We work on signalling systems in plant development and defence, that allow plants to function in an integrated manner. The greatest present challenges are to identify novel regulatory molecules and their targets. Fortunately, functional genomics enables us to address these questions directly. In particular, we can exploit proteomics and transcriptomics in combination with the widespread availability of mutants and transgenics. We have also invested time in developing tools for studying systemic signalling, especially micro-grafting and sap sampling in Arabidopsis. We have published on both phloem (Corbesier et al. 2007; Truman et al. 2007; Zhang et al. 2010; Lopez-Cobollo et al. 2016) and xylem (Foo et al. 2007) systems. For plant defence against aphids, we are particularly interested in species-wide diversity of both pest virulence and host resistance (Kanvil et al. 2014a) and in genetics of aphid effectors (Kanvil et al. 2014b).
See further details at research page
Controlling dormancy and sprouting in potato and onion (BBSRC Horticulture and Potato Initiative 2013-2017; with James Hutton Institute, Cranfield University and Greenwich University)
The molecular and genetic basis of aphid virulence (BBSRC 2016-2018; with Dundee University)
Disentangling the mechanisms of ecological speciation in sympatric palm species (NERC 2015-2018; led by Prof Vincent Savolainen, Silwood Park)
Interested in Postdoctoral Fellowships?
Imperial College runs an annual competitive Imperial College Research Fellowships scheme (Imperial College Research Fellowships). If you are eligible and might be interested in applying, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also assist in preparing applications for fellowship schemes run by Royal Society, BBSRC and many other organisations.
Interested in PhD or MRes projects?
If you are interested in projects on plant signalling in development or defence, please get in touch at email@example.com. We encourage potential students to develop their own projects centred on any of the four main areas in the lab:
- Plant-aphid interactions: inheritance and characterisation of effectors and resistance genes see Genetics paper
- Plant shoot architecture,meristem dormancy and underlying regulatory hormone networks centred on cytokinins, strigolactones and auxin see Plant Physiology paper
- Structure and function of flowering hormone proteins, especially FT and its interactors
- Phloem biology especially comparative proteomics see Plant Journal paper
et al., Cell-surface receptors enable perception of extracellular cytokinins, Nature Communications, ISSN:2041-1723
et al., 2017, Cucurbit extrafascicular phloem has strong negative impacts on aphids and is not a preferred feeding site., Plant Cell and Environment, Vol:40, ISSN:0140-7791, Pages:2780-2789
et al., 2016, Comparative proteomics of cucurbit phloem indicates both unique and shared sets of proteins, The Plant Journal, Vol:88, ISSN:1365-313X, Pages:633-647
et al., 2015, Cell-Type-Specific Cytokinin Distribution within the Arabidopsis Primary Root Apex, Plant Cell, Vol:27, ISSN:1040-4651, Pages:1955-1967
et al., 2015, Cryptic Virulence and Avirulence Alleles Revealed by Controlled Sexual Recombination in Pea Aphids, Genetics, Vol:199, ISSN:0016-6731, Pages:581-593
Kanvil S, Powell G, Turnbull C, 2014, Pea aphid biotype performance on diverse Medicago host genotypes indicates highly specific virulence and resistance functions, Bulletin of Entomological Research, Vol:104, ISSN:1475-2670, Pages:689-701
et al., 2014, Conditional Auxin Response and Differential Cytokinin Profiles in Shoot Branching Mutants., Plant Physiology, Vol:165, ISSN:0032-0889, Pages:1723-1736
Turnbull CGN, Lopez-Cobollo RM, 2013, Heavy traffic in the fast lane: long-distance signalling by macromolecules, New Phytologist, Vol:198, ISSN:0028-646X, Pages:33-51
Turnbull C, 2011, Long-distance regulation of flowering time, Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol:62, ISSN:0022-0957, Pages:4399-4413
et al., 2010, Divergent metabolome and proteome suggest functional independence of dual phloem transport systems in cucurbits, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:107, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:13532-13537
et al., 2007, FT protein movement contributes to long-distance signaling in floral induction of Arabidopsis, Science, Vol:316, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:1030-1033
et al., 2007, Feedback regulation of xylem cytokinin content is conserved in pea and arabidopsis, Plant Physiology, Vol:143, ISSN:0032-0889, Pages:1418-1428
et al., 2007, Arabidopsis systemic immunity uses conserved defense signaling pathways and is mediated by jasmonates, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:104, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:1075-1080
et al., 2004, CONSTANS acts in the phloem to regulate a systemic signal that induces photoperiodic flowering of Arabidopsis, Development, Vol:131, ISSN:0950-1991, Pages:3615-3626
Turnbull CGN, Booker JP, Leyser HMO, 2002, Micrografting techniques for testing long-distance signalling in Arabidopsis, Plant Journal, Vol:32, ISSN:0960-7412, Pages:255-262