People

Dr Matthew Jones

Lecturer
School of Biological Sciences
Dr Matthew Jones

Profile

Biography

We live in a changing world, with climate change and a rapidly increasing human population acting as synergistic pressures that challenge our ability to provide an adequate food supply. Arable crops experience a variety of stresses during their life cycles that if uncorrected lead to reduced yields. Many of these abiotic stresses are most likely to occur during certain periods of day. For example, heat stress is typically experienced during the mid-afternoon whereas frost damage is associated with cooling that occurs overnight. Plants have evolved several strategies to mitigate these effects including the coupling of stress responses to the circadian clock. This molecular oscillator provides an internal timing reference that also coordinates developmental and physiological processes such as growth, chlorophyll synthesis and flowering time in plants. The coordination of these molecular and physiological processes with the external environment confers an adaptive advantage in higher plants. Our lab investigates how light signals from the environment and the circadian clock interact with the ultimate goal of minimizing crop loss in adverse conditions.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

  • BA (Hons) Biological Sciences

Appointments

University of Essex

  • Lecturer, Biological Sciences, University of Essex (1/9/2015 - present)

  • Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Biological Sciences, University of Essex (1/9/2012 - 31/8/2015)

Other academic

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harmer Lab, Plant Biology, University of California, Davis (1/3/2008 - 31/8/2012)

Research and professional activities

Current research

Linking photobiology with chronobiology

We live in a changing world, with climate change and a rapidly increasing human population acting as synergistic pressures that challenge our ability to provide an adequate food supply. Arable crops experience a variety of stresses during their life cycles that if uncorrected lead to reduced yields. Many of these abiotic stresses are most likely to occur during certain periods of day. For example, heat stress is typically experienced during the mid-afternoon whereas frost damage is associated with cooling that occurs overnight. Plants have evolved several strategies to mitigate these effects including the coupling of stress responses to the circadian clock. This molecular oscillator provides an internal timing reference that also coordinates developmental and physiological processes such as growth, chlorophyll synthesis and flowering time in plants. The coordination of these molecular and physiological processes with the external environment confers an adaptive advantage in higher plants. My lab investigates how light signals from the environment and the circadian clock interact with the ultimate goal of minimizing crop loss in adverse conditions.
More information about this project

Conferences and presentations

PAP extends circadian period in response to osmotic stress

Invited presentation, International Conference on Arabidopsis Research, Turku, Finland, 27/6/2018

Understanding light: Integrating Environmental Signals

Invited presentation, Seminar, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 22/6/2018

PAP extends circadian period in response to osmotic stress

Invited presentation, Plant and Algal Clock Club, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 17/4/2018

Understanding Light: Integrating Environmental Signals

Invited presentation, Seminar, Lancaster, United Kingdom, 2017

Seeing green: Engineering green light sensitivity for plants

Invited presentation, SEB Annual Meeting, Brighton, United Kingdom, 2016

Shining Light on the Plant Circadian System

Invited presentation, Seminar, York, United Kingdom, 2016

Shining Light on the Plant Circadian System

Invited presentation, UK Clock Club, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2016

Using the Circadian System to Understand Plant Responses to Light

Invited presentation, Environmental and metabolic control of plant growth and development, Brazil, 2015

FRY1 acts within the Arabidopsis circadian system

Invited presentation, SEB Annual Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic, 2015

Shining Light on the Plant Circadian System

Invited presentation, Plant and Algal Clock Club, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2015

Improving stress tolerance using the circadian clock

Invited presentation, Genetic Improvement To Reduce Photooxidative Stress In Rice, Thailand, 2014

Understanding how phytochromes influence the circadian system

Invited presentation, Coping With a Rhythmic Environment: The Interplay Between Circadian Clocks, Metabolic State and Environmental Stress, SEB Annual meeting, Manchester, United Kingdom, 2014

Using the Circadian System to Understand Responses to Environmental Change

Invited presentation, SFB924 Summer Retreat, Bonn, Germany, 2013

STIPL1 is a Novel Circadian Clock Factor with Splicing Defects

Invited presentation, ASPB Plant Biology, Post transcriptional Regulation, Austin, USA, 2012

JMJD5 has an Interchangeable Role in the Plant and Human Circadian Systems

Invited presentation, Dynamic biology - New Levels and New Dimensions of Regulation, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2011

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Genetics and Evolution (BS102)

  • Quantitative methods for Life Sciences (BS141)

  • Enterprise and Employability for the Biosciences (BS211)

  • Molecular Biology: Genes, Proteins and Disease (BS221)

  • Professional Skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists (BS257)

  • Plant Biotechnology (BS323)

  • Research Project in Biomolecular Science (BS831)

Previous supervision

Ifeanyi Oyemike
Ifeanyi Oyemike
Thesis title: Manipulating Guard Cell Anatomy and Physiology Using Biotechnological Approaches to Understanding Impact on Crop Performance.
Degree subject: Cell and Molecular Biology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 16/4/2019
Martin William Battle
Martin William Battle
Thesis title: Understanding and Engineering Photoresponses in Arabidopsis Thaliana
Degree subject: Biological Sciences
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 6/12/2018
Suzanne Litthauer
Suzanne Litthauer
Thesis title: Analysing the Role of Sal1/Pap Retrograde Signalling Within the Circadian System of Arabidopsis Thaliana
Degree subject: Biological Sciences
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 7/3/2018

Publications

Journal articles (20)

Jones, MA., (2019). Retrograde Signalling as an Informant of Circadian Timing. New Phytologist. 221 (4), 1749-1753

