Resource Capture

Adequate resources of light, water and mineral nutrients are essential for plants. The Resource Capture Group aims to understand how best to optimise the utilisation of these resources by crops in a changing global environment, by elucidating the genetic control and physiological bases of the traits involved.

We are also interested in how plants compete, as individuals, for these resources and aim to explain this. We have a strong research team that integrates knowledge of plant physiology, particularly of rooting traits, genetics and mathematical modelling. The group is actively involved in the SCRI Living Field educational project.

Rhizosphere Group

The region of the soil surrounding plant roots is the site of active root secretion and microbial activity involved in the cycling of nutrients. In the Rhizosphere Group, we aim to understand the physiology of traits which affect resource capture within the rhizosphere and their genetic control.

Close up image of potato stolons

Nutritional Genomics Group

Plants require at least 14 mineral elements to complete their life cycle. In the Nutritional Genomics Group we aim to optimise the acquisition and accumulation of these mineral elements within plants; and thereby improve dietary quality and reduce fertiliser input. Our work incorporates classical genetic, molecular-biological, physiological, agronomic and modelling techniques.

Image of plant shoots in a petri dish

Plant Systems Modelling Group

Plant form arises from the numerous dynamic interactions between a plant 's innate developmental programme and resource availability in the environment. In the Plant Systems Modelling Group, we are developing novel quantitative approaches to understand and predict the precise nature of these couplings and how they influence the development of plant architecture.

Image of a plant modelling system

Laboratory Techniques

Read more about our Laboratory Techniques.

  • Electrophysiological techniques

  • Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)

  • Functional structural modelling

  • Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) microscopy

  • Computational tools for the analysis of the plant architecture and development

Photograph of Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) equipment in the laboratory

Latest papers and reports