Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Associate Professor David J. Burritt

Email: david.burritt@otago.ac.nz
Telephone: +64 3 479 9057

Fields of Research

    DJB
  • Oxidative stress and redox biology
  • Plant based foods and bioactive molecules
  • Plant breeding and biotechnology
  • Cryopreservation of germplasm
  • The stress biology of plants, animals and algae, including the impacts of pollution and climate change





Researcher Summary

My research is focused on answering fundamental questions associated with how organisms survive under environmental stress and when exposed to toxins and other pollutants, both increasing global problems.

grid picture

Much of my research has applications in the biotechnology, crop, food and biomedical industries.

Selected Research Overviews

Seaweed w

Plant and seaweed bioactives

Plants and seaweeds (macroalgae) contain a wide range of bioactive molecules of potential valuable to the food, wine and pharmaceutical industries.

We are investigating effective ways of extracting these molecules and the ability of bioactive molecules to improve the quality of foods and wine, and to protect human cells from stress-induced damage.


potato microtubers

Plant tissue culture and cryopreservation of plant and animal cells

Plant tissue culture involves a wide range of techniques used to grow plant cells, tissues or organs on a nutrient culture medium under sterile conditions.

We investigate and develop tissue culture techniques that can be used to efficiently clone commercially important plants and to store valuable germplasm at ultra-low temperatures, using a technique called cryopreservation.


ROS barley

Oxidative stress biology

While oxygen is important for life is can also be harmful. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are small highly reactive molecules formed as a by-product of the normal metabolism of oxygen in cells. However, under conditions of stress, which can be caused by pollutants or adverse environmental conditions, ROS levels can increase past the point that they can be neutralized. Oxidative damage occurs and an organism is said to be under oxidative stress.

We investigate the importance of ROS production and oxidative stress in plants and other organisms exposed to pollutants and a range of other environmental stressors.

Postgraduate students

Tingting (Lily) Lui PhD Food Sci
Nusyanna Cham Pi PhD Botany
Paulo Lagos Jimenez PhD Marine Science
Mi Tang PhD Botany
Amirreza Zarekarizi PhD Botany
Chelsea Kerr MSc Botany (PLBI)
Madeleine Post MSc Botany (PLBI)
Cecila Richardson MSc Marine Science
Yuta Ogawa MSc Botany (PLBI)
Oscar Yip MSc Botany
Jessica Fitzgerald BSc Hons Botany (PLBI)
Joshua Rich PGDP Sci Botany (PLBI)

Research Theme/Centre Involvement

David is involved with the Ag@Otago research theme, and the Otago Global Health Institute

Teaching

BIOL123 Plants: How They Shape the World
BTNY201 Plant Functional Biology and Biotechnology
BTNY461 Plant Physiology and Biotechnology
PLBI301 Applied Plant Science
PLBI302 Plants for the Future
PLBI351 Special Topics
PLBI401 Plant Biotechnology

^ Top of page

Publications

Gupta, A., Sinha, R., Fernandes, J. L., Abdelrahman, M., Burritt, D. J., & Phan Tran, L.-S. (2020). Phytohormones regulate convergent and divergent responses between individual and combined drought and pathogen infection. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 40(3), 320-340. doi: 10.1080/07388551.2019.1710459

Abdelrahman, M., Burritt, D. J., Gupta, A., Tsujimoto, H., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2020). Heat stress effect on source-sink relationships and metabolome dynamics in wheat. Journal of Experimental Botany, 71(2), 543-554. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz296

Abdelrahman, M., Jogaiah, S., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2018). Legume genetic resources and transcriptome dynamics under abiotic stress conditions. Plant, Cell & Environment, 41(9), 1972-1983. doi: 10.1111/pce.13123

Adbelrahman, M., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2018). The use of metabolomic quantitative trait locus mapping and osmotic adjustment traits for the improvement of crop yields under environmental stresses. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology, 83, 86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.06.020

