School of Biosciences
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Michael Holdsworth

Professor, Faculty of Science

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Research Summary

Current research programmes, recent publications etc are available on the Portal for the laboratory of Professor Holdsworth: HERE

Keywords: N-degron pathways, The N-end rule pathway of ubiquitin-mediated targeted proteolysis, protein degradation, proteostasis, oxygen, hypoxia, , nitric oxide (NO), plant genetics

My research work in recent years has focused on discovering the role that N-degron pathways (formally known as the N-end rule pathway of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis) play in regulating plant growth and development and response to the environment. This has included our discoveries that the Cys branch of the PRT6 N-degron pathway acts as the molecular mechanism for oxygen sensing in flowering plants (Nature 2011), that it acts as a key nitric oxide sensing mechanism in plants (Molecular Cell, 2014), controls response to multiple abiotic stresses (Current Biology 2017) biotic stresses (New Phytologist 2018), photomorphogenesis (Current Biology 2015), influences the stability of key regulatory proteins (Nature Communications 2018), and that manipulation of the pathway leads to water-logging tolerant barley (Plant Biotechnology Journal 2016).

Current areas of interest include:

  • Characterisation of the plant N-degron pathways.
  • Understanding the role of targeted proteolysis in sensing plant-environment interactions.
  • Gasotransmitters and oxygen sensing.
  • Providing molecular resources and conceptual frameworks that plant breeders and growers can use.

Research papers highlighting these areas:

The role of N-degron pathways of targeted proteolysis in the control of plant growth and development.

Systems approaches to understanding the control of seed germination and seedling establishment.

Transfer of molecular genetic information from studies in model species, to address important agricultural problems associated with plant developmental biology and response to abiotic and biotic stress.

The Virtual Seed Web Resource vseed.nottingham.ac.uk:

This online resource provides queryable interfaces for Gene Networks associated with seed development, dormancy and germination. Users can zoom into networks, search and highlight genes of interest and download images of network representations.

Selected Publications

School of Biosciences

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Nr Loughborough
LE12 5RD, UK

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