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

Publications

Donnison, IS, Farrar, K, Allison, GG, Hodgson, E, Adams, JM, Hatch, R, Gallagher, JA, Robson, PR, Clifton-Brown, JC & 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. pp. 111-123, 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf, Sapporo, Japan, 2007.
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), Scotland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 2009 - 2009, .
Jensen, EF, Jones, ST, Farrar, K, Clifton-Brown, JC & Donnison, IS 2008, 'Unravelling the genetic control of flowering time in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus' Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology, vol 150, no. 3, pp. S180-S185. DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.04.482
Donnison, IS, Farrar, K, Robson, PR, Clifton-Brown, JC, Smith, SP (ed.) & Spikes, KJ (ed.) 2008, 'Bioenergy and biorenewables from grasses', pp. 25-28, IBERS Knowledge-based Innovations, 1 01 July.
Clifton-Brown, JC, Donnison, IS, Valentine, J & Farrar, K 2008, 'Increasing biomass for bioenergy in perennial grasses' Paper presented at 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007 - 2007, pp. 167-169.
Farrar, K, Donnison, IS & Clifton-Brown, JC 2008, 'Manipulation of plant architecture for increased biomass in Miscanthus' 2008 Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting, Marseille, France, 2008 - 2008, pp. S180-S185. DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.04.483
Jensen, EF, Jones, ST, Farrar, K, Robson, PRH, Clifton-Brown, JC & Donnison, IS 2008, 'Optimising flowering time in Miscanthus for improved biomass yield and quality' GARNet/SEB Joint Plant Symposium, Vet School, Sutton Bonington Campus, Nottingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 2008 - 2008, pp. L24.
Armstead, IP, Turner, LB, Humphreys, MO, Farrell, MS, Cairns, AJ, Skøt, KP, Farrar, K, Donnison, IS & Lubberstedt, T (ed.) 2008, Changes in SSR allele frequencies during phenotypic selection for water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) in an experimental population of perennial ryegrass. in 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. pp. 19-23, 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007.
Clifton-Brown, JC, Robson, PR, Allison, GG, Lister, SJ, Sanderson, R, Morris, C, Hodgson, E, Farrar, K, Hawkins, S, Jensen, EF, Jones, ST, Huang, L, Roberts, PC, Youell, SJ, Jones, BR, Wright, A, Valentine, J, Donnison, IS, Booth, E (ed.), Green, M (ed.), Karp, A (ed.), Shield, I (ed.), Stock, D (ed.) & Turley, D (ed.) 2008, 'Miscanthus: breeding our way to a better future' Aspects of Applied Biology, vol 90, pp. 199-206.
Farrar, K & Donnison, IS 2007, 'Construction and screening of BAC libraries made from Brachypodium genomic DNA' Nature Protocols, vol 2, no. 7, pp. 1661-1674. DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2007.204
Lubberstedt, T, Thomas, AM, Humphreys, MO, Donnison, IS, 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. DOI: 10.1007/s11032-006-9036-z
Donnison, IS, Gallagher, JA, Farrar, K, Thain, SC, Allison, GG, Clifton-Brown, JC, Hodgson, E, Morris, C, Turner, LB, Morris, SM, Humphreys, MO, Morris, P & Lubberstedt, T (ed.) 2007, Quality traits for bioenergy in grasses. in Proceedings, 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. pp. 46, 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007.
Donnison, I, Thain, SC, Hodgson, E, Morris, C, Clifton-Brown, J, Turner, L, Gallagher, J, Humphreys, MO, Farrar, K & Morris, P 2007, 'Phenotyping and mapping quality traits for bioenergy in grasses' Plant and Animal Genome XV Conference, San Diego, California, United States of America, 2007 - 2007, .
Farrar, K, Thomas, AM, Gallagher, JA, Armstead, I, Turner, L, Humphreys, MO & Donnison, I 2007, 'Identification of SNps for molecular breeding in Lolium perenne' Plant and Animal Genome XV Conference, San Diego, California, United States of America, 2007 - 2007, .
Farrar, K, Thomas, A, Armstead, I, Turner, L, Humphreys, MO & Donnison, IS 2006, 'Identification of SNPs for molecular breeding in Lolium perenne' Plant Genomics European Meeting, Venice, Italy, 2006 - 2006, pp. P.67.
Bishop, GJ, Nomura, T, Montoya, T, Jones, JGD, 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. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2005.02376.x
Farrar, K, Humphreys, MO, Thomas, AM, Donnison, IS & Humphreys, MO (ed.) 2005, 'Construction and exploitation of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass)'.
