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William Thomas

Staff picture: William Thomas
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Honorary Associate
bill.thomas@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

  • Plant breeding and genetics, Marker assisted selection, marker assisted breeding, Agronomically relevant traits.
  • My research focusses upon the connection between genotype and phenotype to dissect the genetic control of complex economically important traits such as the various parameters of malting quality in barley. Dr Thomas is the manager of the Scottish Government funded Work Package 1.1 – Barley Genetics which focusses upon the development of tools and resources to deliver improvements in the sustainability in Scottish (and UK) barley production.
  • Interact with all facets of the barley industry in these objectives, such as seed companies and representatives of the brewing and distilling industries and was instrumental in the formation of the consortium of plant breeders, end-users and academic partners in the recently funded BBSRC LINK project 'Association Genetics of Elite UK Barley'.
  • The James Hutton Institute lead PI on the Defra LINK project 'Genetic Reduction of Energy use and Emissions of Nitrogen through cereal production: GREEN grain'.
  • Previously led a successful LINK project aimed at identifying the genetic control of characters specific to the distilling industry and was the SCRI lead PI in a BBSRC/SEERAD funded collaborative project 'Development of robust, broad-based QTL maps to improve barley breeding' with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany and Heriot Watt University.
  • Was a co-PI on the EU INCO-MED project 'Mapping Adaptation of Barley to Droughted Environments' and an HGCA funded project 'Causes and control of endosperm exposure in barley'.
  • Have been instrumental in the uptake of two diagnostic markers for use in marker-assisted barley breeding – one for resistance to the Barley Yellow Mosaic complex and the other for non-production of epiheterodendrin.
  • Currently working with BSPB and CEL in the use of the former in candidate selection for UK recommended list trials.
  • Nearly 30 years research experience in cereals, I have published a number of papers in refereed journals and supervised post-graduate research projects.

Other Activities

  • Scottish Society of Crop Research Cereals Sub-committee (Member).
  • BSPB Cereals Crop Group (Member).
  • Editor Annals of Applied Biology.
  • External examiner Birmingham University.

Bibliography

  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Bull, H.; Houston, K.; Looseley, M.E. (2017) Barley (Origins, uses, breeding, and composition)., In: Walker, G.M., Abbas, C., Ingledew, W.M. and Pilgrim, C. (eds.). The Alcohol Textbook, 6th edition. Chapter 5.
  • Waugh, R.; Flavell, A.J.; Russell, J.R.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ramsay, L.; Comadran, J. (2014) Exploiting barley genetic resources for Genome Wide Association Scans (GWAS)., Tuberosa, R., Graner, A. & Frison, E. (eds.). Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources. Volume 1. Managing, Sequencing and Mining Genetic Resources. Springer, The Netherlands, Chapter 10, pp237-254.
  • Forster, B.P.; Franckowiak, J.D.; Lundqvist, U.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Leader, D.; Shaw, P.; Lyon, J.; Waugh, R. (2012) Mutant phenotyping and pre-breeding in barley., In: Shu, Q.Y., Forster, B.P. & Nakagawa, H. (eds.). Plant Mutation Breeding and Biotechnology. CAB International, Wallingford. Chapter 25, pp327-346.
  • Romagosa, I.; van Eeuwijk, F.A.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2009) Statistical analyses of genotype by environment data., In: Carena, M.J. (ed.). Cereals, Handbook of Plant Breeding. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 291-332.
  • Thomas, W.T.B. (2006) Barley breeding in the United Kingdom., In: Acquaah, G. (ed.). Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, pp299-303.
  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Forster, B.P.; Gertsson, B. (2003) Doubled haploids in breeding., In: Maluszynski, M., Kasha, K.J., Forster, B.P. & Szarejko, I. (eds.). Doubled Haploid Production in Crop Plants. Kluwer Academic Publisher, Vienna, pp337-350.
  • Forster, B.P.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2003) Doubled haploids in genetic mapping and genomics., In: Maluszynski, M., Kasha, K.J., Forster, B.P. & Szarejko, I. (eds.). Doubled Haploid Production in Crop Plants. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Vienna, pp367-390.
  • Thomas, W.T.B. (2000) Molecular biological tools in cereal breeding., In: Morris, P.C. & Bryce, J.H. (eds.). Cereal Biotechnology. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, pp107-136.
  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Russell, J.R.; Bonar, N.; Booth, A.; Fuller, J.D.; Lawrence, P.; Macaulay, M.; Ramsay, L.; Waugh, R.; Powell, W. (1997) Simple sequence repeats SSRs and QTL mapping in barley crosses.., In: H. Buerstmayer & P. Ruckenbauer (eds.). Application of Marker Aided Selection in Cereal Breeding Programs. Eucarpia Section Cereals Meeting. Tulln, Austria, 28-29.
  • Hayes, P.; Chen, F.Q.; Corey, A.; Pan, A.H.; Chen, T.H.H.; Baird, E.; Powell, W.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Waugh, R.; Bedo, Z.; Karsai, I.; Blake, T.; Oberthur, L. (1997) The Dicktoo x Morex Population - A model for dissecting components of winterhardiness in barley., In: Li, P.H. & Chen, T.H.H. (eds.). Plant Cold Hardiness. Plenum Press. New York, pp77-87.

