Staff Profile:Professor Jim Dunwell

Professor Jim Dunwell
Job Title:
Areas of Interest:

Research Interests:

These are focussed in three areas.
First, I have a particular interest in the structure, function, and evolution of the cupin superfamily of functionally-diverse plant proteins (see below). These include the seed storage proteins, the germins (cereal oxalate oxidases), the germin-like proteins, auxin binding proteins and a variety of other prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins. In particular we are investigating the conservation of the active site residues within these proteins.

The second is the application of Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) technology to the study of gene expression in plants, in particular in the cereals rice and wheat.

The third is the development of novel breeding methods and applications of transgenic plants. This includes novel techniques for DNA introduction into plant cells, and the use of new methods for regeneration from single somatic cells.

Collaborative links:
I have numerous collaborative links with international academic establishments, and commercial research organisations.

Research groups / Centres:
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Recent publications

Dunwell, J.M. (2011) Intellectual property aspects of plant transformation. In: Plant Transformation Technologies. (Eds: C.N. Stewart, Jr., A. Touraev, V. Citovsky, and T. Tzfira) Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 243-270. (in press)

Dunwell, J.M. (2010) Patents for plants: context and current status. Acta Hort. (in press).


Other publications

Dunwell, J.M. Biopharming in plants: science, regulation and commercialisation. XVI International Plant Protection Congress 2007. 2007. p. 532-533.

Shepherd, S.K., Murdoch, A.J., Dunwell, J.M. and Lutman, P.J. A model of seed dormancy in wild oats (Avena fatua) for investigating genotype × environment interactions. In Seeds: Biology, Development and Ecology. S.W. Adkins, S. Ashmore and S.C. Navie, Editors. 2007. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon UK<. pp. 342-353.

Dunwell, J.M. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Vicilin and Legumin Seed Storage Proteins. In: Steinbuchel, A. and Marchessault, R.H. (eds.) Biopolymers for Medical and Pharmaceutical Applications, Vol. 2, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2005, 895-925.

Dunwell, J.M. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Vicilin and Legumin Seed Storage Proteins. In: Steinbuchel, A. and Rhee, S.K. (eds.) Polysaccarides and polyamides in the food industry - Properties, production, and patents, Vol. 2, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2005, 707-737.

Dunwell, J.M. Genetically modified food. In: Encyclopedia of Pest Management. Ed: D. Pimental. New York, Marcel Dekker, 2002.

Dunwell, J.M. Modifying quality traits: future prospects. In: BCPC Conference "Weeds 2001". British Crop Protection Council, Farnham, 2001, pp 421-430.

Dunwell, J.M., Culham, A., Carter, C.E., Sosa-Aguirre, C.R. and Goodenough, P.W. Evolution of functional diversity in the cupin superfamily. Trends Biochem. Sci. 26, 2001, 740-746. PubMed

Dunwell, J.M., Moya-Leon, M.A. and Herrera, R. Transcriptome analysis and crop improvement. Biological Research 34, 2001, 153-164.

Khuri. S., Bakker, F.T., Dunwell, J.M. Phylogeny, function and evolution of the cupins, a structurally conserved, functionally diverse superfamily of proteins. Mol. Biol. Evol. 18, 2001, 593-605. PubMed

Nobre J., Keith, D.J., Dunwell, J.M. ) Morphogenesis and regeneration from stomatal guard cell complexes of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Plant Cell Reports 20, 2001, 8-15.

Dunwell, J.M. Transgenic approaches to crop improvement. J. Exp. Bot. 51, 2000, 487-496. PDF file of JExpBot Review2000

Dunwell, J.M., Khuri, S. and Gane, P.J. Microbial relatives of the seed storage proteins of higher plants: conservation of structure, and diversification of function during evolution of the cupin superfamily. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev.64, 2000, 153-179. PubMed

Woo, E-J., Dunwell, J.M., Goodenough, P.W., Marvier A.C. and Pickersgill, R.W. Germin is a manganese containing homohexamer with oxalate oxidase and superoxide dismutase activities. Nature Struct. Biol. 7, 2000, 1036-1040. PubMed

Dunwell, J.M. Transgenic crop plants: the next generation or an example 2020 vision. Ann. Bot. 84, 1999, 269-277.

Dunwell, J.M. Novel food products from genetically modified crop plants: methods and future prospects. Int. J. Food Sci. Tech. 33, 1998, 205-213 [View PDF File]

Dunwell, J.M. Cupins: a new superfamily of functionally-diverse proteins that include germins and plant seed storage proteins. Biotechnology Genet. Engineering Rev. 15, 1998, 1-32.

Dunwell, J.M. and Gane, P.J. Microbial relatives of seed storage proteins: conservation of motifs in a functionally diverse superfamily of enzymes. J. Mol. Evol. 46, 1998, 147-154.

Gane, P.J., Dunwell, J.M. and Warwicker, J. Homology modelling based on the structure of vicilins predicts a histidine cluster in the active site of oxalate oxidase. J. Mol. Evol. 46, 1998, 488-493.


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