Prof John Doonan

BSc Hons (Leeds), PhD (Leeds)

Prof John Doonan

Chair (DLM)


Contact Details


John Doonan has more than 25 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, Guo, Z, Ye, J, Feng, H, Liu, J, Chen, G, Zheng, J, Yan, D, Yang, X, Xiong, X, Liu, Q, Niu, Z, Gay, A, Doonan, J, Xiong, L & Yang, W 2019, 'Combining high-throughput micro-CT-RGB phenotyping and genome-wide association study to dissect the genetic architecture of tiller growth in rice' Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 70, no. 2, pp. 545-561.
Loka, D, Harper, J, Humphreys, M, Gasior, D, Wootton-Beard, P, Gwynn-Jones, D, Scullion, J, Doonan, J, Kingston-Smith, A, Dodd, R, Wang, J, Chadwick, DR, Hill, P, Jones, DL, Mills, G, Hayes, F & Robinson, D 2019, 'Impacts of abiotic stresses on the physiology and metabolism of cool-season grasses: A review' Food and Energy Security, vol. 8, no. 1, e00152.
Faralli, M, Williams, K, Han, J, Corke, F, Doonan, J & Kettlewell, PS 2019, 'Water-Saving Traits Can Protect Wheat Grain Number Under Progressive Soil Drying at the Meiotic Stage: A Phenotyping Approach' Journal of Plant Growth Regulation.
Hughes, N, Oliveira, H, Fradgley, N, Corke, F, Cockram, J, Doonan, J & Nobre Nibau, C 2019, 'μCT trait analysis reveals morphometric differences between domesticated temperate small grain cereals and their wild relatives' Plant Journal, vol. 99, no. 1, pp. 98-111.
Zhang, W, Wang, G, Han, J, Li, F, Zhang, Q & Doonan, J 2018, A functional-structural model for alfalfa that accurately integrates shoot and root growth and development. in 2018 6th International Symposium on Plant Growth Modeling, Simulation, Visualization and Applications (PMA). IEEE Press, pp. 134-140, 2018 6th International Symposium on Plant Growth Modeling, Simulation, Visualation and Applications (PMA), Hefei, China, 04 Nov 2018.
More publications on the Research Portal