Plant Stress Biology at Manchester University

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Plant Stress Biology

In recent years concern has been growing about the consequences of global climate change caused by human emissions of CO2. This is predicted, in addition to causing a general warming of the planet, to cause an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events (IPCC). Periods of drought and extreme temperature (high and low) and incidents of flooding are all liable to increase. This is of particular concern because of the likely impact on food production. Even if average conditions are favourable for plant growth, even short periods of extreme conditions at crucial times on the growing season can stress plants, lowering crop yields. The aim of our research is to understand how plants are damaged when exposed to changing conditions and how stress tolerant plants are able to avoid that damage. The particular focus of our research is to understand the impact of stress on the process of photosynthesis. the photosynthetic apparatus is especially sensitive to environmental stress and is the source of most of the damage that can occur.

The Plant Stress group is based in the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester. In trying to understand how stress impacts on plants, we use a range of techniques from molecular to ecological. Current projects focus on the short term regulation of electron transport in response to stress and the longer term ability of plants to change their photosynthetic capacity in response to changing environmental conditions.

Lab photo


Giles Johnson's staff profile
Manchester Plant Sciences
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Manchester



Background image - a stressful environment near Grossglockner, Austria