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Dr Stephanie Smith

Dr Stephanie Smith

Research Associate

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street
Cambridge CB2 1LR

Office Phone: +44(0)1223 761100

Research Interests

I am investigating the control of shoot branching by nitrate availability in the model monocot plant Brachypodium distachyon. Nitrate is a key source of fixed nitrogen (N) for plant nutrition. This project represents one aspect of a collaborative effort to optimise N-use in agriculture, the Cambridge-India Network for Translational Research in Nitrogen (CINTRIN), which is led by NIAB, Cambridge. The optimisation of N-use - particularly in countries such as India, which currently rely on heavy N-inputs - has the potential to bring many agricultural, economic and environmental benefits.

Before my recent appointment to the Sainsbury Laboratory I completed my PhD at the University of Nottingham, investigating how a family of small post-translationally modified peptides affect root branching in Arabidopsis thaliana.

My goal for this new project is to further our understanding of the relationship between nitrate availability and shoot branching at the molecular level, and identify some key genetic and biochemical players that regulate these branching processes in Brachypodium.

Key Publications

Roberts I, Smith S, Stes E, De Rybel B, Staes A, van de Cotte B, Njo MF, Dedeyne L, Demol H, Lavenus J, Audenaert D, Gevaert K, Beeckman T, De Smet I. (2016). CEP5 and XIP1/CEPR1 regulate lateral root initiation in Arabidopsis. J Exp Bot 67 (16): 4889-4899.

Cho H, Ryu H, Rho S, Hill K, Smith S, Audenaert D, Park J, Han S, Beeckman T, Bennett MJ, Hwang D, De Smet I, Hwang I. (2014). A secreted peptide acts on BIN2-mediated phosphorylation of ARFs to potentiate auxin response during lateral root development. Nature Cell Biology 16, 66-76. 

Roberts I, Smith S, De Rybel B, Van Den Broeke J, Smet W, De Cokere S, Mispelaere M, De Smet I, Beeckman T. (2013). The CEP family in land plants: evolutionary analyses, expression studies, and role in Arabidopsis shoot development. Journal of Experimental Botany 64, 5371-81. 

Murphy E, Smith S, De Smet I. (2012). Small signaling peptides in Arabidopsis development: how cells communicate over a short distance. Plant Cell 24, 3198-217.

Smith S, De Smet I. (2012). Root system architecture: insights from Arabidopsis and cereal crops. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B: Biological Sciences 367, 1441-52.