Montoya, T, Nomura, T, Farrar, K, Kaneta, T, Yokota, T & Bishop, GJ 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, vol 14, no. 12, pp. 3163-3176. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.006379
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, vol 68, no. 18, pp. 5093-5102. DOI: 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, vol 9, no. 5, pp. 891-908. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12391
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, vol 9, no. 4, GCB-B-OR-16-031, pp. 710-724. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12380
van der Weijde, T, Huxley, L, Hawkins, S, Sembiring, EH, Farrar, K, Dolstra, O, Visser, RGF & Trindade, LM 2017, 'Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production' GCB Bioenergy, vol 9, no. 4, pp. 770-782. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12382
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, vol 9, no. 1, pp. 229-245. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12323
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, vol 9, no. 1, pp. 57-77. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12364
Lewandowski, I, Clifton-Brown, J, Trindade, LM, Van De Linden, G, Schwarz, K-U, Müller-Sämann, K, Anisimov, A, Chen, C-L, 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, vol 7, 01620. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01620
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, San Diego, California, United States of America, 2016 - 2016, .
Farrar, K, Bryant, D & Cope-Selby, N 2014, 'Understanding and engineering beneficial plant–microbe interactions: plant growth promotion in energy crops' Plant Biotechnology Journal, vol 12, no. 9, pp. 1193-1206. DOI: 10.1111/pbi.12279
Harris, Z, Mcnamara, N, Rowe, R, Dondini, M, Finch, J, Perks, M, Morison, J, Donnison, IS, Farrar, K, Sohi, S, Ineson, P, Oxley, JC, Smith, P & Taylor, G 2014, 'The ELUM project: Ecosystem Land-Use Modeling and Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial.' Biofuels, vol 5, no. 2, pp. 111-116. DOI: 10.4155/bfs.13.79
Slavov, GT, Nipper, R, Robson, P, Farrar, K, Allison, GG, Bosch, M, Clifton-Brown, JC, Donnison, IS & 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, vol 201, no. 4, pp. 1227-1239. DOI: 10.1111/nph.12621
Slavov, GT, Nipper, R, Robson, PR, Farrar, K, Allison, GG, Bosch, M, Clifton-Brown, JC, Donnison, IS & Jensen, EF 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, San Diego, United States of America, 2014 - 2014, pp. W422.
Clifton-Brown, JC, Purdy, SJ, Hayes, CM, Ashman, CR, Jones, LE, Farrar, K, Huang, LS-F, Gallagher, JA, Glover, CM, Hinton Jones, ME, Jensen, EF, Loosley, RM, Maddison, AL, McCalmont, JP, Nunn, C, Robson, PR, Slavov, GT, Warren, RD, Webster, RJ, Youell, SJ, Donnison, IS, Davey, CL, Jones, CM, Barraclough, T, Castle, M, Cunniff, J, Cracroft-Eley, W, Greef, JM, Hastings, A, Harding, G, Lewandowski, I, Meyer, H, Mos, M, Nelson, W, Richter, G, Rodgers, C, Schwarze, K-U, Squance, M, Swaller, T, Shield, I, Xi, Q, Karp, A & Flavell, R 2014, 'Recent advances in Miscanthus science and breeding' International Bioenergy Conference 2014, Manchester, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 2014 - 2014, .
Slavov, G, Robson, P, Jensen, E, Hodgson, E, Farrar, K, Allison, G, Hawkins, S, Thomas-Jones, S, Ma, X-F, 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, vol 5, no. 5, pp. 562-571. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12025
Clifton-Brown, JC, Robson, PR, Davey, CL, Farrar, K, Hayes, CM, Huang, LS-F, Jensen, EF, Jones, LE, Hinton Jones, ME, Maddison, AL, Meyer, H, Norris, JA, Purdy, SJ, Rodgers, C, Schwarz, K-U, Salvatore, C, Slavov, GT, Valentine, J, Webster, RJ, Youell, SJ & Donnison, IS 2013, Breeding Miscanthus for bioenergy. in MC Saha, HS Bhandari & JH Bouton (eds), Biomass Crops: Breeding and Genetics. Wiley. DOI: 10.1002/9781118609477.ch5
Fletcher, AJ, Smith, MA, Heinemeyer, A, Lord, R, Ennis, CJ, Hodgson, EM & Farrar, K 2013, 'Production factors controlling the physical characteristics of biochar derived from phytoremediated willow for agricultural applications' Bioenergy Research, vol 7, no. 1, pp. 371-380. DOI: 10.1007/s12155-013-9380-x
Slavov, GT, Robson, PR, Jensen, EF, Farrar, K, Ma, X-F, Swaller, T, Flavell, R, Clifton-Brown, JC & Donnison, IS 2013, 'A population genomics approach to accelerating the domestication of the energy grass Miscanthus.' Plant & Animal XXI Conference, San Diego, United States of America, 2013 - 2013, pp. W088.
