, T., Jones, J.G.D., Harrison, K., Szekeres, M., Farrar, K., Yokota, T., Kamiya, Y., Kaneta, T. 2005. Patterns of Dwarf expression and brassinosteroid accumulation in tomato reveal the importance of brassinosteroid synthesis during fruit development. Plant Journal pp. 262-269. 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2005.02376.x Cadair

Farrar, K., Humphreys, M.O., Thomas, A.M., Donnison, I.S.Humphreys, M.O. 2005. Construction and exploitation of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass). Cadair

2002

Montoya, T., Nomura, T., Farrar, K., Kaneta, T., Yokota, T., Bishop, G.J. 2002. Cloning the tomato curl3 gene highlights the putative dual role of the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase tBRI1/SR160 in plant steroid hormone and peptide hormone signaling. Plant Cell 14 (12) pp. 3163-3176. 10.1105/tpc.006379 Cadair