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Dr Antony Dodd

Circadian Biology and Cell Signalling

Circadian clocks produce a biological measure of the time of day. My lab studies the molecular biology of how circadian regulation improves plant performance. Circadian regulation is crucial in plants because circadian regulation increases photosynthesis and productivity substantially (Dodd et al. Science 2005) and controls seasonality of flowering.

We are investigating the following:

1. How does the circadian clock control the photosynthesis?

There are circadian rhythms of photosynthesis, but it is not known how the circadian clock regulates the photosynthetic apparatus.

2. How does the circadian clock co-ordinate cell signalling and membrane transport?

Membrane systems are a crucial focus in plants for abiotic stress responses, photosynthesis, water fluxes and signal transduction.

3. How is the circadian clock tailored to physiologically-relevant cell types?

A small number of cell types in plants have a disproportionately large impact on water use and stress tolerance. This includes the stomatal guard cell and root endodermis. We are investigating how circadian regulation in these cell types optimizes plant performance because the environment is characterized by 24 h cycles of water availability.


These images show circadian changes in the activity of the promoter of a circadian clock gene in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Full publication list: Link to Google Scholar

Lab members

Fiona Belbin (PhD student)

Dora Cano-Ramirez (PhD student)

Noriane Simon (PhD student)

David Cuitun Coronado (PhD student)

Lauren Hibbert (MSc student)

Lab alumni

Dr Kelly Atkins 

Dr Jelena Kusakina (now a post-doc in Prof. Brendan Davies' lab at the University of Leeds)

Dr Zeenat Noordally (went on to be a post-doc in Prof. Andrew Millar's in Edinburgh and now at the University of Geneva)

Dr Yuanhua Zhang (CSC research fellow)

Dr Sarah Wetherill

Dr Anupama Chembath

Aline Yochikawa (student at UNICAMP Brazil)

Angela Fernandez-Lopez

Shogo Nagano (PhD student at Osaka Prefectural University)

Kester Cragg-Barber



Research findings

Selected publications

Noordally ZB, Ishii K, Atkins KA, Wetherill SJ, Kusakina J, Walton EJ, Kato M, Azuma M, Tanaka K, Hanaoka M, Dodd AN (2013). Circadian control of chloroplast transcription by a nuclear-encoded timing signal. Science 339, 1316-1319.

Kusakina J, Dodd AN (2012). Phosphorylation in the plant circadian system. Trends in Plant Science 17, 575-583.

Dalchau N, Baek SJ, Briggs HM, Robertson FC, Dodd AN, Gardner MJ, Stancombe MA, Haydon MJ, Stan GB, Gonçalves JM, Webb AAR (2011). The circadian oscillator gene GIGANTEA mediates a long-term response of the Arabidopsis thaliana circadian clock to sucrose. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 5104-5109.

Dodd AN, Kudla J, Sanders D (2010). The language of calcium signaling. Annual Review of Plant Biology 61, 593-620.

Dodd AN, Gardner MJ, Hotta CT, Hubbard KE, Dalchau, N, Love J, Assie JM, Robertson FC, Jakobsen MK, Gonçalves J, Sanders D, Webb AAR (2007). The Arabidopsis circadian clock incorporates a cADPR-based feedback loop. Science 318, 1789-92.

Dodd AN, Jakobsen MK, Baker AJ, Telzerow A, Hou SW, Laplaze L, Barot L, Poethig RS, Haseloff J, Webb AAR (2006) Time of day modulates low-temperature Ca2+ signals in Arabidopsis. Plant Journal 48, 962-73.

Dodd AN, Salathia N, Hall A, Kévei E, Tóth R, Nagy F, Hibberd JM, Millar AJ, Webb AAR. (2005) Plant circadian clocks increase photosynthesis, growth, survival, and competitive advantage. Science 309, 630-33.

Dodd AN, Hotta CT, Gardner MJ. (2005) Harry Potter and the prisoner of presumption. Nature 437, 318.

Love J, Dodd AN, Webb AAR. (2004) Circadian and diurnal calcium oscillations encode photoperiodic information in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 16, 956-966. Joint first authorship.