Anthony Trewavas is a molecular biologist whose studies on plant biochemistry have helped to clarify the role of calcium signalling in plant growth. Anthony has also served as an adviser to the UK government on genetically modified food crops.
All cells, including plant cells, respond to changes in their environment using a molecular mechanism known as signal transduction. This process is activated by signalling molecules such as calcium ions. Anthony’s research uses genetic modifications to understand how changes in calcium localisation influence the expression of genes and lead to alterations in cellular function in plants.
Anthony’s finding have important implications for improved crop production. For example, by modifying potato plants with a gene that encodes a fluorescent protein, borrowed from the luminous jellyfish Aequorea victoria, he has created a potato that glows when dehydrated, signalling that it needs to be watered.
Interest and expertise
Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
Biochemistry and molecular biology, Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
Plant sciences / botany
Other interests, Public understanding of science, Science policy