Jones, M., Morohashi, K., Grotewold, E. and Harmer, SL., (2019). Arabidopsis JMJD5/JMJ30 Acts Independently of LUX ARRHYTHMO Within the Plant Circadian Clock to Enable Temperature Compensation. Frontiers in Plant Science. 10 (57), 57-

Litthauer, S., Chan, KX. and Jones, MA., (2018). 3'-Phosphoadenosine 5'-Phosphate Accumulation Delays the Circadian System.. Plant Physiology. 176 (4), 3120-3135

Jones, MA., (2018). Using Light to Improve Commercial Value. Horticulture Research. 5 (1), 47-

Litthauer, S. and Jones, MA., (2018). SAL1-PAP retrograde signalling extends circadian period by reproducing the loss of exoribonuclease (XRN) activity. Plant Signaling and Behavior. 13 (8), e1500066-

Litthauer, S., Battle, MW. and Jones, MA., (2016). Phototropins do not alter accumulation of evening-phased circadian transcripts under blue light.. Plant signaling & behavior. 11 (2), creators-Jones=3AMatthew_A=3A=3A

Malpas, KR. and Jones, MA., (2016). Natural Variation of Circadian Rhythms in Kalanchoe Species. Haseltonia. 22 (22), 35-42

Litthauer, S., Battle, MW., Lawson, T. and Jones, MA., (2015). Phototropins maintain robust circadian oscillation of PSII operating efficiency under blue light. The Plant Journal. 83 (6), 1034-1045

Jones, MA., Hu, W., Litthauer, S., Lagarias, JC. and Harmer, SL., (2015). A Constitutively Active Allele of Phytochrome B Maintains Circadian Robustness in the Absence of Light. Plant Physiology. 169 (1), 814-825

Hu, W., Franklin, KA., Sharrock, RA., Jones, MA., Harmer, SL. and Lagarias, JC., (2013). Unanticipated regulatory roles for Arabidopsis phytochromes revealed by null mutant analysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110 (4), 1542-1547

Jones, MA., Williams, BA., McNicol, J., Simpson, CG., Brown, JWS. and Harmer, SL., (2012). Mutation of Arabidopsis SPLICEOSOMAL TIMEKEEPER LOCUS1 Causes Circadian Clock Defects. The Plant Cell. 24 (10), 4066-4082

Jones, MA. and Harmer, SL., (2011). JMJD5 Functions in concert with TOC1 in the arabidopsis circadian system. Plant Signaling & Behavior. 6 (3), 445-448

Copenhaver, GP., Rawat, R., Takahashi, N., Hsu, PY., Jones, MA., Schwartz, J., Salemi, MR., Phinney, BS. and Harmer, SL., (2011). REVEILLE8 and PSEUDO-REPONSE REGULATOR5 Form a Negative Feedback Loop within the Arabidopsis Circadian Clock. PLoS Genetics. 7 (3), creators-Jones=3AMatthew_A=3A=3A

Jones, MA., Covington, MF., DiTacchio, L., Vollmers, C., Panda, S. and Harmer, SL., (2010). Jumonji domain protein JMJD5 functions in both the plant and human circadian systems. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America. 107 (50), 21623-21628

Kaiserli, E., Sullivan, S., Jones, MA., Feeney, KA. and Christie, JM., (2009). Domain Swapping to Assess the Mechanistic Basis of Arabidopsis Phototropin 1 Receptor Kinase Activation and Endocytosis by Blue Light. The Plant Cell. 21 (10), 3226-3244

Jones, MA., (2009). Entrainment of the Arabidopsis Circadian Clock. Journal of Plant Biology. 52 (3), 202-209

Rawat, R., Schwartz, J., Jones, MA., Sairanen, I., Cheng, Y., Andersson, CR., Zhao, Y., Ljung, K. and Harmer, SL., (2009). REVEILLE1, a Myb-like transcription factor, integrates the circadian clock and auxin pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (39), 16883-16888

Sullivan, S., Thomson, CE., Lamont, DJ., Jones, MA. and Christie, JM., (2008). In Vivo Phosphorylation Site Mapping and Functional Characterization of Arabidopsis Phototropin 1. Molecular Plant. 1 (1), 178-194

Jones, MA. and Christie, JM., (2008). Phototropin Receptor Kinase Activation by Blue Light. Plant Signaling & Behavior. 3 (1), 44-46

Jones, MA., Feeney, KA., Kelly, SM. and Christie, JM., (2007). Mutational Analysis of Phototropin 1 Provides Insights into the Mechanism Underlying LOV2 Signal Transmission. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 282 (9), 6405-6414

Book chapters (1)

Jones, MA., (2018). Interplay of Circadian Rhythms and Light in the Regulation of Photosynthesis-Derived Metabolism. In: Progress in Botany. Editors: Lüttge, U., . Springer. 147- 171. 9783319714127

Grants and funding

2019

Integrating light and metabolic signals to understand responses to abiotic stress

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation

2018

How does PAP, a stress-induced metabolite, regulate gene expression?

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Gee Vee Innovation Voucher

Gee Vee Enterprises Ltd

Developing hydroponic systems for vegetables sown at high density

European Commission

2015

Measuring daily variations in photosynthetic efficiency in Kalanchoe species

Cactus & Succulent Society of America

2014

Understanding How Light Affects the Circadian System in Plants

The Royal Society

Identifying and characterizing new components of the circadian clock

Society of Biology

2012

Early Career Fellowship - Dr Matthew Jones

Leverhulme Trust

Contact

matthew.jones@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 874740

Location:

3SW.4.40, Colchester Campus

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