Photo of Tim Flowers

Tim Flowers
Professor of Plant Physiology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment)
E:
T: +44 (0)1273 678424


Research

 

Effect of salinity on plants, both crops and wild salt tolerant species (halophytes).

I am interested in the mechanisms of salt tolerance in plants from a physiological viewpoint. Past work concentrated on rice, barley, chickpea, Indian mustard, maize and tomato. My group described the effects of salinity on the physiology of rice and mapped quantitative trait loci associated with the accumulation of sodium, potassium and chloride. We used a xylem-feeding insect to try to determine how rice transports sodium into older rather than younger leaves.

I now focus on truly salt-tolerant plants called halophytes.  These plants can grow in the salt concentrations found in seawater and are much more tolerant than our current crops.  Through a COST Action, we have developeda paper database of halophytes publishedby James Aronson in 1989 (HALOPH A Data Base of Salt Tolerant Plants of the World. Office of Arid Land Studies, University of Arizona.Tucson, Arizona) into an electronic format (available at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/affiliates/halophytes/l).  This database is currently being revised and extended.