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Professor Nigel Perry

PhD(Otago), BSc(Bristol)

Tel +64 3 479 8354
Room 4s6, Science 2 Building
Email nigel.perry@plantandfood.co.nz

Research interests

Natural products chemistry is about the compounds that give colour and flavour to our foods, scent to flowers, and inspiration for many of our life-saving drugs. My research areas are:

  • New Zealand natural products: working with Māori on discovering new compounds in native plants, animals and microorganisms; by isolation directed by biological assays, and structure identification by combined NMR spectroscopy and molecular modelling. We also study biosynthesis in plants and ecological roles of natural products.
  • Food bioactives: using NMR, LC, GC, MS and Raman microscopy, to locate and quantify plant metabolites, food bioactives and flavour chemicals; e.g. a stable vitamin C glycoside in apples.
  • Synthetic organic chemistry (with Bill Hawkins and Dave Larsen): studies on biomolecules to understand the relationship between structure and biological activity, and to produce more active and selective compounds.

My group is part of Plant & Food Research, a Crown Research Institute, with collaborators in other University of Otago departments including Botany and Marine Science, and links to other universities, industry and government researchers around New Zealand and abroad. We collaborate with Ngāi Tahu and other iwi on developing new products from taonga species native to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Research group and students

Catherine Sansom

Dr John van Klink

Nigel Joyce (Plant & Food Research Lincoln, LC-MS)

Sekotilani Aloi (PhD candidate): Bioactive natural products from Samoan medicinal plants

Ioan Fuller (PhD candidate): Bioactive phospholipids in molluscs important as kai moana to Māori

Recent students

  • David Rubin (MSc 2021): Exploring the chemotypes of the sticky mountain daisy Celmisia viscosa
  • Dr Alistair Richardson (PhD 2019): Chemistry of a Stable Vitamin C Glycoside in Apples ( Malus spp.) and Other Fruit Crops
  • Dr Oliver Watkins (PhD 2016): The Chemistry of the Bioluminescence of the New Zealand Glow-Worm

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Publications

Richardson, A. T., McGhie, T. K., Cordiner, S. B., Stephens, T. T. H., Larsen, D. S., Laing, W. A., & Perry, N. B. (2021). 2-O-β-d-Glucopyranosyl L-ascorbic acid, a stable form of vitamin C, is widespread in crop plants. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c06330

Fuller, I. D., Cumming, A. H., Card, A., Burgess, E. J., Barrow, C. J., Perry, N. B., & Killeen, D. P. (2020). Free fatty acids in commercial krill oils: Concentrations, compositions, and implications for oxidative stability. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 97, 889-900. doi: 10.1002/aocs.12368

Richardson, A. T., Cho, J., McGhie, T. K., Larsen, D. S., Schaffer, R. J., Espley, R. V., & Perry, N. B. (2020). Discovery of a stable vitamin C glycoside in crab apples (Malus sylvestris). Phytochemistry, 173, 112297. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2020.112297

Killeen, D. P., Card, A., Gordon, K. C., & Perry, N. B. (2020). First use of handheld Raman spectroscopy to analyze omega-3 fatty acids in intact fish oil capsules. Applied Spectroscopy, 74(3), 365-371. doi: 10.1177/0003702819877415

Lawrence, S. A., Burgess, E. J., Pairama, C., Black, A., Patrick, W. M., Mitchell, I., Perry, N. B., & Gerth, M. L. (2019). Mātauranga-guided screening of New Zealand native plants reveals flavonoids from kānuka (Kunzea robusta) with anti-Phytophthora activity. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 49(Suppl. 1), 137-154. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2019.1648303

Chapter in Book - Research

Perry, N. B., Wills, R. B. H., & Stuart, D. L. (2004). Factors affecting Echinacea quality: Agronomy and processing. In S. C. Miller (Ed.), Echinacea: The genus Echinacea. (pp. 111-126). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.

Perry, N. (2004). Lifeline: Chemicals from plants. In I. Spellerberg & D. Given (Eds.), Going native: Making use of New Zealand's plants. (pp. 28-36). Canterbury University Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Richardson, A. T., McGhie, T. K., Cordiner, S. B., Stephens, T. T. H., Larsen, D. S., Laing, W. A., & Perry, N. B. (2021). 2-O-β-d-Glucopyranosyl L-ascorbic acid, a stable form of vitamin C, is widespread in crop plants. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c06330

Fuller, I. D., Cumming, A. H., Card, A., Burgess, E. J., Barrow, C. J., Perry, N. B., & Killeen, D. P. (2020). Free fatty acids in commercial krill oils: Concentrations, compositions, and implications for oxidative stability. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 97, 889-900. doi: 10.1002/aocs.12368

