School of Biosciences

Image of Michael Holdsworth

Michael Holdsworth

Professor, Faculty of Science


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 sensing, hypoxia, , nitric oxide (NO) sensing, plant genetics

My research work in recent years has focused on understand the importance of oxygen sensing in plants, in particular discovering the roles that the N-degron pathways of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis play in regulating plant growth and development, and response to the environment. This included the discovery that the branch of the pathway controlled by the E3 ligase PRT6 regulates ABA sensitivity of seed germination (PNAS 2009), acts as the molecular mechanism for oxygen sensing (Nature 2011) and nitric oxide sensing in flowering plants (Molecular Cell, 2014, Nature Comms 2019). We showed that oxygen sensing through this pathway controls skotomorphogenesis (Current Biology 2015), is a general regulator of plant abiotic (Current Biology 2017) and biotic (BMC Plant Biology 2016, New Phytologist 2019) stress responses, manipulation of the pathway leads to waterlogging tolerant barley (Plant Biotechnology Journal 2016) and the pathway controls the stability of multiple proteins (Nature Comms 2018, New Phytologist 2020).

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

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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