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

Genetic relationships between spring emergence, canopy phenology and biomass yield increase the accuracy of genomic prediction in MiscanthusDavey, C., Robson, P., Hawkins, S., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. & Slavov, G. 2017 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.68, 18, p. 5093-5102
Towards Miscanthus combustion quality improvement: the role of flowering and senescenceJensen, E., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Thomas Jones, S., Clifton-Brown, J., Payne, R. & Donnison, I. 2017 In : GCB Bioenergy.9, 5, p. 891-908
Partitioning of ecosystem respiration of CO2 released during land-use transition from temperate agricultural grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus: Ecosystem respiration under MiscanthusMcCalmont, J., McNamara, N., Donnison, I., Farrar, K. & Clifton-Brown, J. 2017 In : GCB Bioenergy.9, 4, p. 710-724 GCB-B-OR-16-031
Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel productionvan der Weijde, T., Huxley, L., Hawkins, S., Sembiring, E. H., Farrar, K., Dolstra, O., Visser, R. G. F. & Trindade, L. M. 2017 In : GCB Bioenergy.9, 4, p. 770-782
An interyear comparison of CO2 flux and carbon budget at a commercial-scale land-use transition from semi-improved grassland to Miscanthus x giganteusMcCalmont, J., Mcnamara, N., Donnison, I., Farrar, K. & Clifton-Brown, J. 2017 In : GCB Bioenergy.9, 1, p. 229-24517 p.
Endophytic bacteria in Miscanthus seed: Implications for germination, vertical inheritance of endophytes, plant evolution, and breedingCope-Selby, N., Cookson, A., Squance, M., Donnison, I., Flavell, R. & Farrar, K. 2016 In : GCB Bioenergy.9, 1, p. 57-77
Progress on optimizing miscanthus biomass production for the European bioeconomy: Results of the EU FP7 project OPTIMISCLewandowski, I., Clifton-Brown, J., Trindade, L. M., 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 In : Frontiers in Plant Science.7, 01620
Selection and Genome-Wide Prediction of Phenology and Biomass Yield in MiscanthusDavey, C., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Jensen, E., Donnison, I. & Slavov, G. 2016 1 p.
Understanding and engineering beneficial plant–microbe interactions: plant growth promotion in energy cropsFarrar, K., Bryant, D. & Cope-Selby, N. 2014 In : Plant Biotechnology Journal.12, 9, p. 1193-120614 p.
The ELUM project: Ecosystem Land-Use Modeling and Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial.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 In : Biofuels.5, 2, p. 111-1166 p.
Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensisSlavov, G. T., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Allison, G. G., Bosch, M., Clifton-Brown, J. C., Donnison, I. S. & Jensen, E. 2014 In : New Phytologist.201, 4, p. 1227-123913 p.
Genome-wide association studies and prediction of traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in Miscanthus sinensis.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 p. W422
Recent advances in Miscanthus science and breedingClifton-Brown, J. C., Purdy, S. J., Hayes, C. M., Ashman, C. R., Jones, L. E., Farrar, K., Huang, L. S-F., 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-U., Squance, M., Swaller, T., Shield, I., Xi, Q., Karp, A. & Flavell, R. 2014
Contrasting geographic patterns of genetic variation for molecular markers vs. phenotypic traits in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensisSlavov, 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 In : GCB Bioenergy.5, 5, p. 562-571
Breeding Miscanthus for bioenergyClifton-Brown, J. C., Robson, P. R., Davey, C. L., Farrar, K., Hayes, C. M., Huang, L. S-F., 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-U., Salvatore, C., Slavov, G. T., Valentine, J., Webster, R. J., Youell, S. J. & Donnison, I. S. 2013 Biomass Crops: Breeding and Genetics. Saha, M. C., Bhandari, H. S. & Bouton, J. H. (eds.). Wiley
Production factors controlling the physical characteristics of biochar derived from phytoremediated willow for agricultural applicationsFletcher, A. J., Smith, M. A., Heinemeyer, A., Lord, R., Ennis, C. J., Hodgson, E. M. & Farrar, K. 2013 In : Bioenergy Research.7, 1, p. 371-3809 p.
