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Robbie Waugh

Staff picture: Robbie Waugh
Cell and Molecular Sciences
+44 (0)844 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

Current positions

  • Grade 2 IMP (Individual Scientific Merit Promotion), Cell and Molecular Sciences, James Hutton Institute
  • Personal Chair in Crop Genomics, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Dundee
  • Member of Board of Trustees, The Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich
  • Member of Board, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, Adelaide


Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2013


  • BSc from Strathclyde University
  • PhD from University of Dundee

Current research interests 

My research focuses on developing and applying the resources necessary to enable genetic analysis to single gene resolution in cultivated barley. I have concentrated on three major research elements:

  • assembling and utilising germplasm suited to high resolution genetic analysis
  • developing molecular tools and approaches that facilitate gene identification and validation
  • contributing to international efforts to derive a reference barley genome sequence.

I explore areas of biology that are both academically and practically interesting and that have resulted in either historical advances during the process of domestication, cultivation, and breeding and/or offer further potential for improvement in the future. I am particularly interested by the translational potential of genetics/genomics in crop improvement.


  • Fisk, S.P., Cuesta-Marcos, A., Cistué, L., Russell, J., Smith, K.P., Baenziger, S., Bedo, Z., Corey, A., Filichkin, T., Karsai, I., Waugh, R. and Hayes, P.M. 2013.) FR-H3: a new QTL to assist in the development of fall-sown barley with superior low temperature tolerance. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 126, 335-347.
  • Wang, M.H., Jiang, N., Jia, T.Y., Leach, L., Cockram, J., Waugh, R., Ramsay, L., Thomas, B., Luo, Z.W. 2012. Genome-wide association mapping of agronomic and morphologic traits in highly structured populations of barley cultivars. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 124, 233-246.
  • Shahinnia, F., Druka, A., Frankowiak, J., Morgante, M., Waugh, R. and Stein, N. 2012. High resolution mapping of dense spike-ar ( to the genetic centromere of barley chromosome 7H. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 124, 373-384.
  • Higgins, J.D., Perry, R.M., Barakate, A., Ramsay, L., Waugh, R., Halpin, C., Armstrong, S.J. and Franklin, F. C.H. 2012. Spatiotemporal asymmetry of recombination initiation and prophase I progression underlies the predominantly distal distribution of meiotic crossovers in Barley. The Plant Cell 24, 4096-4109.
  • Comadran, J., Kilian, B., Russell, J., Ramsay, L., Stein, N., Ganal, M., Shaw, P., Bayer, M., Thomas, W., Marshall, D., Hedley, P., Tondelli, A., Pecchioni, N., Francia, E., Korzun, V., Walther, A. and Waugh, R. 2012. A homologue of Antirrhinum CENTRORADIALIS is a component of the quantitative photoperiod and vernalization independent EARLINESS PER SE 2 locus in cultivated barley. Nature Genetics 44, 1388-1392.
  • The international Barley Genome Sequencing Consortium (Stein, Waugh, Mayer Corresponding authors). 2012. A physical, genetical and functional sequence assembly of the barley genome. Nature 491, 711-716.
  • Zakhrabekova, S., Gough, S.P. , Braumann, I., Müller, A.H., Lundqvist, J., Ahmann, K., Dockter, C., Matyszczak, I., Kurowska, M., Druka, A., Waugh, R., Graner, A., Stein, N., Steuernagel, B., Lundqvist, U. and Hansson, M. 2012. Induced mutations in circadian clock regulator Mat-a facilitated short-season adaptation and range extension in cultivated barley. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109, 4326-4331.
  • Houston, K., Druka, A., Bonar, N., Macaulay, M., Lundqvist, U., Franckowiak, J., Morgante, M., Stein, N. and Waugh, R. 2012. Analysis of the barley bract suppression gene TRD1. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 125, 33-45.
  • Mayer, K.F., Martis, M., Hedley, P.E., Simková, H., Liu, H., Morris, J.A., Steuernagel, B., Taudien, S., Roessner, S., Gundlach, H., Kubaláková, M., Suchánková, P., Murat, F., Felder, M., Nussbaumer, T., Graner, A., Salse, J., Endo, T., Sakai, H., Tanaka, T., Itoh, T., Sato, K., Platzer, M., Matsumoto, T., Scholz, U., Dolezel, J., Waugh, R., Stein, N. 2011. Unlocking the barley genome by chromosomal and comparative genomics. The Plant Cell 23, 1249-63.
  • Ramsay, L., Comadran, J., Druka, A., Marshall, D.F., Thomas, W.T.B., Macaulay, M., MacKenzie, K., Simpson, C.G., Fuller, J., Hayes, P.M., Lundqvist, U., Franckowiak, J.D., Close, T.J., Muehlbauer, G. and Waugh, R. 2011. INTERMEDIUM-C, a modifier of lateral spikelet fertility in barley, is an ortholog of the maize domestication gene TEOSINTE BRANCHED 1. Nature Genetics 43, 169-U125.
  • Russell, J., Dawson, I.K., Flavell, A.J., Steffenson, B., Weltzien, E., Booth, A., Ceccarelli, S., Grando, S., and Waugh R. 2011.)Genome- and chromosome-level evaluation of SNP diversity in geographically-matched samples of landraces and wild barleys from the Fertile Crescent: lessons for evolution and domestication. New Phytologist 191, 564–578.
  • The Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium. 2011. Genome sequence and analysis of the tuber crop potato. Nature 475, 189-195.
  • Druka, A., Franckowiak, J., Lundqvist, U., Bonar, N., Alexander, J., Houston, K., Radovic, S., Shahinnia, F., Vendramin, V., Morgante, M., Stein, N., Waugh, R. 2011. Genetic dissection of barley morphology and development. Plant Physiology 155, 617-627.
  • Cockram, J., White, J., Zuluaga, D.L., Smith, D., Comadran, J., Macaulay, M., Luo, Z.W., Kearsey, M.J., Werner, P., Harrap, D., Tapsell, C., Liu, H., Hedley, P.E., Stein, N., Schulte, D., Steuernagel, B., Marshall, D.F., Thomas, W.T.B., Ramsay, L., Mackay, I., Balding, D.J., Waugh, R., O'Sullivan, D.M. AGOUEB Consortium. 2010. Genome-wide association mapping of morphological traits to candidate gene resolution in the un-sequenced barley genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107, 21611-21616.
  • Comadran, J., Ramsay, L., MacKenzie, K., Hayes, P., Close, T.J., Muehlbauer, G., Stein, N., Waugh, R. 2010. Patterns of Polymorphism and Linkage Disequilibrium in Cultivated Barley. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 122, 523-531.
  • Waugh, R., Jannink, J.L., Muehlbauer, G.J. and Ramsay, L. 2009. The emergence of whole genome association scans in barley. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 12, 218-222.
  • Salse, J., Abrouk, M., Bolot, S., Guilhot, N., Courcelle, E., Faraut, T., Waugh, R., Close, T.J., Messing, J. and Feuillet, C. 2009. Reconstruction of monocotyledonous proto-chromosomes reveals faster evolution in plants than in animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, 14908-14913.