  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Comadran, J.; Ramsay, L.; Shaw, P.; Marshall, D.F.; Newton, A.C.; O'Sullivan, D.; Cockram, J.; Mackay, I.; Bayles, R.; White, J.; Kearsey, M.J.; Luo, Z.; Wang, M.; Tapsell, C.; Harrap, D.; Werner, P.; Klose, S.; Bury, P.; Wroth, J.; Argilllier, O.; Habgood, R.; Glew, M.; Bochard, A-M.; Gymer, P.; Vequaud, D.; Christerson, T.; Allvin, B,; Davies, N.; Broadbent, R.; Brosnan, J.; Bringhurst, T.; Booer, C.; Waugh, R. (2014) Association genetics of UK elite barley (AGOUEB)., Final Project Report to HGCA, No 528, 125pp.
  • Ramsay, L.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Comadran, J.; Marshall, D.F.; Shaw, P.; Waugh, R. (2011) Genetic diversity in modern barley varieties., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2010, pp23-24.
  • Comadran, J.; Romagosa, I.; van Eeuwijk, F.A.; Hackett, C.A.; Russell, J.R.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2008) Drought tolerance in Mediterranean barley: an association genetics approach., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2007, 14-15.
  • Macaulay, M.; Russell, J.R.; Ramsay, L.; Marshall, D.F.; Powell, W.; Waugh, R.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2004) Lessons from barley recommended lists., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2003/2004, pp144-145.
  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Waugh, R.; Ramsay, L.; Russell, J.R.; Powell, W.; Meyer, R.C.; Young, G.R.; Lawrence, P.E.; Booth, A.; Swanston, J.S.; Newton, A.C. (2002) Molecular markers for agriculturally important traits in barley., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2001/2002, 162-164.
  • Forster, B.P.; Bengough, A.G.; Ellis, R.P.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Clark, S.; Gordon, D.C.; El-Meniae, R.; Keith, R.; Waugh, R.; Hedley, P.E.; Daniell, T.J. (2002) Genomics of the root-soil interface., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2001/2002, pp153-154.
  • Meyer, R.C.; Swanston, J.S.; Young, G.R.; Lawrence, P.E.; Bertie, A.; Powell, W.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2001) A genome based approach to improving barley for the malting and distilling industries., MAFF LINK Project Report, London.
  • Meyer, R.C.; Swanston, J.S.; Young, G.R.; Lawrence, P.E.; Bertie, A.; Ritchie, J.; Wilson, A.; Brosnan, J.M.; Pearson, S.; Bringhurst, T.A.; Steele, G.; Aldis, P.R.; Field, M.; Jolliffe, T.; Powell, W.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2001) A genome based approach to improving barley for the malting and distilling industries., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2000/2001, pp70-74.
  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Newton, A.C.; Wilson, A.; Booth, A.; Macaulay, M.; Keith, R. (2000) Development of recombinant chromosome substitution lines - a barley resource., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 1999/2000, pp99-100.
  • Ellis, R.P.; Ferguson, E.; Swanston, J.S.; Forrest, J.; Fuller, J.D.; Lawrence, P.E.; Powell, W.; Russell, J.R.; Tester, R.F.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Young, G.R. (1999) Use of DNA marker-based assays to define and select malting characteristics in barley., Home-Grown Cereals Authority Report, 183.
  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Powell, W.; Waugh, R.; Harrower, B.E.; Baird, E.; Booth, A.; Lawrence, P. (1996) Detection by AFLP analysis of major and minor effects controlling the genetics of resistance to scald Rhynchosporium secalis in barley., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 1995, pp59-63.
  • Thomas, W.T.B.; Powell, W.; Waugh, R.; Forster, B.P.; Chalmers, K.J.; Barua, U.M.; Swanston, J.S.; Ellis, R.P.; Jack, P.; Lea, V. (1995) Mapping genes of economic importance in spring barley., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 1994, pp60-64.
  • Waugh, R.; Duncan, N.; Baird, E.; Chalmers, K.J.; Barua, U.M.; Hakim, L.; Harrower, B.E.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Phillips, M.; Powell, W. (1993) Genetic approaches to mapping genes conferring resistance to plant pathogens and pests., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 1992, pp28-30.