A population genomics approach to accelerating the domestication of the energy grass Miscanthus.Slavov, G. T., Robson, P. R., Jensen, E. F., Farrar, K., Ma, X-F., Swaller, T., Flavell, R., Clifton-Brown, J. C. & Donnison, I. S. 2013 p. W088
Flowering induction in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus is a quantitative short-day response, whilst delayed flowering under long days increases biomass accumulationJensen, E., Robson, P., Norris, J., Cookson, A., Farrar, K., Donnison, I. & Clifton-Brown, J. 2013 In : Journal of Experimental Biology.64, 2, p. 541-552
Variation in canopy duration in the perennial biofuel crop Miscanthus reveals complex associations with yield: Canopy duration and yield in MiscanthusRobson, P. R. H., Farrar, K., Gay, A. P., Jensen, E. F., Clifton-Brown, J. C. & Donnison, I. S. 2013 In : Journal of Experimental Biology.64, 8, p. 2373-2383
Accelerating the domestication of a bioenergy crop: identifying and modelling morphological targets for sustainable yield increase in MiscanthusRobson, P., Jensen, E., Hawkins, S., White, S. R., Kenobi, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. & Farrar, K. 2013 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.64, 14, p. 4143-4155
High resolution genetic mapping by genome sequencing reveals genome duplication and tetraploid genetic structure of the diploid Miscanthus sinensisMa, X., Jensen, E., Alexandrov, N., Troukhan, M., Zhang, L., Thomas-Jones, S., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I., Swaller, T. & Flavell, R. 2012 In : PLoS One.7, 3, e33821
Breeding for Bio-ethanol Production in Lolium perenne L.: Association of Allelic Variation with High Water-Soluble Carbohydrate ContentFarrar, K., Bryant, D. N., Turner, L. B., Gallagher, J. A., Thomas, A. M., Farrell, M. S., Humphreys, M. O. & Donnison, I. S. 2012 In : Bioenergy Research.5, 1, p. 149-1579 p.
Applying next generation sequencing towards understanding microbial-plant interactionsPachebat, 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
Characterization of flowering time diversity in Miscanthus speciesJensen, E. F., Farrar, K., Jones, S. T., Hastings, A., Donnison, I. S. & Clifton-Brown, J. C. 2011 In : GCB Bioenergy.3, 5, p. 387-40014 p.
Impact of photoperiod and ambient temperature on days to flowering in Miscanthus speciesJensen, E. F., Loosley, M., Farrar, K., Robson, P. R., Norris, J., Clifton-Brown, J. C. & Donnison, I. S. 2011 p. P3.3
Biochar for sustainable soil, agriculture and energy systemsHodgson, E. M., Bevan, A., Farrar, K., Smith, S. P. (ed.) & Spikes, K. J. (ed.) 2011 IBERS Knowledge-based Innovations, 4, p. 17-193 p.
Flowering time in MiscanthusJensen, E. F., Jones, S. T., Farrar, K., Robson, P. R., Clifton-Brown, J. C. & Donnison, I. S. 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 IBERSRobson, P., Jensen, E., Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Slavov, G., Allison, G., Hawkins, S., Jones, S., Valentine, J., Clifton-Brown, J. & Donnison, I. 2011 In : Aspects of Applied Biology.112
Understanding the value of hydrothermal time on flowering in Miscanthus speciesJensen, E., Squance, M., Hastings, A., Thomas-Jones, S., Farrar, K., Huang, L., King, R., Clifton-Brown, J. & Donnison, I. 2011 In : Aspects of Applied Biology.112, p. 181-1899 p.
Yield improvement in MiscanthusFarrar, K. 2010
Effect of biochar and biochar quality on energy crop performanceFarrar, K. 2010
Manipulation of plant architecture to optimise biomass yield in MiscanthusFarrar, K., Robson, P. R., Jensen, E. F., Hawkins, S., Clifton-Brown, J. C. & Donnison, I. S. 2010
Biochar production and application - ancient techniques with modern technologyHodgson, E. M., Farrar, K., Gallagher, G., Ennis, C., Fletcher, A., Heinemeyer, A. & Donnison, I. S. 2010
Identification of an extensive gene cluster among a family of PPOs in Trifolium pratense L. (red clover) using a large insert BAC libraryWinters, A. L., Heywood, S., Farrar, K., Donnison, I. S., Thomas, A. M. & Webb, K. J. 2009 In : BMC Plant Biology.9, 94
Fragments of the key flowering gene GIGANTEA are associated with helitron-type sequences in the Pooideae grass Lolium perenneLangdon, T., Thomas, A., Huang, L., Farrar, K., King, J. & Armstead, I. 2009 In : BMC Plant Biology.9, 70
Identification of SNP markers for molecular breeding in Lolium perenne and other energy grassesFarrar, K., Thomas, A. M., Gallagher, J. A., Turner, L. B., Armstead, I. P., Humphreys, M. W. & Donnison, I. S. 2009 p. W269
Bioenergy research at IBERSFarrar, K. 2009
Manipulation of plant architecture to optimise biomass yield in MiscanthusFarrar, K. 2009
Miscanthus morphologyFarrar, K. 2009
Understanding and exploiting the diversity of form in MiscanthusFarrar, K. 2009
Functional genomics of forage and bioenergy quality traits in the grassesDonnison, 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 Molecular Breeding of Forage Turf: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage Turf. Yamada, T. & Spangenberg, G. (eds.). p. 111-12313 p.