Esfahani, M. N., Inoue, K., Chu, H. D., Nguyen, K. H., Ha, C. V., Watanabe, Y., Burritt, D. J., … Tran, L.-S. P. (2017). Comparative transcriptome analysis of nodules of two Mesorhizobium-chickpea associations with differential symbiotic efficiency under phosphate deficiency. Plant Journal, 91(5), 911-926. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13616

Gupta, A., Sinha, R., Fernandes, J. L., Abdelrahman, M., Burritt, D. J., & Phan Tran, L.-S. (2020). Phytohormones regulate convergent and divergent responses between individual and combined drought and pathogen infection. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 40(3), 320-340. doi: 10.1080/07388551.2019.1710459

Journal - Research Other

Abdelrahman, M., Burritt, D. J., Gupta, A., Tsujimoto, H., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2020). Heat stress effect on source-sink relationships and metabolome dynamics in wheat. Journal of Experimental Botany, 71(2), 543-554. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz296

Journal - Research Other

Abdelrahman, M., Jogaiah, S., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2018). Legume genetic resources and transcriptome dynamics under abiotic stress conditions. Plant, Cell & Environment, 41(9), 1972-1983. doi: 10.1111/pce.13123

Journal - Research Other

Adbelrahman, M., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2018). The use of metabolomic quantitative trait locus mapping and osmotic adjustment traits for the improvement of crop yields under environmental stresses. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology, 83, 86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.06.020

Journal - Research Other

Esfahani, M. N., Inoue, K., Chu, H. D., Nguyen, K. H., Ha, C. V., Watanabe, Y., Burritt, D. J., … Tran, L.-S. P. (2017). Comparative transcriptome analysis of nodules of two Mesorhizobium-chickpea associations with differential symbiotic efficiency under phosphate deficiency. Plant Journal, 91(5), 911-926. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13616

Journal - Research Article

Lagos, P. F., Gómez-Gutiérrez, J., Sabadel, A. J. M., Burritt, D. J., & Lamare, M. D. (2021). Review of the biology of the krill genus Nyctiphanes G.O. Sars, 1883 (Euphausiacea: Euphausiidae): Challenges for future research on environmental change. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 41(1), 1-17. doi: 10.1093/jcbiol/ruaa088

Journal - Research Other

McIntyre, S. M., Ma, Q., Burritt, D. J., Oey, I., Gordon, K. C., & Fraser-Miller, S. J. (2020). Vibrational spectroscopy and chemometrics for quantifying key bioactive components of various plum cultivars grown in New Zealand. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 51, 1138-1152. doi: 10.1002/jrs.5867

Journal - Research Article

Delorme, N. J., Biessy, L., South, P. M., Zamora, L. N., Ragg, N. L. C., & Burritt, D. J. (2020). Stress-on-stress responses of a marine mussel, Perna canaliculus: Food limitation reduces the ability to cope with heat stress in juveniles. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 644, 105-117. doi: 10.3354/meps13375

Journal - Research Article

Kumar Patel, M., Kumar, M., Li, W., Luo, Y., Burritt, D. J., Alkan, N., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2020). Enhancing salt tolerance of plants: From metabolic reprogramming to exogenous chemical treatments and molecular approaches. Cells, 9, 2492. doi: 10.3390/cells9112492

Journal - Research Other

Van der Walt, K., Kemp, P., Sofkova-Bobcheva, S., Burritt, D. J., & Nadarajan, J. (2020). Seed development, germination, and storage behaviour of Syzygium maire (Myrtaceae), a threatened endemic New Zealand tree. New Zealand Journal of Botany. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/0028825X.2020.1794911

Journal - Research Article

Esfahani, M. N., Inoue, K., Nguyen, K. H., Chu, H. D., Watanabe, Y., Kanatani, A., Burritt, D. J., … Tran, L.-S. P. (2020). Phosphate or nitrate imbalance induces stronger molecular responses than combined nutrient deprivation in roots and leaves of chickpea plants. Plant, Cell & Environment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/pce.13935

Journal - Research Article

Mathew, L., Burritt, D. J., McLachlan, A., & Pathirana, R. (2019). Combined pre-treatments enhance antioxidant metabolism and improve survival of cryopreserved kiwifruit shoot tips. Plant Cell, Tissue & Organ Culture, 138, 193-205. doi: 10.1007/s11240-019-01617-3

