The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
Phone:
(023) 8059 4278
Email:
L.E.Williams@soton.ac.uk

Dr Lorraine E Williams BSc, PhD

Associate Professor in Plant Biology, Principal Investigator (Role of membrane transporters in nutrition, stress and signalling)

Dr Lorraine E Williams's photo
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Dr Lorraine E Williams is Associate Professor in Plant Biology within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Career History

2014-present: Associate Professor. Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2004-2014: Senior Lecturer. School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2001-2004: Lecturer. School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
1991-2001: Royal Society University Research Fellow. School of Biological Sciences, Southampton, UK.
1991-1991: Postdoctoral Research Assistant. Department of Biology, University of Southampton, UK.
1989-1991: SERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Department of Biology, University of Southampton, UK.
1988-1989: Postdoctoral Research Associate. Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA.
1987-1988: Postdoctoral Research Associate. Department of Genetics and Pathology, Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association, Hawaii, USA.
1984-1987: Graduate Research Assistant. Department of Biology, University of Southampton, UK.

Academic Qualifications

1984-1987: PhD Plant Physiology. University of Southampton, UK.
1980-1984: BSc Applied Biology. University of Bath, UK.

Research

Publications

Teaching

Contributions

Contact

Research interests

Membrane transporters are vital for plant growth and development. They play key roles in plant nutrition, signalling, homeostasis, osmoregulation and stress responses. The way in which we view membrane transport in higher plants has radically changed and we now recognise the diversity of transport proteins.

Many belong to multi-gene families and individual members often differ in their tissue specific expression pattern, developmental regulation and transport properties. The array of potential transporters for a particular nutrient, together with the presence of isoforms within a transporter family, allows particular cells to respond to developmental and environmental signals in order to carry out efficient transport over a wide concentration range. This is essential in allowing integration of solute transport at the whole plant level.

We are in an exciting era in the field of plant membrane transport with still much to do. My area of interest is in exploring membrane proteins which have key roles in plant nutrition. As plants are the basis of all foodstuffs we ingest, this research has important implications for agriculture, human nutrition and health.

Research group

Environmental Biosciences

Affiliate research group

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Research project(s)

Calcium ATPases - role in calcium homeostasis and signalling

Physiological role of sucrose and amino acid permeases in higher plants

Physiological function of the GTG/GPHRs, a highly conserved family of eukaryotic membrane proteins

Is there a conserved function for the GTG/GPHR family of membrane proteins?

Dissecting pathways involved in Manganese homeostasis and stress in higher plant cells

This project is focussed on the role of transporters in the acquisition, distribution and homeostasis of Mn, and aspects of their regulation.

Role of membrane transporters in light-regulated seedling development

Manganese homeostasis in higher plants

Investigating membrane proteins of Arabidopsis involved in alleviating manganese toxicity and deficiency across the plant.

Are GTGs a new class of plant anion channels regulating pH in the endomembrane system?

Given the significant sequence similarity between members of the GTG/GPHR family, we are testing whether the GTG/GPHR family has a conserved physiological function in diverse organisms.

The regulatory mechanisms controlling zinc content in wheat

Developing an increased understanding of the regulatory mechanisms controlling zinc content in wheat may allow the formulation of targeted breeding programmes and biofortification strategies to enhance the zinc content of this staple cereal.

Nutrient stress in plants in relation to biofortification and phytoremediation

Dr Lorraine Williams (Southampton) has collaborated with a team of European labs exploring the mechanisms regulating absorption, distribution and storage of both micronutrients (essential elements) and non-essential potentially toxic metals in plants (Arabidopsis, barley, wheat and tobacco). This research has important implications for agriculture, human nutrition and health as plants are the basis of all foodstuffs we ingest. The goal of biofortification is to develop plants that have an increased content of bioavailable nutrients in their edible parts

Articles

Book Chapters

Course Director

MRes Biological Sciences

Module Co-ordinator

BIOL2007 Plant Development and Function
BIOL3003 Plant Cell Biology
BIOL6044 Plant Cell Biology
BIOL6068 MRes Advanced Biological Sciences Research Project

Lecturer

BIOL2002 Cell Biology
BIOL2007 Plant Development and Function
BIOL3003 Plant Cell Biology
BIOL6044 Plant Cell Biology

Practical Supervisor

BIOL2002 Cell Biology
BIOL2007 Plant Development and Function

Project Supervisor

BIOL3034 In-Depth Research Project
BIOL3032 Literature-based Research Project
BIOL6068 MRes Advanced Biological Sciences Research Project

Postgraduate Lecturer

Graduate School program

University of Southampton

Deputy Director of Graduate School
Course director for MRes Advanced Biological Sciences

Dr Lorraine E Williams
Biological Sciences
Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
Southampton
SO17 1BJ

Room Number:85/6059

Telephone:(023) 8059 4278
Email:L.E.Williams@soton.ac.uk

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