Exploiting model species to increase biomass yield in energy cropsFarrar, K., Hawkins, S., Jensen, E., Robson, P., Sanderson, R., Clifton-Brown, J. & Donnison, I. 2009
Unravelling the genetic control of flowering time in the bioenergy grass MiscanthusJensen, E. F., Jones, S. T., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J. C. & Donnison, I. S. 2008 In : Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology.150, 3, p. S180-S185
Bioenergy and biorenewables from grassesDonnison, I. S., Farrar, K., Robson, P. R., Clifton-Brown, J. C., Smith, S. P. (ed.) & Spikes, K. J. (ed.) 2008 IBERS Knowledge-based Innovations, 1, p. 25-284 p.
Increasing biomass for bioenergy in perennial grassesClifton-Brown, J. C., Donnison, I. S., Valentine, J. & Farrar, K. 2008 p. 167-1693 p.
Manipulation of plant architecture for increased biomass in MiscanthusFarrar, K., Donnison, I. S. & Clifton-Brown, J. C. 2008 p. S180-S185
Optimising flowering time in Miscanthus for improved biomass yield and qualityJensen, E. F., Jones, S. T., Farrar, K., Robson, P. R. H., Clifton-Brown, J. C. & Donnison, I. S. 2008 p. L24
Changes in SSR allele frequencies during phenotypic selection for water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) in an experimental population of perennial ryegrassArmstead, I. P., Turner, L. B., Humphreys, M. O., Farrell, M. S., Cairns, A. J., Skøt, K. P., Farrar, K., Donnison, I. S. & Lubberstedt, T. (ed.) 2008 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses.p. 19-235 p.
Miscanthus: breeding our way to a better futureClifton-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. (ed.), Green, M. (ed.), Karp, A. (ed.), Shield, I. (ed.), Stock, D. (ed.) & Turley, D. (ed.) 2008 In : Aspects of Applied Biology.90, p. 199-2068 p.
Construction and screening of BAC libraries made from Brachypodium genomic DNAFarrar, K. & Donnison, I. S. 2007 In : Nature Protocols.2, 7, p. 1661-167414 p.
Construction of two Lolium perenne BAC libraries and identification of BACs containing candidate genes for disease resistance and forage qualityLubberstedt, T., Thomas, A. M., Humphreys, M. O., Donnison, I. S., Asp, T., Farrar, K., Xu, M. & Christiansen, C. 2007 In : Molecular Breeding.p. 15-239 p.
Quality traits for bioenergy in grassesDonnison, 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. (ed.) 2007 Proceedings, 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses.p. 46
Phenotyping and mapping quality traits for bioenergy in grassesDonnison, I., Thain, S. C., Hodgson, E., Morris, C., Clifton-Brown, J., Turner, L., Gallagher, J., Humphreys, M. O., Farrar, K. & Morris, P. 2007
Identification of SNps for molecular breeding in Lolium perenneFarrar, 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 perenneFarrar, K., Thomas, A., Armstead, I., Turner, L., Humphreys, M. O. & Donnison, I. S. 2006 p. P.67
Patterns of Dwarf expression and brassinosteroid accumulation in tomato reveal the importance of brassinosteroid synthesis during fruit developmentBishop, G. J., Nomura, T., Montoya, T., Jones, J. G. D., Harrison, K., Szekeres, M., Farrar, K., Yokota, T., Kamiya, Y. & Kaneta, T. 2005 In : Plant Journal.p. 262-2698 p.
Construction and exploitation of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass)Farrar, K., Humphreys, M. O., Thomas, A. M., Donnison, I. S. & Humphreys, M. O. (ed.) 2005
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 signalingMontoya, T., Nomura, T., Farrar, K., Kaneta, T., Yokota, T. & Bishop, G. J. 2002 In : Plant Cell.14, 12, p. 3163-317614 p.