Scientific/Conference Posters

[file] An update on the GERMINATE project the database and tools 791.72 KB
[file] The Genotype Visualisation Tool (GVT) 1.07 MB
[file] The Plant Genomics Database Infrastructure at the Scottish Crop Research Institute 424.92 KB
[file] Barley SNP Databases and GVT 2.05 MB
[file] The Visualization and Analysis of Barley SNPs 817.23 KB
[file] Barley Mutant and SNP Databases at SCRI 993.59 KB
[file] Germinate 2 A Platform for Storage and Analysis of Experimental Plant Data 4.72 MB
[file] Bioinformatics Resources at the Scottish Crop Research Institute 1.58 MB
[file] Germinate 2: Storage Visualization and Analysis of High Volume Genotypic Phenotypic and Pedigree Data 992.31 KB
[file] Levels of intra-specific AFLP diversity in tuber bearing potato species with different breeding systems and ploidy levels 275.19 KB
[file] Single nucleotide polymorphism discovery and mapping in barley 4.01 MB
[file] Allele-Specific Differential Gene Expression in Two Barley Cultivars and Reciprocal F1 Hybrids 2.87 MB
[file] Genome-wide SNP discovery and linkage analysis in barley based on genes responsive to abiotic stress 4.63 MB
[file] Barley Nec1 gene is a homologue of the Arabidopsis Hlm1 encoding the cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel 4 4.27 MB
[file] Association Genetics of UK Elite Barley 877.79 KB
[file] Steptoe x Morex - the weakest link? 1.11 MB
[file] Association Genetics of UK Elite Barley (AGOUEB) 348.03 KB
[file] Two row-Spring barley Association Panel - A resource for fine-mapping saccharification yield and crop biofuel-related traits 1.66 MB
[file] Genetic dissection of barley morphology and development 6.63 MB
[file] Transcript-Level Variation in Barley Seedling Leaves Challenged with Puccinia hordei and the Molecular Basis of Partial Resistance to Leaf Rust 1.16 MB
[file] Manipulating meiosis: crossovers from Arabidopsis to crops 772.81 KB
[file] Control of Meiotic Recombination in Barley 894.59 KB
[file] Meiotic Recombination in Barley
881.97 KB

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Registered office: The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie Dundee DD2 5DA. Charity No SCO41796

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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.