Journal - Research Article

Ragg, N. L. C., Gale, S. L., Le, D. V., Hawes, N. A., Burritt, D. J., Young, T., … King, N. (2019). The effects of aragonite saturation state on hatchery-reared larvae of the greenshell mussel Perna canaliculus. Journal of Shellfish Research, 38(3), 779-793. doi: 10.2983/035.038.0328

Journal - Research Article

Kumar Patel, M., Pandey, S., Burritt, D. J., & Phan Tran, L.-S. (2019). Plant responses to low-oxygen stress: Interplay between ROS and NO signaling pathways. Environmental & Experimental Botany, 161, 134-142. doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2019.02.013

Journal - Research Other

Tantamacharik, T., Leong, S. Y., Leus, M. J., Eyres, G. T., Burritt, D. J., & Oey, I. (2019). Structural changes induced by pulsed electric fields increase the concentration of volatiles released in red onion (Allium cepa L. var. Red Pearl) bulbs. Foods, 8(9), 368. doi: 10.3390/foods8090368

Journal - Research Article

Bao, A., Burritt, D. J., Chen, H., Zhou, X., Cao, D., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2019). The CRISPR/Cas9 system and its applications in crop genome editing. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 39(3), 321-336. doi: 10.1080/07388551.2018.1554621

Journal - Research Other

Shirazi, Z., Abedini, A., Kordrostami, M., Burritt, D. J., & Hossain, M. A. (2019). Genome-wide identification and characterization of the metal tolerance protein (MTP) family in grape (Vitis vinifera L.). 3 Biotech, 9(5), 199. doi: 10.1007/s13205-019-1728-2

Journal - Research Article

Abdelrahman, M., Al-Sadi, A. M., Pour-Aboughadareh, A., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2018). Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9–targeted mutagenesis: An opportunity for yield improvements of crop plants grown under environmental stresses. Plant Physiology & Biochemistry, 131, 31-36. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2018.03.012

Journal - Research Other

Zarekarizi, A., Hoffmann, L., & Burritt, D. (2019). Approaches for the sustainable production of fucoxanthin, a xanthophyll with potential health benefits. Journal of Applied Phycology, 31, 281-299. doi: 10.1007/s10811-018-1558-3

Journal - Research Article

Mathew, L., McLachlan, A., Jibran, R., Burritt, D. J., & Pathirana, R. (2018). Cold, antioxidant and osmotic pre-treatments maintain the structural integrity of meristematic cells and improve plant regeneration in cryopreserved kiwifruit shoot tips. Protoplasma, 255(4), 1065-1077. doi: 10.1007/s00709-018-1215-3

Journal - Research Article

Nandakumar, R., Eyres, G. T., Burritt, D. J., Kebede, B., Leus, M., & Oey, I. (2018). Impact of pulsed electric fields on the volatile compounds produced in whole onions (Allium cepa and Allium fistulosum). Foods, 7(11), 183. doi: 10.3390/foods7110183

Journal - Research Article

Burritt, D. J. (2018). Crop plant adaption to climate change and extreme environments. In G. Smithers (Ed.), Reference module in food science. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.22333-0

Chapter in Book - Research

Sharmin Hoque, T., Burritt, D. J., & Anwar Hossain, M. (2018). The glyoxalase system: A possible target for production of salinity-tolerant crop plants. In V. Kumar, S. Hussain Wani, P. Suprasanna & L.-S. Phan Tran (Eds.), Salinity responses and tolerance in plants, volume 1: Targeting sensory, transport and signaling mechanisms. (pp. 257-281). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-75671-4_10

Chapter in Book - Research

Abdelrahman, M., El-Sayed, M. A., Hashem, A., Abd Allah, E. F., Alqarawi, A. A., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2018). Metabolomics and transcriptomics in legumes under phosphate deficiency in relation to nitrogen fixation by root nodules. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9, 922. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00922