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, vol 64, no. 2, pp. 541-552. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers346
Robson, PRH, Farrar, K, Gay, AP, Jensen, EF, Clifton-Brown, JC & Donnison, IS 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, vol 64, no. 8, pp. 2373-2383. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ert104
Robson, P, Jensen, E, Hawkins, S, White, SR, 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, vol 64, no. 14, pp. 4143-4155. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ert225
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, vol 7, no. 3, e33821. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033821
Farrar, K, Bryant, DN, Turner, LB, Gallagher, JA, Thomas, AM, Farrell, MS, Humphreys, MO & Donnison, IS 2012, 'Breeding for Bio-ethanol Production in Lolium perenne L.: Association of Allelic Variation with High Water-Soluble Carbohydrate Content' Bioenergy Research, vol 5, no. 1, pp. 149-157. DOI: 10.1007/s12155-011-9156-0
Pachebat, JA, Cope-Selby, N, Edwards, JE, 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, 2012 - 2012, .
Jensen, EF, Farrar, K, Jones, ST, Hastings, A, Donnison, IS & Clifton-Brown, JC 2011, 'Characterization of flowering time diversity in Miscanthus species' GCB Bioenergy, vol 3, no. 5, pp. 387-400. DOI: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01097.x
Jensen, EF, Loosley, M, Farrar, K, Robson, PR, Norris, J, Clifton-Brown, JC & Donnison, IS 2011, 'Impact of photoperiod and ambient temperature on days to flowering in Miscanthus species' Paper presented at 2010 Society of Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic, 2010 - 2010, pp. P3.3.
Hodgson, EM, Bevan, A, Farrar, K, Smith, SP (ed.) & Spikes, KJ (ed.) 2011, 'Biochar for sustainable soil, agriculture and energy systems', pp. 17-19, IBERS Knowledge-based Innovations, 4 Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University.
Jensen, EF, Jones, ST, Farrar, K, Robson, PR, Clifton-Brown, JC & Donnison, IS 2011, 'Flowering time in Miscanthus' Plant and Animal Genome XIX Conference , San Diego, United States of America, 2011 - 2011, .
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, vol 112.
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, vol 112, pp. 181-189.
Farrar, K 2010, 'Yield improvement in Miscanthus' Next Generation Sequencing Workshop, Genome Centre, John Innes Centre, 2010 - 2010, .
Farrar, K 2010, 'Effect of biochar and biochar quality on energy crop performance' BReW (Biochar Research Wales) Meeting, Newtown, 2010 - 2010, .
Farrar, K, Robson, PR, Jensen, EF, Hawkins, S, Clifton-Brown, JC & Donnison, IS 2010, 'Manipulation of plant architecture to optimise biomass yield in Miscanthus' Plant and Animal Genome XVIII Conference, San Diego, United States of America, 2010 - 2010, .
Hodgson, EM, Farrar, K, Gallagher, G, Ennis, C, Fletcher, A, Heinemeyer, A & Donnison, IS 2010, 'Biochar production and application - ancient techniques with modern technology' 2nd UKBRC Workshop, Rothamsted Research UK, 2010 - 2010, .
Winters, AL, Heywood, S, Farrar, K, Donnison, IS, Thomas, AM & Webb, KJ 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, vol 9, 94. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-9-94
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, vol 9, 70. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-9-70
Farrar, K, Thomas, AM, Gallagher, JA, Turner, LB, Armstead, IP, Humphreys, MW & Donnison, IS 2009, 'Identification of SNP markers for molecular breeding in Lolium perenne and other energy grasses' Plant and Animal Genome XVII Conference, San Diego, United States of America, 2009 - 2009, pp. W269.
Farrar, K 2009, 'Bioenergy research at IBERS' Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) Conference, 'Collaborating For A Low Carbon Wales', Cardiff, Cardiff, 2009 - 2009, .
Farrar, K 2009, 'Manipulation of plant architecture to optimise biomass yield in Miscanthus' International Symposium for 21st Century Biofuels, Tainan, 2009 - 2009, .
Farrar, K 2009, 'Miscanthus morphology' IBERS-Noble Symposium, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 2009 - 2009, .
Farrar, K 2009, 'Understanding and exploiting the diversity of form in Miscanthus' Talk given at the BBSRC Fellows Conference, Meriden, 2009 - 2009, .