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Health Sciences profile

Associate Professor Richard Macknight

PositionAssociate Professor
DepartmentDepartment of Biochemistry
QualificationsMSc PhD(Otago)
Research summaryMolecular genetics of plant development

Research

My research group is focused on understanding plant development, in particular on how flowering time is regulated and how seeds develop. We are currently using molecular-genetic approaches to:
  • Investigate the regulation of flowering in Arabidopsis and in the model legume, Medicago truncatula.
  • Identify and characterise imprinted genes.
  • Discover genes involved in Arabidopsis seed development.
  • Identification of genes for enhanced hybrid onion production.

Publications

Wu, R., Tomes, S., Karunairetnam, S., Tustin, S. D., Hellens, R. P., Allan, A. C., Macknight, R. C., & Varkonyi-Gasic, E. (2017). SVP-like MADS box genes control dormancy and budbreak in apple. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, 477. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00477

Wu, R., Wang, T., Warren, B. A., Allan, A. C., Macknight, R. C., & Varkonyi-Gasic, E. (2017). Kiwifruit SVP2 gene prevents premature budbreak during dormancy. Journal of Experimental Botany, erx014. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erx014

Macknight, R. C., Laing, W. A., Bulley, S. M., Broad, R. C., Johnson, A. A. T., & Hellens, R. P. (2017). Increasing ascorbate levels in crops to enhance human nutrition and plant abiotic stress tolerance. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 44, 153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.01.011

Ridge, S., Deokar, A., Lee, R., Daba, K., Macknight, R. C., Weller, J. L., & Tar’an, B. (2017). The chickpea Early Flowering 1 (Efl1) locus is an ortholog of Arabidopsis ELF3. Plant Physiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1104/pp.17.00082

Bond, D. M., Albert, N. W., Lee, R. H., Gillard, G. B., Brown, C. M., Hellens, R. P., & Macknight, R. C. (2016). Infiltration-RNAseq: Transcriptome profiling of agrobacterium-mediated infiltration of transcription factors to discover gene function and expression networks in plants. Plant Methods, 12, 41. doi: 10.1186/s13007-016-0141-7

Chapter in Book - Research

Day, R., & Macknight, R. (2014). Screening for imprinted genes using high-resolution melting analysis of PCR amplicons. In C. Spillane & P. C. McKeown (Eds.), Plant epigentics and epigenomics: Methods and protocols. (pp. 71-83). Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-773-0_5

Picard, K., Lee, R., Hellens, R. P., & Macknight, R. (2013). Transient gene expression in Medicago truncatula leaves via agroinfiltration. In R. J. Rose (Ed.), Legume genomics: Methods and protocols: Methods in molecular biology (Vol. 1069). (pp. 215-226). New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-613-9_15

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Journal - Research Article

Wu, R., Tomes, S., Karunairetnam, S., Tustin, S. D., Hellens, R. P., Allan, A. C., Macknight, R. C., & Varkonyi-Gasic, E. (2017). SVP-like MADS box genes control dormancy and budbreak in apple. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, 477. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00477

Ridge, S., Deokar, A., Lee, R., Daba, K., Macknight, R. C., Weller, J. L., & Tar’an, B. (2017). The chickpea Early Flowering 1 (Efl1) locus is an ortholog of Arabidopsis ELF3. Plant Physiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1104/pp.17.00082

Macknight, R. C., Laing, W. A., Bulley, S. M., Broad, R. C., Johnson, A. A. T., & Hellens, R. P. (2017). Increasing ascorbate levels in crops to enhance human nutrition and plant abiotic stress tolerance. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 44, 153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.01.011

Wu, R., Wang, T., Warren, B. A., Allan, A. C., Macknight, R. C., & Varkonyi-Gasic, E. (2017). Kiwifruit SVP2 gene prevents premature budbreak during dormancy. Journal of Experimental Botany, erx014. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erx014

Bond, D. M., Albert, N. W., Lee, R. H., Gillard, G. B., Brown, C. M., Hellens, R. P., & Macknight, R. C. (2016). Infiltration-RNAseq: Transcriptome profiling of agrobacterium-mediated infiltration of transcription factors to discover gene function and expression networks in plants. Plant Methods, 12, 41. doi: 10.1186/s13007-016-0141-7