Journal - Research Other

Hossain, M. A., Kamiya, T., Burritt, D. J., Phan Tran, L.-S., & Fujiwara, T. (Eds.). (2018). Plant micronutrient use efficiency: Molecular and genomic perspectives in crop plants. London, UK: Academic Press, 302p. doi: 10.1016/C2016-0-03180-7

Edited Book - Research

Leong, S. Y., Burritt, D. J., & Oey, I. (2018). Utilising pulsed electric fields processing to modify the characteristics of plant-based foods. In G. Smithers (Ed.), Reference module in food science. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.21347-4

Chapter in Book - Research

Guy, P. L., Macdonald, R., Mackenzie, S., & Burritt, D. J. (2018). Stressed out: Demonstrating the effects of abiotic and biotic stress on an important food crop. American Biology Teacher, 80(1), 50-52. doi: 10.1525/abt.2018.80.1.50

Journal - Research Other

Liu, T., Burritt, D. J., & Oey, I. (2019). Understanding the effect of pulsed electric fields on multilayered solid plant foods: Bunching onions (Allium fistulosum) as a model system. Food Research International, 120, 560-567. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2018.11.006

Journal - Research Article

Hossain, M. A., Li, Z.-G., Hoque, T. S., Burritt, D. J., Fujita, M., & Munné-Bosch, S. (2018). Heat or cold priming-induced cross-tolerance to abiotic stresses in plants: Key regulators and possible mechanisms. Protoplasma, 255(1), 399-412. doi: 10.1007/s00709-017-1150-8

Journal - Research Other

Abiala, M. A., Abdelrahman, M., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2018). Salt stress tolerance mechanisms and potential applications of legumes for sustainable reclamation of salt-degraded soils. Land Degradation & Development, 29, 3812-3822. doi: 10.1002/ldr.3095

Journal - Research Article

Liu, T., Burritt, D. J., Eyres, G. T., & Oey, I. (2018). Pulsed electric field processing reduces the oxalate content of oca (Oxalis tuberosa) tubers while retaining starch grains and the general structural integrity of tubers. Food Chemistry, 245, 890-898. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.11.085

Journal - Research Article

Abdelrahman, M., El-Sayed, M., Jogaiah, S., Burritt, D. J., & Tran, L.-S. P. (2017). The "STAY-GREEN" trait and phytohormone signaling networks in plants under heat stress [Review]. Plant Cell Reports, 36(7), 1009-1025. doi: 10.1007/s00299-017-2119-y

Journal - Research Article

Lister, K. N., Lamare, M. D., & Burritt, D. J. (2017). Maternal antioxidant provisioning mitigates pollutant-induced oxidative damage in embryos of the temperate sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1954. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02077-5

Journal - Research Article

Leong, S. Y., Burritt, D. J., Hocquel, A., Penberthy, A., & Oey, I. (2017). The relationship between the anthocyanin and vitamin C contents of red-fleshed sweet cherries and the ability of fruit digests to reduce hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in Caco-2 cells. Food Chemistry, 227, 404-412. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.01.110

Journal - Research Article

Liu, T., Dodds, E., Leong, S. Y., Eyres, G. T., Burritt, D. J., & Oey, I. (2017). Effect of pulsed electric fields on the structure and frying quality of “kumara” sweet potato tubers. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 39, 197-208. doi: 10.1016/j.ifset.2016.12.010

Journal - Research Article

Hossain, M. A., Kamiya, T., Burritt, D. J., Tran, L.-S. P., & Fujiwara, T. (Eds.). (2017). Plant macronutrient use efficiency: Molecular and genomic perspectives in crop plants. London, UK: Elsevier, 418p.

