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Sainsbury Laboratory

Research Interests

My research interests lie in environmental regulation of plant development. I am fascinated by the diverse range morphological decisions that plants can make and the profound effects on survivability and yields that developmental plasticity brings. As phytohormones integrate environmental signals with development, in a cell and tissue specific manner, to coordinate these decisions, understanding their localisation and dynamics is essential to understanding development.

This fascination with development led me to my postgraduate work with Keith Lindsey in Durham.  Here we used creative modelling and experimental approaches to understand how the interactions between different hormones control root growth, paying particular attention to the effects of ABA and osmotic stress (Rowe et al. 2016, Moore et al. 2015, Vernon et al. under review, Liu et al. 2014).

After my PhD, I wanted experience with a different developmental system, so I spent 20 months working with Stuart Casson, in Sheffield. Here we investigated light mediated stomatal development and found a novel developmental response to light status, linking photosynthetic status with gas exchange.

Current Work

In the Jones group, I will be engineering the next generation of Abscisic Acid Concentration and Uptake Sensor (ABACUS - Jones et al. 2014). We will use these new tools to investigate how biosynthesis, catabolism, conjugation, deconjugation and transport contribute to ABA patterning in the root. Understanding ABA accumulations and depletions will ultimately help us understand the role of this key hormone in root growth and development in a variety of contexts, for example under various nitrate treatment regimes.

Key Publications

Rowe, J., Topping J.F., Liu, J., Lindsey, K. (2015) Abscisic acid regulates root growth under osmotic stress conditions via an interacting hormonal network with cytokinin, ethylene and auxin. New Phytologist 1469-8137

Liu, J. Rowe, J., Lindsey, K., (2014). Hormonal crosstalk for root development: a combined experimental and modelling perspective. Frontiers in Plant Science 5.

Vernon, I., Goldstein, M., Rowe, J.,Topping, JF.,  Liu, J., Lindsey , K., Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex systems biology models: emulation, global parameter searches and evaluation of gene functions.  (Under review in BMC Systems Biology, available as preprint: ).

Moore, S.P.M., Zhang, X., Mudge, A., Rowe, J., Topping, J.F., Liu, J., and Lindsey, K. (2015) Spatiotemporal modelling of hormonal crosstalk explains the level and patterning of hormones and gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana wildtype and mutant roots. New Phytologist 207: 1110–1122.

Mehdi, S., Mudge, A., Rowe, J., Liu, J., Topping, J.F. & Lindsey, K. (2016). The POLARIS Peptide: Role in Hormone Signalling and Root Growth. In Annual Plant Reviews: Peptide Signals in Plants. Huffaker, A. & Pearce, G. Wiley-Blackwell. in press.

Research Associate
Dr Jim  Rowe

Contact Details

Sainsbury Laboratory
47 Bateman Street