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Contact Details

+64 3 479 5149
Department of Biochemistry
MSc PhD(Otago)
Research summary
Molecular genetics of plant development


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.


Hao, F., Liu, X., Zhou, B., Tian, Z., Zhou, L., Zong, H., … Macknight, R. C., … Cai, J. (2023). Chromosome-level genomes of three key Allium crops and their trait evolution. Nature Genetics, 55, 1976-1986. doi: 10.1038/s41588-023-01546-0 Journal - Research Article

Dong, Y., Gupta, S., Wargent, J. J., Putterill, J., Macknight, R. C., Gechev, T. S., … Dijkwel, P. P. (2023). Comparative transcriptomics of multi-stress responses in Pachycladon cheesemanii and Arabidopsis thaliana. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24, 11323. doi: 10.3390/ijms241411323 Journal - Research Article

Harris, C., Hall, M., Arrowfield, R., Herridge, R., Eady, C., Macknight, R., & Brownfield, L. (2023). Assessing inbreeding in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) as a step towards F1 hybrid breeding. Plant Breeding. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/pbr.13099 Journal - Research Article

Herridge, R., McCourt, T., Jacobs, J. M. E., Mace, P., Brownfield, L., & Macknight, R. (2022). Identification of the genes at S and Z reveals the molecular basis and evolution of grass self-incompatibility. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13, 1011299. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.1011299 Journal - Research Article

Winichayakul, S., Macknight, R., Le Lievre, L., Beechey-Gradwell, Z., Lee, R., Cooney, L., … Roberts, N. (2022). Insight into the regulatory networks underlying the high lipid perennial ryegrass growth under different irradiances. PLoS ONE, 17(10), e0275503. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275503 Journal - Research Article

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