Killeen, D. P., Card, A., Gordon, K. C., & Perry, N. B. (2020). First use of handheld Raman spectroscopy to analyze omega-3 fatty acids in intact fish oil capsules. Applied Spectroscopy, 74(3), 365-371. doi: 10.1177/0003702819877415

Richardson, A. T., Cho, J., McGhie, T. K., Larsen, D. S., Schaffer, R. J., Espley, R. V., & Perry, N. B. (2020). Discovery of a stable vitamin C glycoside in crab apples (Malus sylvestris). Phytochemistry, 173, 112297. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2020.112297

Lawrence, S. A., Burgess, E. J., Pairama, C., Black, A., Patrick, W. M., Mitchell, I., Perry, N. B., & Gerth, M. L. (2019). Mātauranga-guided screening of New Zealand native plants reveals flavonoids from kānuka (Kunzea robusta) with anti-Phytophthora activity. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 49(Suppl. 1), 137-154. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2019.1648303

Thrimawithana, A. H., Jones, D., Hilario, E., Grierson, E., Ngo, H. M., Liachko, I., … Perry, N. B., … Schwinn, K. E. (2019). A whole genome assembly of Leptospermum scoparium (Myrtaceae) for mānuka research. New Zealand Journal of Crop & Horticultural Science, (47), 4, 233-260. doi: 10.1080/01140671.2019.1657911

Sansom, C. E., van Klink, J. W., & Perry, N. B. (2019). Chemical time capsules: Bioactive volatiles in eighteenth century herbarium samples of mānuka, Leptospermum scoparium. New Zealand Journal of Crop & Horticultural Science, 47(4), 297-309. doi: 10.1080/01140671.2019.1576745

Hamiaux, C., Larsen, L., Lee, H. W., Luo, Z., Sharma, P., Hawkins, B. C., Perry, N. B., & Snowden, K. C. (2019). Chemical synthesis and characterization of a new quinazolinedione competitive antagonist for strigolactone receptors with an unexpected binding mode. Biochemical Journal, 476, 1843-1856. doi: 10.1042/bcj20190288

Bettjeman, B. I., Hofman, K. A., Burgess, E. J., Perry, N. B., & Killeen, D. P. (2018). Seafood phospholipids: Extraction efficiency and phosphorous nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P NMR) profiles. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 95(7), 779-786. doi: 10.1002/aocs.12086

Wicaksono, W. A., Sansom, C. E., Jones, E. E., Perry, N. B., Monk, J., & Ridgway, H. J. (2018). Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Leptospermum scoparium (mānuka): Effects on plant growth and essential oil content. Symbiosis, 75(1), 39-50. doi: 10.1007/s13199-017-0506-3

Hamiaux, C., Drummond, R. S. M., Luo, Z., Wen Lee, H., Sharma, P., Janssen, B. J., Perry, N. B., … Snowden, K. C. (2018). Inhibition of strigolactone receptors by N-phenylanthranilic acid derivatives: Structural and functional insights. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(17), 6530-6543. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.001154

Watkins, O. C., Sharpe, M. L., Perry, N. B., & Krause, K. L. (2018). New Zealand glowworm (Arachnocampa luminosa) bioluminescence is produced by a firefly-like luciferase but an entirely new luciferin. Scientific Reports, 8(3278). doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21298-w

McDougal, O. M., Heenan, P. B., Perry, N. B., & van Klink, J. W. (2018). Chemotaxonomy of kōwhai: Leaf and seed flavonoids of New Zealand Sophora species. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 56(3), 227-236. doi: 10.1080/0028825X.2018.1472107

Killeen, D. P., Watkins, O. C., Sansom, C. E., Andersen, D. H., Gordon, K. C., & Perry, N. B. (2017). Fast sampling, analyses and chemometrics for plant breeding: Bitter acids, xanthohumol and terpenes in lupulin glands of hops (Humulus lupulus). Phytochemical Analysis, 28(1), 50-57. doi: 10.1002/pca.2642

Richardson, A. T. B., Lord, J. M., & Perry, N. B. (2017). Phenylanthraquinones and flavone-C-glucosides from the disjunct Bulbinella in New Zealand. Phytochemistry, 134, 64-70. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2016.11.014

Nhu, D., Larsen, L., Perry, N. B., Larsen, D. S., & Hawkins, B. C. (2017). Sweet poisons: Synthetic strategies towards tutin glycosides. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 70(3), 301-306. doi: 10.1071/CH16429

Wicaksono, W. A., Jones, E. E., Sansom, C. E., Perry, N. B., Monk, J., Black, A., & Ridgway, H. J. (2017). Indigenous bacteria enhance growth and modify essential oil content in Leptospermum scoparium (mānuka). New Zealand Journal of Botany, 55(3), 306-317. doi: 10.1080/0028825X.2017.1330272

