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Professor Tony Fawcett

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) in the Vice-Chancellor's Office
Professor in the Department of Biosciences+44 (0) 191 33 41328


There is an increasing demand for plant oils not only for human food and animal feed but also as renewable sources of chemicals and biofuels. This increased demand has shown a doubling every 8 years over the last four decades and is likely to continue in the future. With a limitation on agricultural land, the main way to increase production is to increase yields and for this to be realized a thorough knowledge of the biosynthesis of plant oils is needed, including how oil quality and quantity is controlled. Recently, we made a first experimental study of overall regulation of storage oil accumulation in oilseed rape, which we analyzed by flux control analysis. This showed that it is the lipid assembly, rather than fatty acid biosynthesis, that is the most important limitation on the biosynthetic process. Currently we are dissecting the lipid assembly components to identify targets with significant control for targeted future crop improvement strategies.

Research interests

  • plant lipid biochemistry


Journal Article