Dr Heather Knight, B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D.
With Dr Kerry Franklin of Bristol University, I established the Plant Temperature Response Networks group for UK scientists. We hosted our first meeting in Durham 2009, at which 16 UK groups were represented, and our second meeting in 2010 at the SEB main meeting in Prague.
When plants encounter unfavourable changes in their environment, they alter the expression of genes encoding numerous proteins with protective functions. These enable them to withstand stress conditions such as frost, drought or attack by pathogenic organisms. My particular interest is in the control of gene expression in response to low temperature. Much of the focus of our work has been on the sfr6 mutant of Arabidopsis, which fails to cold acclimate to freezing temperatures and shows a dramatic loss in cold-inducible gene expression. In addition to its failure to up-regulate cold genes, sfr6 is compromised in its ability to express genes regulated by the circadian clock as well as genes expressed in response to darkness,UV irradiation and pathogen attack. Our current research is directed towards elucidating the function of SFR6 as a key regulator of stress gene transcription and towards the identification of other proteins with which it interacts.
- Adaptation & Environment
- Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology
- Low temperature responses in plants
- Plant stress responses
- Transcriptional regulation
- 1: Wathugala, D.L., Hemsley, P.A., Moffat, C.S., Cremelie, P., Knight, M.R. & Knight, H. (2012). The Mediator subunit SFR6/MED16 controls defence gene expression mediated by salicylic acid and jasmonate responsive pathways. New Phytologist 195(1): 217-230.
- 2: Knight, Marc. R. & Knight, Heather (2012). Low-temperature perception leading to gene expression and cold tolerance in higher plants. New Phytologist 195(4): 737.
- 3: Caroline S Moffat, Robert A Ingle, Deepthi L Wathugala, Nigel J Saunders, Heather Knight & Marc R Knight (2012). ERF5 and ERF6 Play Redundant Roles as Positive Regulators of JA/Et-Mediated Defense against Botrytis cinerea in Arabidopsis. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35995.
- 4: Liu, J., Knight, H., Hurst, C.H. & Knight, M.R. (2012). Modelling and experimental analysis of the role of interacting cytosolic and vacuolar pools in shaping low temperature calcium signatures in plant cells. Molecular BioSystems 8(8): 2205-2220.
- 5: Wathugala, D.L., Richards, S.A., Knight, H. & Knight, M.R. (2011). OsSFR6 is a functional rice orthologue of SENSITIVE TO FREEZING-6 and can act as a regulator of COR gene expression, osmotic stress and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist 191(4): 984-995.
- 6: Whalley, H.J., Sargeant, A.W., Steele, J.F.C., Lacoere, T., Lamb, R., Saunders, N.J., Knight, H. & Knight, M.R. (2011). Transcriptomic analysis reveals calcium regulation of specific promoter motifs in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell 23: 1-17.
- 7: Knight, H., Mugford Nee Garton, S. G., Ulker, B., Gao, D., Thorlby, G. & Knight, M. R. (2009). Identification of SFR6, a key component in cold acclimation acting post-translationally on CBF function. The Plant Journal 58(1): 97-108.
- 8: Knight, H., Thomson, A. J. & McWatters, H. G. (2008). SENSITIVE TO FREEZING6 Integrates Cellular and Environmental Inputs to the Plant Circadian Clock. Plant Physiology 148(1): 293-303.
- 9: Ülker, Bekir, Peiter, Edgar, Dixon, David P., Moffat, Caroline, Capper, Richard, Bouché, Nicolas, Edwards, Robert, Sanders, Dale, Knight, Heather & Knight, Marc R. (2008). Getting the most out of publicly available T-DNA insertion lines. The Plant Journal 56(4): 665-667.
- 10: Garton, S., Knight, H., Warren, G., Knight, M. & Thorlby, G. (2007). crinkled leaves 8 - A mutation in the large subunit of ribonucleotide reductase leads to defects in leaf development and chloroplast division in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Journal 50: 118-127.