Khosa, J. S., Lee, R., Bräuning, S., Lord, J., Pither-Joyce, M., McCallum, J., & Macknight, R. C. (2016). Doubled haploid 'CUDH2107' as a reference for bulb onion (Allium cepa L.) research: Development of a transcriptome catalogue and identification of transcripts associated with male fertility. PLoS ONE, 11(11), e0166568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166568

Hellens, R. P., Brown, C. M., Chisnall, M. A. W., Waterhouse, P. M., & Macknight, R. C. (2016). The emerging world of small ORFs. Trends in Plant Science, 21(4), 317-328. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2015.11.005

Laing, W. A., Martínez-Sánchez, M., Wright, M. A., Bulley, S. M., Brewster, D., Dare, A. P., … Macknight, R. C., & Hellens, R. P. (2015). An upstream open reading frame Is essential for feedback regulation of ascorbate biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 27(3), 772-786. doi: 10.1105/tpc.114.133777

Zhang, H., Luo, M., Day, R. C., Talbot, M. J., Ivanova, A., Ashton, A. R., … Macknight, R. C., … Koltunow, A. M. (2015). Developmentally regulated HEART STOPPER, a mitochondrially targeted L18 ribosomal protein gene, is required for cell division, differentiation, and seed development in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66(19), 5867-5880. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv296

Khosa, J. S., McCallum, J., Dhatt, A. S., & MacKnight, R. C. (2015). Enhancing onion breeding using molecular tools. Plant Breeding, 9-20. doi: 10.1111/pbr.12330

Herridge, R. P., Day, R. C., & Macknight, R. C. (2014). The role of the MCM2-7 helicase complex during Arabidopsis seed development. Plant Molecular Biology, 86(1-2), 69-84. doi: 10.1007/s11103-014-0213-x

Wong, A. C. S., Hecht, V. F. G., Picard, K., Diwadkar, P., Laurie, R. E., Wen, J., … Macknight, R. C., & Weller, J. L. (2014). Isolation and functional analysis of CONSTANS-LIKE genes suggests that a central role for CONSTANS in flowering time control is not evolutionarily conserved in Medicago truncatula. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5, 486. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00486

Baldwin, S., Revanna, R., Pither-Joyce, M., Shaw, M., Wright, K., Thomson, S., … Lee, R., Macknight, R., & McCallum, J. (2014). Genetic analyses of bolting in bulb onion (Allium cepa L.). Theoretical & Applied Genetics, 127(3), 535-547. doi: 10.1007/s00122-013-2232-4

Jaudal, M., Monash, J., Zhang, L., Wen, J., Mysore, K. S., Macknight, R., & Putterill, J. (2014). Overexpression of Medicago SVP genes causes floral defects and delayed flowering in Arabidopsis but only affects floral development in Medicago. Journal of Experimental Botany, 65(2), 429-442. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert384

Lee, R., Baldwin, S., Kenel, F., McCallum, J., & Macknight, R. (2013). FLOWERING LOCUS T genes control onion bulb formation and flowering. Nature Communications, 4, 2884. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3884

Weller, J. L., Chee Liew, L., Hecht, V. F. G., Rajandran, V., Laurie, R. E., Ridge, S., … Macknight, R. C., & Lejeune-Hénaut, I. (2012). A conserved molecular basis for photoperiod adaptation in two temperate legumes. PNAS, 109(51), 21158-21163. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1207943110

Yeoh, C. C., Balcerowicz, M., Laurie, R., Macknight, R., & Putterill, J. (2011). Developing a method for customized induction of flowering. BMC Biotechnology, 11, 36. doi: 10.1186/1472-6750-11-36

Herridge, R. P., Day, R. C., Baldwin, S., & Macknight, R. C. (2011). Rapid analysis of seed size in Arabidopsis for mutant and QTL discovery. Plant Methods, 7. doi: 10.1186/1746-4811-7-3

Hecht, V., Laurie, R. E., Vander Schoor, J. K., Ridge, S., Knowles, C. L., Chee Liew, L., … Macknight, R. C., & Weller, J. L. (2011). The pea GIGAS gene is a FLOWERING LOCUS T homolog necessary for graft-transmissible specification of flowering but not for responsiveness to photoperiod. Plant Cell, 23(1), 147-161. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.081042

Baldwin, S. J., Dodds, K. G., Auvray, B., Genet, R. A., Macknight, R. C., & Jacobs, J. M. E. (2011). Association mapping of cold-induced sweetening in potato using historical phenotypic data. Annals of Applied Biology, 158(3), 248-256. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2011.00459.x

