Department of Biology & Biochemistry


Professor of Plant Molecular Biology

4 South 0.01


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 383136


Professor Rod Scott 


Current Research 

My lab researches both the molecular genetics of higher plant reproduction, particularly seed development, and algal biotechnology.

Seeds and Reproduction

Seeds are the most important agricultural product, accounting for at least 70% of the world’s food supply (either directly or as animal feed). With rising population and diminishing agricultural land, it is increasingly urgent to improve crop yields. Increasing seed size and number in seed crop species are important routes to achieving this goal. Our fundamental insights are identifying genes that regulate these traits, building these into biotechnological approaches to deliver increased yield.

Novel plant glycoside hydrolases for bioethanol production

Successful plant reproduction is essential for food production. The stationary lifestyle of plants means that mobile pollen is vital for fertilisation. Since plant cells are usually firmly fused together in tissues, pollen production requires radical modification of normal cell division. This is achieved by replacing cellulose with callose as the cell wall material laid-down after meiosis forms the young pollen grains. Enzymes produced by the surrounding anther tissues then dissolve the callose, releasing the pollen. We are identifing the genes encoding these enzymes for evaluation in the creation of auto-digesting transgenic plants for bioethanol production.

Algae biotechnology

Single-celled, or microalgae, are a diverse group of species with many potential commercial applications including the production of biofuels, pigments, protein for animal feed and industrial feedstocks. Their large-scale culture could also help capture harmful CO2 to combat climate change and to clean wastewater reducing environmental damage from sewage treatment.

Before algae can realize this potential a number of technical challenges must be overcome to bring down the cost of production to levels competitive with existing and well-established alternatives. These include thermo-tolerance, increased photosynthetic efficiency and reduced harvesting and product recovery costs. Several research projects in the lab focus on addressing these challenges.


Wang, L., Clarke, L. A., Eason, R. J., Parker, C. C., Qi, B., Scott, R. J. and Doughty, J., 2017. PCP-B class pollen coat proteins are key regulators of the hydration checkpoint in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen-stigma interactions. New Phytologist, 213 (2), pp. 764-777.

Arnot, T. and Scott, R., 2016. Research Notes:Farming algae to treat wastewater. [Non-academic press]

Li, Y., Scott, R., Doughty, J., Grant, M. and Qi, B., 2016. Protein S-Acyltransferase 14:A specific role for palmitoylation in leaf senescence in arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 170 (1), pp. 415-428.

Schatlowski, N., Wolff, P., Santos-González, J., Schoft, V., Siretskiy, A., Scott, R., Tamaru, H. and Köhler, C., 2014. Hypomethylated pollen bypasses the interploidy hybridization barrier in arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 26 (9), pp. 3556-3568.

Chuck, C., Lou-Hing, D., Dean, R., Sargeant, L., Scott, R. J. and Jenkins, R., 2014. Simultaneous microwave extraction and synthesis of fatty acid methyl ester from the oleaginous yeast Rhodotorula glutinis. Energy, 69, pp. 446-454.

Doughty, J., Aljabri, M. and Scott, R. J., 2014. Flavonoids and the regulation of seed size in Arabidopsis. Biochemical Society Transactions, 42 (2), pp. 364-369.

Santomauro, F., Whiffin, F., Scott, R. J. and Chuck, C. J., 2014. Correction:low-cost lipid production by an oleaginous yeast cultured in non-sterile conditions using model waste resources. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 7 (1), 42.

Santomauro, F., Whiffin, F., Scott, R. J. and Chuck, C., 2014. Low-cost lipid production by an oleaginous yeast cultured in non-sterile conditions using model waste resources. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 7 (34), pp. 34-43.

Chuck, C., Santomauro, F., Sargeant, L., Whiffin, F., Chantasuban, T., Abd. Ghaffar, N. R., Wagner, J. and Scott, R. J., 2014. Liquid transport fuels from microbial yeasts - current and future perspectives. Biofuels, 5 (3), pp. 293-311.

Sargeant, L. A., Chuck, C. J., Donnelly, J., Bannister, C. D. and Scott, R. J., 2014. Optimizing the lipid profile, to produce either a palm oil or biodiesel substitute, by manipulation of the culture conditions for Rhodotorula glutinis. Biofuels, 5 (1), pp. 33-43.

Scott, R. J., Tratt, J. and Bolbol, A., 2013. Seed Development in Interploidy Hybrids. In: Chen, Z. J. and Birchler, J. A., eds. Polyploid and Hybrid Genomics. Oxford, UK: Wiley, pp. 271-290.