- 11: Kaplan, B., Davydov, O., Knight, H., Galon, Y., Knight, M.R., Fluhr, R. & Fromm, H. (2006). Rapid transcriptome changes induced by cytosolic Ca2+ transients reveal ABRE-related sequences as Ca2+-responsive cis-elements in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 18: 2733-2748.
- 12: Peiter, E, Maathuis, FJM, Mills, LN, Knight, H, Pelloux, M, Hetherington, AM & Sanders, D (2005). The vacuolar Ca2+-activated channel TPC1 regulates germination and stomatal movement. Nature 434(7031): 404-408.
- 13: Knight, H, Zarka, DG, Okamoto, H, Thomashow, ME & Knight, MR (2004). Abscisic acid induces CBF gene transcription and subsequent induction of cold-regulated genes via the CRT promoter element. Plant Physiology 135(3): 1710-1717.
- 14: Rentel, MC, Lecourieux, D, Ouaked, F, Usher, SL, Petersen, L, Okamoto, H, Knight, H, Peck, SC, Grierson, CS, Hirt, H & Knight, MR (2004). OXI1 kinase is necessary for oxidative burst-mediated signalling inArabidopsis. Nature 427(6977): 858-861.
- 15: Brault, M, Amiar, Z, Pennarun, AM, Monestiez, M, Zhang, ZS, Cornel, D, Dellis, O, Knight, H, Bouteau, FO & Rona, JP (2004). Plasma membrane depolarization induced by abscisic acid in Arabidopsis suspension cells involves reduction of proton pumping in addition to anion channel activation, which are both Ca2+ dependent. Plant Physiology 135(1): 231-243.
- 16: Boyce, JM, Knight, H, Deyholos, M, Openshaw, MR, Galbraith, DW, Warren, G & Knight, MR (2003). The sfr6 mutant of Arabidopsis is defective in transcriptional activation via CBF/DREB1 and DREB2 and shows sensitivity to osmoticstress. Plant Journal 34(4): 395-406.
- 17: Wright, AJ, Knight, H & Knight, MR (2002). Mechanically stimulated TCH3 gene expression in Arabidopsis involvesprotein phosphorylation and EIN6 downstream of calcium. Plant Physiology 128(4): 1402-1409.
- 18: Knight, H & Knight, MR (2001). Abiotic stress signalling pathways: specificity and cross-talk. Trends In Plant Science 6(6): 262-267.
- 19: Knight, H (2000). Calcium signaling during abiotic stress in plants. In International Review of Cytology. 195: 269-324.
- 20: Knight, H & Knight, MR (2000). Imaging spatial and cellular characteristics of low temperature calcium signature after cold acclimation in Arabidopsis. Journal Of Experimental Botany 51(351): 1679-1686.
- 21: Clayton, H, Knight, MR, Knight, H, McAinsh, MR & Hetherington, AM (1999). Dissection of the ozone-induced calcium signature. Plant Journal 17(5): 575-579.
- 22: Plieth, C, Hansen, UP, Knight, H & Knight, MR (1999). Temperature sensing by plants: the primary characteristics of signalperception and calcium response. Plant Journal 18(5): 491-497.
- 23: Knight, H, Veale, EL, Warren, GJ & Knight, MR (1999). The sfr6 mutation in arabidopsis suppresses low-temperature inductionof genes dependent on the CRT DRE sequence motif. Plant Cell 11(5): 875-886.
- 24: Knight, H, Brandt, S & Knight, MR (1998). A history of stress alters drought calcium signalling pathways inArabidopsis. Plant Journal 16(6): 681-687.
- 25: Knight, H, Trewavas, AJ & Knight, MR (1997). Calcium signalling in Arabidopsis thaliana responding to drought andsalinity. Plant Journal 12(5): 1067-1078.
- 26: Knight, H, Trewavas, AJ & Knight, MR (1996). Cold calcium signaling in Arabidopsis involves two cellular pools and achange in calcium signature after acclimation. Plant Cell 8(3): 489-503.