Laurie, R. E., Diwadkar, P., Jaudal, M., Zhang, L., Hecht, V., Wen, J., … Macknight, R. C. (2011). The Medicago FLOWERING LOCUS T homolog, MtFTa1, is a key regulator of flowering time. Plant Physiology, 156(4), 2207-2224. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.180182

Simpson, G. G., Laurie, R. E., Dijkwel, P. P., Quesada, V., Stockwell, P. A., Dean, C., & Macknight, R. C. (2010). Noncanonical translation initiation of the Arabidopsis flowering time and alternative polyadenylation regulator FCA. Plant Cell, 22(11), 3764-3777. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.077990

Risk, J. M., Laurie, R. E., Macknight, R. C., & Day, C. L. (2010). FRIGIDA and related proteins have a conserved central domain and family specific N- and C- terminal regions that are functionally important. Plant Molecular Biology, 73, 493-505. doi: 10.1007/s11103-010-9635-2

Day, R. C., Mueller, S., & Macknight, R. C. (2009). Identification of cytoskeleton-associated genes expressed during arabidopsis syncytial endosperm development. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 4(9), 883-886.

Risk, J. M., Day, C. L., & Macknight, R. C. (2009). Reevaluation of abscisic acid-binding assays shows that G-Protein-Coupled Receptor2 does not bind abscisic acid. Plant Physiology, 150(1), 6-11.

Chee Liew, L., Hecht, V., Laurie, R. E., Knowles, C. L., Vander Schoor, J. K., Macknight, R. C., & Weller, J. L. (2009). DIE NEUTRALIS and LATE BLOOMER 1 contribute to regulation of the pea circadian clock. Plant Cell, 21(10), 3198-3211. doi: 10.1105/tpc.109.067223

Risk, J. M., Macknight, R. C., & Day, C. L. (2008). FCA does not bind abscisic acid. Nature, 456(7223), E5-E6.

Day, R. C., Herridge, R. P., Ambrose, B. A., & Macknight, R. C. (2008). Transcriptome analysis of proliferating Arabidopsis endosperm reveals biological implications for the control of syncytial division, cytokinin signaling, and gene expression regulation. Plant Physiology, 148(4), 1964-1984. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.128108

Day, R. C., McNoe, L. A., & MacKnight, R. C. (2007). Transcript analysis of laser microdissected plant cells. Physiologia Plantarum, 129(2), 267-282.

Day, R. C., McNoe, L., & Macknight, R. C. (2007). Evaluation of global RNA amplification and its use for high-throughput transcript analysis of laser-microdissected endosperm. International Journal of Plant Genomics, 2007, 61028.

Putterill, J., Laurie, R., & Macknight, R. (2004). It's time to flower: The genetic control of flowering time. BioEssays, 26(4), 363-373.

Macknight, R. C., Duroux, M., Laurie, R., Dijkwel, P., Simpson, G., & Dean, C. (2002). Functional significance of the alternative transcript processing of the Arabidopsis floral promoter FCA. Plant Cell, 14, 877-888.

Macknight, R., Duroux, M., Laurie, R., Dijkwel, P., Simpson, G., & Dean, C. (2002). Functional significance of the alterative transcript processing of the arabidopsis floral promoter FCA. Plant Cell, 14, 877-888.

Page, T., Macknight, R. C., Yang, C.-H., & Dean, C. (1999). Genetic interactions of FCA, an Arabidopsis gene controlling flowering time, with genes regulating floral initiation. Plant Journal, 17, 231-239.

Macknight, R. C., Lister, C., & Dean, C. (1998). Rice cDNA clones OsGRP1 and OsGRP2 (Accession Nos. AJ002893 and AJ002894, respectively) define two classes of glycine rich RNA-binding proteins. Plant Physiology, 117, 1527.

Macknight, R. C., Love, K., & Dean, C. (1998). Identification of an Arabidopsis cDNA encoding a novel glycine rich RNA-binding protein (Accession No. AJ002892) and mapping of the gene family onto the Arabidopsis physical map. Plant Physiology, 117, 1526.

Macknight, R. C., Bancroft, I., Lister, C., Page, T. A., & et al (1997). FCA, a gene controlling floweing time in Arabidopsis, encodes a protein containing RNA binding domains. Cell, 89, 737-747.

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