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Philip White

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Staff picture: Philip White
Ecological Sciences
philip.white@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)844 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

Professor Philip J. White graduated from Oxford University with a BA in Biochemistry in 1983. In 1987, he was awarded a PhD in Natural Sciences (Botany) from the University of Manchester. He has worked at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge and, from 1992 to 2006, was employed by Horticulture Research International. Between 2006 and 2011, he led the successful Environment Plant Interactions Programme at the Scottish Crop Research Institute, Dundee.

He is Special Professor in Plant Ion Transport at the University of Nottingham, Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia, Visiting Associate Professor at the Comenius University, Bratislava, Visiting Professor of the Brazilian Research Council, and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Dundee. He has been Consultant to the Universities of Nottingham and Warwick, to Defra (UK), The World Bank and to the FAO/IAEA for projects related to plant mineral nutrition and the biofortification of edible crops.

He has published over 140 refereed papers and has an h-factor >40. He is a Member of the International Council on Plant Nutrition. He has been Convenor of the Plant Transport Group of the Society of Experimental Biology (2000-2011), for whom he organised meetings on solute transport in plants and fungi and Co-convenor of Soil Management for Sustainable Agro-Food Systems at the European Geoscience Union General Assembly (2010-2012).

He was a commissioned contributor to Trends in Plant Science and BioMedNet (2001-2003) and has served on the Editorial Boards of nine periodicals, including Plant and Soil, Journal of Experimental Botany and Plant, Cell and Environment. He has been a Guest Editor for Journal of Experimental Botany (Fruit Development and Ripening, 2002; Genetics of Mineral Nutrition, 2004; Below Ground Processes, 2005; Compartmentation in Plant Cells, 2007; Transport of Plant Growth Regulators, 2008; Plant Responses to Belowground Stresses,2011; Future Roots of Productivity, 2013), Annals of Botany (Plant Nutrition for Sustainable Development and Global Health, 2010; Matching Roots to their Environment, 2013), and Applied and Environmental Soil Science (Soil Management for Sustainable Agriculture, 2012).

He has edited books on Plant Nutritional Genomics and The Ecophysiology of Plant-Phosphorus Interactions and recently contributed several chapters to the classic textbook Marschner’s Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants.

Current research interests 

He is engaged on projects addressing plant mineral nutrition, from the genes to the harvest, collaborating closely with Tim George, Lionel Dupuy, Gavin Ramsay, Martin Broadley ;John Hammond. His research encompasses three broad aims.

The first aim is to optimise the use of mineral fertilisers in crop production and, thereby, reduce fertiliser inputs and pollution. In recent years, this work has focused on improving the phosphorus (P) nutrition of both horticultural and arable crops and has included the development of molecular diagnostics for P-starvation, the identification of P-efficient varieties, and the trialling of sustainable P-fertilisers.

The second aim is to reduce the entry of toxic elements into the food chain. This work has focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms by which radioisotopes and toxic elements are accumulated by plants, and developing strategies to reduce their concentrations in edible tissues.

The third aim is to improve the nutritional quality of edible crops through their biofortification with essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc. These collaborative projects include the development of commercial products and intervention studies.

Current Projects:

2013-2015: Proteaceae and calcareous habitats. ARC, Australia
2013-2015: Biofortification of edible crops. CNPq, Brazil
2013: Mineral analyses of leaves and crops. Agrinos/PenDragon
2012-2015: Root phenotyping for arable crops (BB/J019534/1), BBSRC
2011-2014: Mineral analyses of biofortified crops (Project 16738/RO), IAEA
2010-2014: COST Action FA0905: Mineral biofortified crops, EU
2010-2013: Crops for the future(BB/H021345/1), BBSRC
2009-2014: NUE-CROPS: Improving nutrient efficiency in European crops, EU
2009-2014: Improving nutritional quality in crops (CRP#1487), IAEA
Consultant to the University of Nottingham
2009-2013:
Biofortifying Brassica with Ca and Mg (BB/G013969/1), BBSRC

Past research 

2011: Potential uses of calcium sulphate filter cake, WTG
2007-2011: Genetic diversity in PUE of B. napus (WQ0119), Defra
2007-2011: Barley mutation grid (Project 13618/RO), IAEA
2007-2008: Neutral evolution of the Brassicaceae leaf transcriptome, SCRI
2006-2011: Reducing N requirements of new rape varieties (LK0979), Defra
2006-2010: MYCOREMED: Effect of AM fungi on plant radiocesium, EU
2006-2009: BAGELS: Biofortification of wheat with selenium (LK0974), Defra
2006-2009: Evaluation of low-phytate wheat (LK0973), Defra
2006-2008: EU-Sol: High quality Solanaceous crops, EU
2006-2007: Support for trials of composted products (ORG0056), WRAP
2006: Estimates of the source of P in UK waters (WT0701CSF), Defra
2005-2010: Targeting fertiliser to wide-row crops (HH3509SFV), Defra
2005-2010: Genetic analysis of root traits for water use (HH3615SPC), Defra
2005-2006: Assessing allelic diversity in a B. oleracea core collection, BBSRC
2005: Dissecting QTL for chilling tolerance in tomato, FONDECYT
2004-2009: Interactions between N, P and K supply (HH3507SFV), Defra
2004-2009: Genetic markers for water-use efficiency (HH3608TX), Defra
2004-2005: Phytotoxicity studies of unconventional fertilizers (NT2605), Defra
2004: Potential to reduce N and P inputs in farm systems (ES0201), Defra
2003-2008: Sustainable P-fertilisation of potatoes (HH3504SPO), Defra
2003-2006: The mechanisms and manipulation of cation transport, BBSRC
2003-2005: Reducing 137Cs in the food chain, Royal Society
2003-2005: Is struvite a valuable phosphate source for agriculture? Entrust
2003-2004: Mineral and nutritional content of produce (HH3720SX), Defra
2002-2007: Genetics of NUE in Brassica (HH3501SFV), Defra
2001-2002: Gene expression under nutrient deficiency (HH3502SFV), Defra
2001-2002: QTL affecting PUE in Brassica (HH1408SFV+), Defra

Bibliography 


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.