Killeen, D. P., Marshall, S. N., Burgess, E. J., Gordon, K. C., & Perry, N. B. (2017). Raman spectroscopy of fish oil capsules: Polyunsaturated fatty acid quantitation plus detection of ethyl esters and oxidation. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 65(17), 3551-3558. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00099

Menzies, I. J., Youard, L. W., Lord, J. M., Carpenter, K. L., van Klink, J. W., Perry, N. B., … Gould, K. S. (2016). Leaf colour polymorphisms: A balance between plant defence and photosynthesis. Journal of Ecology, 104(1), 104-113. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12494

Killeen, D. P., Larsen, L., Dayan, F. E., Gordon, K. C., Perry, N. B., & van Klink, J. W. (2016). Nortriketones: Antimicrobial trimethylated acylphloroglucinols from ma̅nuka (Leptospermum scoparium). Journal of Natural Products, 79, 564-569. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00968

Killeen, D. P., van Klink, J. W., Smallfield, B. M., Gordon, K. C., & Perry, N. B. (2015). Herbicidal β-triketones are compartmentalized in leaves of Leptospermum species: Localization by Raman microscopy and rapid screening. New Phytologist, 205(1), 339-349. doi: 10.1111/nph.12970

Lei, J., Burgess, E. J., Richardson, A. T. B., Hawkins, B. C., Baird, S. K., Smallfield, B. M., van Klink, J. W., & Perry, N. B. (2015). Cytotoxic amides from fruits of kawakawa, Macropiper excelsum. Planta Medica, 81, 1163-1168. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1546106

McDougal, O. M., Heenan, P. B., Jaksons, P., Sansom, C. E., Smallfield, B. M., Perry, N. B., & van Klink, J. W. (2015). Alkaloid variation in New Zealand kōwhai, Sophora species. Phytochemistry, 118, 9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2015.07.019

Sansom, C. E., Jones, V. S., Joyce, N. I., Smallfield, B. M., Perry, N. B., & van Klink, J. W. (2015). Flavor, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates of nau (Cooks scurvy grass, Lepidium oleraceum) and other rare New Zealand Lepidium species. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 63(6), 1833-1838. doi: 10.1021/jf505859u

Larsen, L., Joyce, N. I., Sansom, C. E., Cooney, J. M., Jensen, D. J., & Perry, N. B. (2015). Sweet poisons: Honeys contaminated with glycosides of the neurotoxin tutin. Journal of Natural Products, 78(6), 1363-1369. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00241

Martin, H., Burgess, E. J., Smith, W. A., McGhie, T. K., Cooney, J. M., Lunken, R. C. M., … Perry, N. B. (2015). JAK2 and AMP-kinase inhibition in vitro by food extracts, fractions and purified phytochemicals. Food & Function, 6, 305-312. doi: 10.1039/C4FO00626G

Killeen, D. P., Andersen, D. H., Beatson, R. A., Gordon, K. C., & Perry, N. B. (2014). Vibrational spectroscopy and chemometrics for rapid, quantitative analysis of bitter acids in hops (Humulus lupulus). Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 62(52), 12521-12528. doi: 10.1021/jf5042728

Davidson, M. M., Butler, R. C., Taylor, N. M., Nielsen, M.-C., Sansom, C. E., & Perry, N. B. (2014). A volatile compound, 2-undecanone, increases walking, but not flying, tomato potato psyllid movement toward an odour source. New Zealand Plant Protection, 67, 184-190.

Teulon, D. A. J., Castañé, C., Nielsen, M.-C., El-Sayed, A. M., Davidson, M. M., Gardner-Gee, R., … Sansom, C. E., … Perry, N. B. (2014). Evaluation of new volatile compounds as lures for western flower thrips and onion thrips in New Zealand and Spain. New Zealand Plant Protection, 67, 175-183.

McCann, M. J., Johnston, S., Reilly, K., Men, X., Burgess, E. J., Perry, N. B., & Roy, N. C. (2014). The effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa) extract on the functionality of the solute carrier protein 22 A4 (SLC22A4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) variants associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Nutrients, 6(10), 4178-4190. doi: 10.3390/nu6104178

Joyce, N. I., Eady, C. C., Silcock, P., Perry, N. B., & van Klink, J. W. (2013). Fast phenotyping of LFS-silenced (tearless) onions by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS). Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 61(7), 1449-1456. doi: 10.1021/jf304444s

Sansom, C. E., Heenan, P. B., Perry, N. B., Smallfield, B. M., & van Klink, J. W. (2013). Chemosystematic analyses of Gingidia volatiles. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 10(10), 2226-2234. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201300203

Sansom, C. E., Larsen, L., Evans, A. C., & Perry, N. B. (2013). Epimanool and a new 2,6-dideoxy-hexopyran-3-ulose derivative from Celmisia viscosa. Natural Product Communications, 8(6), 689-692.

