School of Biosciences

Neil Graham

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Science



Senior Research Fellow in Plant biology

Neil's main research interest is in plant mineral nutrition and associated traits including root system architecture. This research covers two broad areas of increasing efficiency of nutrient uptake for improved crop health and biofortification of crops for improving animal and human health. Current research projects include:

  • Investigating nutrient uptake in Brassica napus
  • Biofortification of onions with selenium
  • Association of root traits with P uptake
  • Development of root system architecture phenotyping
  • Analysis of mineral nutrient content of pearl millett
  • Integrating control strategies against soil-borne Rhizoctonia solani Oilseed rape
  • Magnesium network - Integrating soil-crop-animal pathways to improve ruminant health

Expertise Summary

Plant mineral nutrition; gene mapping, root system development; hormone biology; genomics; transcriptomics

Teaching Summary

I contribute to a number of undergraduate and masters modules on plant mineral nutrition, genomics and data analysis including:

Foundation Science - 1st year, statistics and data presentation

Plant Science - 1st year, general plant science practicals

The Biosciences and global food security - 1st year, plant mineral nutrition associated with food security

Plant physiology, from cell to crop - 2nd year, plant mineral nutrition

Professional skills for Bioscientists - 2nd year, statistics, experimental design

Plants and soil environment - 3rd year, plant phenotyping practical

Molecular Pharming and Biotechnology - 3rd year, lecture on improving food nutritional qualities, practicals on biotechnology

Genetic improvement of crop plants - 3rd year, omi technologies and crop imrovement

Basic Introduction to Omic Technologies 3rd year, genomics, transcriptomics, gene mapping

Advanced Molecular Methods in Biotechnology - Masters, genomics, transcriptomics, gene mapping

Research Summary

My current research interests are in the area of plant mineral nutrition, in particular in biofortification and root architecture phenotyping mainly in Brassica species. We are interested in the… read more

Current Research

My current research interests are in the area of plant mineral nutrition, in particular in biofortification and root architecture phenotyping mainly in Brassica species. We are interested in the mechanisms of nutrient uptake and accumulation and how these can be manipulated to increase the nutritional quality of crops, currently focusing on Ca and Mg. This is achieved using a range of genomic, genetic and molecular techniques including eQTL mapping and genome wide association studies. We are also interested in how minerals move from soil to crop to animal. We have a project looking at how magnesium moves through this route, to improve ruminant health. We are also utilising high-throughput root phenotyping techniques to understand the relationship between root architecture traits and nutrient uptake.

Past Research

My previous position was is in the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre, as part of the Affymetrix GenChip service. This involves assisting users of the service with experimental design and data analysis, as well as developing novel analysis techniques. This has led to a number of collaborations with a wide range of groups, both nationally and internationally working on many different plants, animals, yeast and C elegans. Many of these collaborations have resulted from my work in the development of the Xspecies technique. This enables Affymetrix GeneChips to be used with species they were not designed for, using a mixed physical and bioinformatics approach. I have been involved in extending this technique to other systems, including many plant species and animals including sheep and horse studies.

School of Biosciences

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

For all enquiries please visit:

Find us
Campus map
Room Locations on Campus [pdf file]