  • George, T.S.; Brown, L.K.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ramsay, L.; Bengough, G.; Leiser, W.; Russell, J.R.; Hallett, P.D.; White, P.J. (2015) Understanding the biophysical formation and genetic control of the rhizosheath., ISRR R-9 Roots Down Under: Belowground Solutions to Global Challenges, 9th Symposium for the International Society of Root Research, Canberra, Australia, 6-9 October 2015.
  • George, T.S., Brown, L.K.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ramsay, L.; Bengough, G.; Leiser, W.; Russell, J.R.; Hallett, P.D., White, P.J. (2015) Understanding the biophysical formation and genetic control of the rhizosheath., Rhizosphere 4, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 21-25 June 2015.
  • George, T.S.; Brown, L.K.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ramsay, L.; Bengough, G.; Russell, J.; White, P.J. (2014) Understanding the genetic control of rhizosheath formation and impacts of multiple stress on phosphorus acquisition., Phosphorus in Soils and Plants, 5th International Symposium, 4th Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, Montpellier, France, 26 August to 3 September 2014.
  • George, T.S.; Brown, L.K.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ramsay, L.; Russell, J.; White, P.J. (2013) Understanding the genetic control of rhizosheath formation and impacts of multiple tress on phosphorus acquisition., In: XVII International Plant Nutrition Colloquium and Boron Satellite Meeting, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey, 19-22 August 2013. Proceedings, pp225-226.
  • George, T.S.; Brown, L.K.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ramsay, L.; Russell, J.; White, P.J. (2013) Understanding the genetic control of rhizosheath formation and impacts of multiple stress on phosphorus acquisition., XVII International Plant Nutrition Colloquium and Boron Satellite Meeting, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey, 19-22 August 2013.
  • Shaw, P.; Milne, I.; Cardle, L.; Waugh, R.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ramsay, L.; Comadran, J.; Stephen G.; Bayer, M.; Graham, M.; Kennedy J.; Oakey, H.; Marshall, D.F. (2012) Visualizing genetic transmission patterns in plant pedigrees., Plant and Animal Genome XX, San Diego, California, 14-18 January 2012.
  • Looseley, M.E.; Newton, A.C.; Atkins, S.D.; Fitt, B.D.L.; Fraaije, B.A.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Keith, R.; Macaulay, M.; Lynott J.; Harrap, D.; Thirugnanasambandam, A. (2012) Genetic control of infection and symptom expression by Rhynchosporium commune in barley., Proceedings of Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2012, The West Park Conference Centre, Dundee, 28-29 February 2012.
  • George, T.S.; Brown, L.K.; Thomas, W.T.B.; White, P.J. (2012) Rhizosheath a future breeding target for improved abiotic stress tolerance in cereals., The 8th Symposium of the International Society of Root Research (ISSR); Roots to the Future, The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, 26-29 June 2012.
  • Sylvester-Bradley, R.; Kindred, D.; Weightman, R.M.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Swanston, J.S.; Thompson, D.M.; Feuerhelm, D.; Creasy, T.; Argilier, O.; Melichar, D.; Brosnan, J.; Agu, R.C.; Bringhurst, T.A.; Foulkes, J.; Pask, A.; Cowe, I.; Hemingway, D.; Robinson, D.; Wilcox, S. (2010) Genetic reduction of energy use and emissions of nitrogen through cereal production: GREENgrain., HGCA Project Report, London, 468, 37p.