Andre, C. M., Larsen, L., Burgess, E. J., Jensen, D. J., Cooney, J. M., Evers, D., … Perry, N. B., & Laing, W. A. (2013). Unusual immuno-modulatory triterpene-caffeates in the skins of russeted varieties of apples and pears. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 61(11), 2773-2779. doi: 10.1021/jf305190e

Killeen, D. P., Sansom, C. E., Lill, R. E., Eason, J. R., Gordon, K. C., & Perry, N. B. (2013). Quantitative Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of carrot bioactives. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 61(11), 2701-2708. doi: 10.1021/jf3053669

Andre, C. M., Greenwood, J. M., Walker, E. G., Rassam, M., Sullivan, M., Evers, D., Perry, N. B., & Laing, W. A. (2012). Anti-inflammatory procyanidins and triterpenes in 109 apple varieties. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 60(42), 10546-10554. doi: 10.1021/jf302809k

Cooney, L. J., van Klink, J. W., Hughes, N. M., Perry, N. B., Schaefer, H. M., Menzies, I. J., & Gould, K. S. (2012). Red leaf margins indicate increased polygodial content and function as visual signals to reduce herbivory in Pseudowintera colorata. New Phytologist, 194(2), 488-497. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04063.x

Miller, M. R., Perry, N. B., Burgess, E. J., & Marshall, S. N. (2011). Regiospecific analyses of triacylglycerols of hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) and Greenshell™ mussel (Perna canaliculus). Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 88(4), 509-516. doi: 10.1007/s11746-010-1690-y

Douglas, J. A., Follett, J. M., Parmenter, G. A., Sansom, C. E., Perry, N. B., & Littler, R. A. (2010). Seasonal variation of biomass and bioactive alkaloid content of goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis. Fitoterapia, 81(7), 925-928. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.06.006

Wayman, K. A., de Lange, P. J., Larsen, L., Sansom, C. E., & Perry, N. B. (2010). Chemotaxonomy of Pseudowintera: Sesquiterpene dialdehyde variants are species markers. Phytochemistry, 71, 766-772. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2010.01.017

Perry, N. B., & Gould, K. S. (2010). Hot chemistry from horopito. Chemistry in New Zealand, 74(4), 145-148.

Benn, M. H., Parvez, M., Perry, N. B., Rauk, A., & van Klink, J. W. (2010). Correction of a reported xanthone synthesis: The preparation of a benzo[c]coumarin. Helvetica Chimica Acta, 93(3), 389-394. doi: 10.1002/hlca.200900289

Benn, M. H., Joyce, N. I., Lorimer, S. D., Perry, N. B., van Klink, J. W., & Wu, Q. (2009). Xanthones and bisxanthones in five New Zealand and subantarctic Gentianella species. Biochemical Systematics & Ecology, 37, 531-534. doi: 10.1016/j.bse.2009.06.005

Perry, N. B., Burgess, E. J., Rodríguez Guitiá, M. A., Romero Franco, R., López Mosquera, E., Smallfield, B. M., … Littlejohn, R. P. (2009). Sesquiterpene lactones in Arnica montana: Helenalin and dihydrohelenalin chemotypes in Spain. Planta Medica, 75, 660-666. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1185362

Dayan, F. E., Singh, N., McCurdy, C. R., Godfrey, C. A., Larsen, L., Weavers, R. T., van Klink, J. W., & Perry, N. B. (2009). β-triketone inhibitors of plant p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase: Modeling and comparative molecular field analysis of their interactions. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 57(12), 5194-5200. doi: 10.1021/jf9005593

Woollard, J. M. R., Perry, N. B., Weavers, R. T., & van Klink, J. W. (2008). Bullatenone, 1,3-dione and sesquiterpene chemotypes of Lophomyrtus species. Phytochemistry, 69(6), 1313-1318. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2008.01.016

Davidson, M. M., Perry, N. B., Larsen, L., Green, V. C., Butler, R. C., & Teulon, D. A. J. (2008). 4-Pyridyl carbonyl compounds as thrips lures: Effectiveness for western flower thrips in Y-tube bioassays. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 56(15), 6554-6561. doi: 10.1021/jf800863t

Perry, N. B., Burgess, E. J., Foster, L. M., Gerard, P. J., Toyota, M., & Asakawa, Y. (2008). Insect antifeedant sesquiterpene acetals from the liverwort Lepidolaena clavigera. 2: Structures, artifacts, and activity. Journal of Natural Products, 71(2), 258-261. doi: 10.1021/np070644l

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