Edited Book - Research

Hossain, M. A., Mostofa, M. G., Diaz-Vivancos, P., Burritt, D. J., Fujita, M., & Tran, L.-S. P. (Eds.). (2017). Glutathione in plant growth, development, and stress tolerance. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International, 421p. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-66682-2

Edited Book - Research

Leong, S. Y., Liu, T., Oey, I., & Burritt, D. J. (2017). Ascorbic acid in processed plant-based foods. In M. A. Hossain, S. Munné-Bosch, D. J. Burritt, P. Diaz-Vivancos, M. Fujita & A. Lorence (Eds.), Ascorbic acid in plant growth, development and stress tolerance. (pp. 431-469). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74057-7_17

Chapter in Book - Research

Hossain, M. A., Munné-Bosch, S., Burritt, D. J., Diaz-Vivancos, P., Fujita, M., & Lorence, A. (Eds.). (2017). Ascorbic acid in plant growth, development and stress tolerance. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 511p. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74057-7

Edited Book - Research

Gaber, A., Burritt, D. J., & Hossain, M. A. (2017). Transgenic plants over-expressing glutathione biosynthetic genes and abiotic stress tolerance. In M. A. Hossain, M. G. Mostofa, P. Diaz-Vivancos, D. J. Burritt, M. Fujita & L.-S. P. Tran (Eds.), Glutathione in plant growth, development, and stress tolerance. (pp. 397-412). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International.

Chapter in Book - Research

Kumar, V., Shriram, V., Hoque, T. S., Hasan, M. M., Burritt, D. J., & Hossain, M. A. (2017). Glycinebetaine-mediated abiotic oxidative-stress tolerance in plants: Physiological and biochemical mechanisms. In M. Sarwat, A. Ahmad, M. Z. Abdin & M. M. Ibrahim (Eds.), Stress signaling in plants: Genomics and proteomics perspective (Vol. 2). (pp. 111-133). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-42183-4_5

Chapter in Book - Research

Lister, K. N., Lamare, M. D., & Burritt, D. J. (2016). Dietary pollutants induce oxidative stress, altering maternal antioxidant provisioning and reproductive output in the temperate sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus. Aquatic Toxicology, 177, 106-115. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2016.05.013

Journal - Research Article

Leong, S. Y., Burritt, D. J., & Oey, I. (2016). Electropriming of wheatgrass seeds using pulsed electric fields enhances antioxidant metabolism and the bioprotective capacity of wheatgrass shoots. Scientific Reports, 6, 25306. doi: 10.1038/srep25306

Journal - Research Article

Leong, S. Y., Burritt, D. J., & Oey, I. (2016). Evaluation of the anthocyanin release and health-promoting properties of Pinot Noir grape juices after pulsed electric fields. Food Chemistry, 196, 833-841. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.10.025

Journal - Research Article

Hoque, T. S., Hossain, M. A., Mostofa, M. G., Burritt, D. J., Fujita, M., & Tran, L.-S. (2016). Methylglyoxal: An emerging signaling molecule in plant abiotic stress responses and tolerance. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, 1341. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01341

Journal - Research Article

Gale, S. L., Burritt, D. J., & Adams, S. L. (2016). The role of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid in green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) embryo development: A biochemical and morphological characterization. Aquaculture, 463, 22-27. doi: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2016.05.007

Journal - Research Article

Leong, S. Y., Oey, I., & Burritt, D. J. (2016). Pulsed electric field improves the bioprotective capacity of purées for different coloured carrot cultivars against H2O2-induced oxidative damage. Food Chemistry, 196, 654-664. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.09.104

Journal - Research Article

Cubillos, V., Chaparro, O., Segura, C., Montory, J., Cruces, E., & Burritt, D. (2016). Isolation-hypoxia and re-oxygenation of the pallial cavity of female Crepipatella dilatata during estuarine salinity changes requires increased glyoxylase activity and antioxidant metabolism to avoid oxidative damage to female tissues and developing embryos. Marine Environmental Research, 119, 59-71. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.05.008

Journal - Research Article

Barratt, B. I. P., Crook, K. E., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Burritt, D. J. (2016). Cyanogenic white clover as a proxy for GM biosafety testing using two New Zealand native insects. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 59(4), 377-388. doi: 10.1080/00288233.2016.1221835

Journal - Research Article

Burritt, D. J., & Lamare, M. D. (2016). The cellular responses of marine algae and invertebrates to ultraviolet radiation, alone and in combination with other common abiotic stressors. In M. Solan & N. M. Whiteley (Eds.), Stressors in the marine environment. (pp. 117-134). Oxford University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

More publications...