  • Barral Baron, G.; Booth, A.; Ramsay, L.; Russell, J.R.; Waugh, R.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Werner, P. (2010) Dissecting nitrogen use efficiency of cereals using an association genetics approach., Association of Applied Biologists - Water and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Plants and Crops, Olde Barn Hotel, Marston, Lincs, UK 15-16 December 2010.
  • Brown, L.K.; George, T.S.; Thompson, J.A.; Wright, G.M.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Lyon, J.; White, P.J.; Hubbard, S.F. (2010) Genotypic variation in root traits involved in phosphorus utilisation by barley., Scottish Plant Biology Meeting, University of Dundee, 22 April 2010.
  • Muehlbauer, G.J.; Waugh, R.; Ramsay, L.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Marshall, D.F.; Newton, A.C. (2010) Potential impacts of a new oat genomics toolbox: Lessons from the barley CAP., Plant & Animal Genome XVIII, San Diego, California, USA, 9-13 January 2010.
  • Cockram, J.; White, J.; Zuluaga, D.; Mackay, I.; Luo, Z.W.; Kearsey, M.J.; Comadran, J.; Marshall, D.F.; Ramsay, L.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Harrap, D.; Werner, P.; Tapsell, C.; Balding, D.J.; Waugh, R.; O'Sullivan, D. (2010) Genome-wide association mapping in barley: From simulations to fine-mapping., Plant & Animal Genome XVIII, San Diego, California, USA, 9-13 January 2010.
  • Shaw, P.; Cardle, L.; Milne, I.; Waugh, R.; Flavell, A.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Grzebyta, J.; Bayer, M.; Marshall, D.F. (2009) Germinate 2: A platform for Illumina SNP genotyping experiments and high volume phenotypic data., Plant & Animal Genome XVII, San Diego, California, 10-14 January 2009.
  • Brown, L.K.; George, T.S.; Wishart, J.; Thompson, J.A.; Wright, G.M.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Lyon, J.; Forster, B.P.; Alexander, J.; White, P.J. (2009) Genotypic variation in root traits involved in phosphorus utilisation by barley., Plant Soil Interactions, Joint Meeting of the Scottish Root Group and the Scottish Soils Discussion Group of the British Society of Soil Science, MLURI, Aberdeen, 3 November 2009.
  • Waugh, R.; Marshall, D.F.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Comadran, J.; Russell, J.R.; Close, T.; Stein, N.; Hayes, P.; Muehlbauer, G.; Cockram, J.; O'Sullivan, D.; Mackay, I.; Flavell, A.J.; Ramsay, L. (2009) Whole-genome association mapping in elite inbred crop varieties., OECD Genome Association, Perth, Australia, 9-12 November 2009 (Invited plenary).
  • Waugh, R.; Ramsay, L.; Comadran, J.; Marshall, D.F.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Russell, J.R.; Close, T.; Stein, N.; Hayes, P.; Muehlbauer, G.J.; Cockram, J.; O'Sullivan, D.; Mackay, I.; Flavell, A.J. (2009) Whole-genome scans in elite barley germplasm as a strategy for gene isolation., 19th International Triticeae Mapping Initiative - 3rd COST Tritigen Workshop, Clermont-Ferrand, France, 31 August - 4 September 2009 (Talk).
  • Bingham, I.J.; Wu, L.F.; Thomas, W.T.B.; White, P.J.; Hackett, C.A. (2009) Nitrogen use efficiency of spring barley: changes associated with over 75 years of barley breeding., MONOGRAM Network Workshop, Burwalls, Bristol, 29 April - 1 May 2009.
  • Waugh, R.; Marshall, D.F.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Comadran, J.; Russell, J.R.; Close, T.; Stein, N.; Hayes, P.; Muehlbauer, G.; Cockram, J.; O'Sullivan, D.; Mackay, I.; Ramsay, L. (2009) Whole-genome association mapping in elite inbred crop varieties as a platform for gene discovery., ACPFG Genomics Symposium: The Genomics of Salinity, Adelaide, Australia, 16-18 November 2009 (Invited plenary).
