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Dr Alex Webb


We perform cutting edge research to understand the biology of plant cells. We are  interested in how plants measure time and how this information is integrated with stress signalling. We believe that stress signalling is tightly linked to the daily rhythms of the plants so that the plant can make the appropriate responses to a stress signal, such as cold, dependent on the time of day the signal is perceived.  We use experimental approaches and also develop new systems biology approaches. Projects for both experimentalists and theoreticians are available.    We focus on the interactions between the internal circadian clock and cell signalling. We study how signalling pathways regulate the circadian clock and how the circadian clock regulates signalling. Projects on offer include the role of a Ca2+ switch in the circadian clock, regulation of circadian systems by NAD, reconstruction of transcriptional hierarchy of circadian Ca2+ signalling using bioinformatic and systems analysis of circadian transcriptomes, reverse genetic dissection of circadian Ca2+ signalling, mathematical modelling of circadian signalling, the role of photosynthetically derived sugars in regulating clock function and analyses of circadian clocks in crop plants.  We have specialist facilities for circadian analyses including three automated imaging and photon counting systems for luminescence measurements, two low background PMT systems for aequorin measurements, a single cell FRET imaging workstation, a 16 camera automated leaf movement imaging system and a 6 channel infra red gas analysis system.


  1. Haydon, M.J., Mielczarek, O., Robertson, F.C., Hubbard, K.E. and Webb, A.A.R. (2013) Photosynthetic entrainment of the Arabidopsis circadian clock. Nature 502, 689–692.  
  2. Dodd, A.N., Gardner, M.J., Hotta, C.T., Hubbard, K.E., Dalchau, N., Love, J., Assie, J.M., Robertson, F.C., Kyed Jakobsen, M., Gonçalves, J., Sanders D. and Webb A.A.R. (2007) A cADPR-based feedback loop modulates the Arabidopsis circadian clock. Science 318, 1789 -1792. 
  3. Dodd, A.N., Salathia, N., Hall, A., Kévei, E., Tóth, R., Nagy, F., Hibberd, J.M., Millar, A.J. and Webb, A.A.R. (2005) Plant circadian clocks improve growth, competitive advantage and survival. Science 309, 630 – 633.

Dr Alex Webb

Dr Alex Webb
Department of Plant Sciences
Office Phone: 01223 333948