Dr Paul Robson
I graduated in Microbiology and Virology and received a doctorate in molecular microbiology from Warwick University working with Professor David Hodgson. My PhD was studying the mechanism of light induction from a promoter controlling carotenogenesis in Myxobacteria.
Since then I have worked in plant molecular biology and physiology, developing interests in the molecular mechanisms determining plant physiology and morphology. This included 7 years working with Professor Harry Smith at Leicester University studying photomorphogenesis and the biotechnological application of phytochrome. After a move to Aberystwyth I worked at IGER studying senescence and the induction of a stay-green phenotype in Maize (with Professor Howard Thomas); molecular determinants of apomixis (with Professor Philip Morris) and I now lead a project on Miscanthus Molecular Genetics and Crop Performance (with ).
- BRM0620 - Crop Biotechnology
- BDM5820 - Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture
- BRM3920 - Crop Genomics and Genetic Engineering
The aim of my research is to understand the molecular and physiological control of morphologies in Miscanthus that contribute to efficient resource capture and utilisation and to develop molecular tools to enable efficient breeding strategies in Miscanthus. The work will provide fundamental insight into the genetic and environmental interactions determining Miscanthus development and how morphological change and physiological processes contribute to the capture of light and water and to nutrient use efficiency. This project will also develop genetic resources for Miscanthus including a genetic map and will test the syntenic relationship with other crops.
Research highlights include the following objectives:
- To determine variation in morphologies relevant to resource capture including, plant architecture, early season establishment, leaf area and senescence and to test the impact that these morphological changes have on resource capture and yield.
- To determine the morphological and physiological responses of Miscanthus to environmental signals in plot-based and controlled environment studies focusing initially on light as a resource and signal to reveal novel insights into photomorphogenesis in grass species.
- To develop markers and a genetic map for Miscanthus and to use markers for association and QTL mapping of morphological and compositional traits in Miscanthus.
- To determine the impact of senescence on crop quality, nutrient use efficiency and crop yield.
- To determine the extent of synteny with other crop species such as Sorghum and maize.
- To develop innovative phenotyping analyses including the use of high-throughput phenomics studies.
- To characterise gene expression in Miscanthus from senescence associated genes and abiotic stress genes.
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/erx3392017.
Genes and gene clusters related to genotype and drought induced variation in saccharification potential, lignin content, and wood anatomical traits in Populus nigra: Saccharification, Wood Anatomy and Gene Clusters. Tree Physiology 10.1093/treephys/tpx054 Cadair2017.
Selection and Genome-Wide Prediction of Phenology and Biomass Yield in Miscanthus. Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV. Cadair2016.
EGF at 50: The Future of European Grasslands: Proceedings of the 25th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation. Aberystwyth, Wales 7-11 September 2014. Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University Other Cadair2014.
Screening for potential co-products in a Miscanthus sinensis mapping family by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry detection. Phytochemistry 105 pp. 186-196. 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.05.003 Cadair2014.
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 Cadair2014.
Recent advances in Miscanthus science and breeding. International Bioenergy Conference 2014. Cadair2014.
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 Cadair2013.
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 Cadair2013.
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 Cadair2013.
Food vs. fuel: the use of land for lignocellulosic 'next generation' energy crops that minimize competition with primary food production. GCB Bioenergy 4 (1) pp. 1-19. 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01111.x Cadair2012.
Improving bioenergy crop yield and quality through manipulating senescence. Aspects of Applied Biology 112 pp. 323-328. Cadair2011.
Thermal requirements for seed germination in Miscanthus compared with Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinaceae), Maize (Zea mays) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). GCB Bioenergy 3 (5) pp. 375-386. 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01094.x Cadair2011.
Impact of photoperiod and ambient temperature on days to flowering in Miscanthus species. 2010 Society of Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting. Cadair2011.
A flexible quantitative methodology for the analysis of gene-flow between conventionally bred maize populations using microsatellite markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 122 (4) pp. 819-829. 10.1007/s00122-010-1489-0 Cadair2011.
Brachypodium as a model for studying traits relevant for the development of bioenergy grasses. 1st European Brachypodium Workshop. Cadair2011.
Factors affecting rates of cross-pollination in maize growing under typical UK conditions RG0124. DEFRA Report 2011 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Cadair2011.
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 Cadair2011.
Manipulation of plant architecture to optimise biomass yield in Miscanthus. Plant and Animal Genome XVIII Conference. Cadair2010.
Aligning the chemical composition of new Miscanthus varieties to the requirements of conversion processes. Sixth International Conference on Rnewable Resource and Biorefineries. Cadair2010.
Cellular and molecular characterisation of senescence in the energy grass. Plant Sciences Wales. Cadair2009.
Functional genomics of forage and bioenergy quality traits in the grasses. In (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 Other2009.
Exploiting model species to increase biomass yield in energy crops. 20th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (IACR). Cadair2009.
Optimising flowering time in Miscanthus for improved biomass yield and quality. GARNet/SEB Joint Plant Symposium, Vet School, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham. Cadair2008.
Nylon mesh as an improved support for bombarded calli or cell suspensions. In (eds) XX International Grassland Conference: Offered Papers. The 4th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf & Post-Congress Satellite Workshop of the XX International Grassland Congress - Genetic improvement of grasses and other forage crops. 1st edn, Wageningen Academic Publishers Cadair Other2005.
A comparison of hygromycin and paromomycin selection strategies in the genetic transformation of seven Lolium, Festuca, Poa and Agrostis species. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf. XXth International Grassland Congress. Cadair Other2005.
Leaf senescence is delayed in maize expressing the Agrobacterium IPT gene under the control of a novel maize senescence-enhanced promoter. Plant Biotechnology Journal 2 (2) pp. 101-112. 10.1046/j.1467-7652.2004.00054.x Cadair2004.
Fermentation of starch from maize mutants for biofuel production. 2004 Plant Science Wales. Cadair2004.