  • George, T.S.; Brown, L.K.; Newton, A.C.; Hallett, P.D.; Thomas, W.T.B.; White, P.J. (2009) Impact of soil tillage on the robustness of the genetic component of variation in phosphorus use efficiency in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)., XVI International Plant Nutrition Colloquium 'Plant Nutrition for Sustainable Development and Global Health', Sacramento, California, USA, 26-30 August 2009. Abstracts and Programme, 175.
  • Ramsay, L.; Comadran, J.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Marshall, D.F.; Druka, A.; MacKenzie, K.; Bhat, P.; Close, T.J.; Waugh, R. (2008) Barley genomics: Development and application of SNP genotyping., 5th UK Cereal Genetics and Genomics Workshop, Rothamsted, 16-18 April 2008.
  • Waugh, R.; Marshall, D.F.; Druka, A.; Comadran, J.; Russell, J.R.; Chen, X.W.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Close, T.J.; Stein, N.; Ramsay, L. (2008) Genomic dissection of phenotypic variation in barley., BSPP Cereal Pathosystems Conference 2008, Queen Mary, University of London, 16-17 December 2008, p63.
  • Swanston, J.S.; Elia, M.; Moralejo, M.A.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Ullrich, S.E.; Perez-Vendrell, A.M.; Ciudad, F.; Molina-Cano, J. (2008) Detection and assessment of genetic factors influencing quality in a cross between European and North American malting quality varieties., 10th International Barley Genetics Symposium, Alexandria, Egypt, 5-10 April 2008.
  • Waugh, R.; Ramsay, L.; Marshall, D.F.; Kearsey, M.J.; O'Sullivan, D.M.; Tapsell, C.; Klose, S.; Bury, P.; Habgood, R.; Gymer, P.; Christerson, T.; Allvin, B.; Davies, N.; Brosnan, J.; Booer, C.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2008) High density genome scan of progress in UK winter and spring malting barley., 10th International Barley Genetics Symposium, Alexandria, Egypt, 5-10 April 2008.
  • Rae, S.J.; Keith, R.; Leigh, F.; Mackie, A.; Matthews, D.; Felix, G.; Morris, P.C.; O'Sullivan, D.M.; Donini, P.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2008) Multi-cross QTL mapping of economically important traits., 10th International Barley Genetics Symposium, Alexandria, Egypt, 5-10 April 2008.
  • Marshall, D.F.; Close, T.; Ramsay, L.; Druka, A.; Thomas, W.T.B.; Flavell, A.J.; Shaw, P.; Milne, I.; Waugh, R. (2008) Barley genomics and genetic analysis - new trends in barley genomics., 10th International Barley Genetics Symposium, Alexandria, Egypt, 5-10 April 2008.
  • Bingham, I.J.; Hoad, S.P.; Newton, A.C.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2008) Avoidance and tolerance of foliar disease in barley: opportunities for improvement., Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2008, Dundee, 26-27 February 2008, 139-144.
  • Pswarayi, A.; Comadran, J.; Molina-Cano, J.; Russell, J.R.; van Eeuwijk, F.A.; Ceccarelli, S.; Grando, S.; Stanca, A.M.; Francia, E.; Pecchioni, N.; Akar, T.; Al-Yassin, A.; Benbelkacem, A.; Choumane, W.; Karrou, M.; Ouabbou, H.; Bort, J.; Araus, J.L.; Hackett, C.A.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2007) Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) adaptation and improvement in the Mediterranean basin., Eucarpia Plant Breeding for Organic and Sustainable Low-input Agriculture: Dealing with Genotype-Environment Interactions, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 7-9 November 2007.
  • Thomas, W.T.B. (2006) Application of biotechnology to cereal breeding in the UK., Proceedings of Crop Protection in Northern Britain. Dundee, 28 February-1 March 2006, 95-100.
  • Newton, A.C.; Thomas, W.T.B. (2006) Resistance to spots and blotches in spring barley., Proceedings of Crop Protection in Northern Britain. Dundee, 28 February - 1 March 2006, 191-194.

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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.