Smith-Badorf, H. D., Chuck, C.J., Mokebo, K.R., MacDonald, H., Davidson, M.G. and Scott, R.J., 2013. Bioprospecting the thermal waters of the Roman Baths:Isolation of oleaginous species and analysis of the FAME profile for biodiesel production. AMB Express, 3 (1), 9.

Stoute, A.I., Varenko, V., King, G.J., Scott, R. J. and Kurup, S., 2012. Parental genome imbalance in Brassica oleracea causes asymmetric triploid block. The Plant Journal, 71 (3), pp. 503-516.

Scott, Rod, 2012. Seeds. C12N15/82- US2012159671 (A1), 21 June 2012.

Heneen, W. K., Geleta, M., Brismar, K., Xiong, Z., Pires, J. C., Hasterok, R., Stoute, A. I., Scott, R. J., King, G. J. and Kurup, S., 2012. Seed colour loci, homoeology and linkage groups of the C genome chromosomes revealed in Brassica rapa-B. oleracea monosomic alien addition lines. Annals of Botany, 109 (7), pp. 1227-1242.

Geleta, M., Heneen, W. K., Stoute, A. I., Muttucumaru, N., Scott, R. J., King, G. J., Kurup, S. and Bryngelsson, T., 2012. Assigning Brassica microsatellite markers to the nine C-genome chromosomes using Brassica rapa var. trilocularis-B. oleracea var. alboglabra monosomic alien addition lines. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 125 (3), pp. 455-466.

Scott, R., Arnot, T. and Davidson, M., 2012. Using Algae in the Wastewater Treatment Process: Sustainable Technology at the University of Bath. University of Bath.

Scott, Rod, 2011. Seeds. A01H5/10- AU2011201954 (A1), 26 May 2011.

Tiwari, S., Spielman, M., Schulz, R., Oakey, R. J., Kelsey, G., Salazar, A., Zhang, K., Pennell, R. and Scott, R. J., 2010. Transcriptional profiles underlying parent-of-origin effects in seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Plant Biology, 10, 72.

Fenby, N., Pu, H., Pennell, R., Praekelt, U., Day, R. and Scott, R. J., 2010. An uncoupling screen for autonomous embryo mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana. Sexual Plant Reproduction, 23 (4), pp. 255-264.

Taskin, K. M., Turgut, K. and Scott, R., 2009. Apomeiotic pollen mother cell development in the apomictic Boechera species. Biologia Plantarum, 53 (3), pp. 468-474.

Taskin, K. M., Turgut, K. and Scott, R. J., 2009. Somatic embryogenesis in apomict Boechera holboellii. Acta Biologica Hungarica, 60 (3), pp. 301-307.

Cheung, F., Trick, M., Drou, N., Lim, Y. P., Park, J. Y., Kwon, S. J., Kim, J. A., Scott, R., Pires, J. C., Paterson, A. H., Town, C. and Bancroft, I., 2009. Comparative Analysis between Homoeologous Genome Segments of Brassica napus and Its Progenitor Species Reveals Extensive Sequence-Level Divergence. Plant Cell, 21 (7), pp. 1912-1928.

Dilkes, B. P., Spielman, M., Weizbauer, R., Watson, B., Burkart-Waco, D., Scott, R. J. and Comai, L., 2008. The maternally expressed WRKY transcription factor TTG2 Controls lethality in interploidy crosses of Arabidopsis. PLoS Biology, 6 (12), e308.

Tiwari, S., Schulz, R., Ikeda, Y., Dytham, L., Bravo, J., Mathers, L., Spielman, M., Guzman, P., Oakey, R. J., Kinoshita, T. and Scott, R. J., 2008. MATERNALLY EXPRESSED PAB C-TERMINAL, a novel imprinted gene in Arabidopsis, encodes the conserved C-terminal domain of polyadenylate binding proteins. Plant Cell, 20 (9), pp. 2387-2398.

Scott, R. J., Armstrong, S. J., Doughty, J. and Spielman, M., 2008. Double fertilization in Arabidopsis thaliana involves a polyspermy block on the egg but not the central cell. Molecular Plant, 1 (4), pp. 611-619.

Spielman, M. and Scott, R. J., 2008. Polyspermy barriers in plants: from preventing to promoting fertilization. Sexual Plant Reproduction, 21 (1), pp. 53-65.

Hughes, R., Spielman, M., Schruff, M. C., Larson, T. R., Graham, I. A. and Scott, R. J., 2008. Yield assessment of integument-led seed growth following targeted repair of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 2. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 6 (8), pp. 758-769.

This list was generated on Tue Aug 15 22:17:26 2017 IST.

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