Prof John Doonan

BSc Hons (Leeds), PhD (Leeds)

Prof John Doonan

Chair (DLM)


Contact Details


John Doonan has more than 30 years experience in genetics and developmental cell biology of plants and fungi. Before joining IBERS as Director of the National Plant Phenomics Centre, he was Group Leader at the John Innes Centre in Norwich. Previous to that he worked at the Robert Wood Johnston Medical School in New Jersey, USA and obtained his PhD from Leeds University.



Plant growth underpins the productivity of both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Our group uses both induced (mutants) and natural variation in experimental model systems and wheat to understand how plants grow and respond to their environment. Current research focuses on cyclin dependent protein kinase targets (a) in the microtubule system and (b) in the protein translation machinery. We are developing high throughput high content phenotyping technologies at the National Plant Phenomics Centre that will allow the better exploitation of genomic-type information in the process of both gene discovery and plant breeding.

Our lab welcomes visiting students, post-doc and academics on short and longer term training visits. Please contact us by email.

Research is supported by grants from the BBSRC, Leverhulme, FP7, BEAA, and the Welsh Government.

Research Groups


Wu, D, Wu, D, Feng, H, Duan, L, Dai, G, Liu, X, Wang, K, Yang, P, Chen, G, Gay, AP, Doonan, JH, Niu, Z, Xiong, L & Yang, W 2021, 'A deep learning-integrated micro-CT image analysis pipeline for quantifying rice lodging resistance-related traits', Plant Communications.
Faralli, M, Williams, K, Corke, F, Li, M, Doonan, JH & Varotto, C 2021, 'Interspecific and intraspecific phenotypic diversity for drought adaptation in bioenergy Arundo species', GCB Bioenergy.
Hus, K, Betekhtin, A, Pinski, A, Rojek-Jelonek, M, Grzebelus, E, Nibau, C, Gao, M, Jaeger, KE, Jenkins, G, Doonan, JH & Hasterok, R 2020, 'A CRISPR/Cas9-Based Mutagenesis Protocol for Brachypodium distachyon and Its Allopolyploid Relative, Brachypodium hybridum', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 11, 614.
Nibau, C, Dadarou, D, Kargios, N, Mallioura, A, Fernandez-Fuentes, N, Cavallari, N & Doonan, JH 2020, 'A Functional Kinase Is Necessary for Cyclin-Dependent Kinase G1 (CDKG1) to Maintain Fertility at High Ambient Temperature in Arabidopsis', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 11, 586870.
Nobre Nibau, C, Lloyd, AH, Dadarou, D, Betekhtin, A, Tsilimigka, F, Phillips, D & Doonan, J 2020, 'CDKG1 Is Required for Meiotic and Somatic Recombination Intermediate Processing in Arabidopsis', Plant Cell, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 1308-1322.
More publications on the Research Portal