Professor Howard Griffiths
2002-present: Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge.
2003: Joint organiser BES/SEB International Symposium 'Carbon Balance of Forest Biomes'
2004: Chairman/Discussion leader, International Photosynthesis Congress, Montreal
2005: Organiser: SEB Barcelona (Drought tolerance); IBC Vienna (Epiphytes and climate change); Discussion leader, Gordon Conference, Aussois, France;
2006: Visiting Research Fellow, RSBS, Canberra
2007: Organiser, C4-CAM satellite meeting to International photosynthesis congress
2007: Member, NERC Peer Review College
2008: Visiting Research Fellow, RSBS, Canberra
1981, 1983, 1985,1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2004-: Leader of expeditions for field work in Trinidad, Venezuela and Panama using stable isotopes to investigate carbon balance, drought tolerance and water vapour exchanges for forests and epiphytes.
Stable isotopes and coupling of carbon and hydrological cycles
Stable isotopes provide non-invasive biological and ecological markers of metabolic and atmospheric transformations of water and carbon dioxide, coupling plant carbon uptake and sequestration into biomass as a function of water availability and use (Griffiths & Jarvis 2005; Griffiths et al 2000; Tcherkez et al. 2007). We are evaluating plant growth under marginal habitats for the selection of drought tolerant cultivars and perennial biomass crops, such as Miscanthus, and their impact on canopy water use. Armed with a framework of quantitative models which allow plant gas exchanges to be modelled from the scale of leaf to crop (or forest) canopy, we can partition 13C/12C and 18O/16O to reveal net carbon sequestration over a plantation crop, as a function of soil respiratory losses. We use real-time, dynamic models of stable isotopes to monitor such exchanges (Tcherkez et al. 2007; Kromdijk et al 2008). Furthermore, with for every 3 CO2 entering a leaf, 2 retro-diffuse to create an isotopic imprint in atmospheric CO2, then the equivalent inward flux of water vapour must be 10 or 100 times greater at high humidity: Helliker and Griffiths, 2007) . Finally, an enduring interest in carbon concentrating mechanisms (CAM (Griffiths et al 2007), C4 (Marshall et al 2007), and the biophysical CCM in algae, cyanobacteria, lichens and hornworts has led us to investigate the structure, function and molecular basis to the chloroplast pyrenoid (Meyer et al 2008).
The focus of our recent work has been in the following key areas which integrate carbon partitioning and water use:
- scaling fractionation from photosynthetic and (photo)respiratory metabolism and water use; eddy flux partitioning and coupling of Miscanthus crop canopy CO2 exchanges (Wanne, see Kromdijk et al 2008)
- systems biology concepts for modelling isotopic landscapes and isotopomics (Tcherkez et al 2007);
- stable isotopic markers and the genetic basis to drought tolerance in brassicas, maize and sugar beet (Abazar, see Rajabi et al 2007; Hall et al 2005; Price et al 2002)
- Chloroplast pyrenoid: molecular definition of an enigmatic organelle (Moritz, see Meyer et al, 2008)
- soil respiration and carbon balance of tropical soils; plant competition and vegetation dynamics (Jankju-Borzelabad and Griffiths 2006) ;
- hydrology of tropical epiphytes and cloudforest formations: markers of climatic gradients (Helliker and Griffiths, 2007; Reyes-Garcia et al 2008, in review) see Aline Horwath;
- photosynthetic and oxidative interplay between chloroplast and mitochondria (Changfang Zhou, see also Janneke Balke)
Recent and forthcoming publications
Reyes-Garcia, C., Mejia-Chang, M., Griffiths, H. (2012) High but not dry: diverse epiphytic bromeliad adaptations to exposure within a seasonally dry tropical forest community New Phytologist doi /10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03946.x
Ellwood, M.D.F., Northfield, R.G.W., Mejia-Chang, M., Griffiths, H. (2011) On the vapour trail of an atmospheric imprint in insects Biology Letters doi/10.1098/rsbl.2010.1171
Genkov, T., Meyer, M., Griffiths, H., Spreitzer, R.J. (2010) Functional Hybrid Rubisco Enzymes with Plant Small Subunits and Algal Large Subunits ENGINEERED rbcS cDNA FOR EXPRESSION IN CHLAMYDOMONAS Journal of Biological Chemistry doi/10.1074/jbc.M110.124230
Kromdijk, Johannes, Griffiths, Howard, Schepers, Hans E., (2010) Can the progressive increase of C4 bundle sheath leakiness at low PFD be explained by incomplete suppression of photorespiration? Plant, Cell & Environment doi/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02196.x
Rajabi, A.; Griffiths, H., Ober, E.S., Kromdijk, W., Pidgeon, J.D. (2008) Genetic characteristics of water-use related traits in sugar beet Euphytica doi 10.1007/s10681-007-9520-5
Genkov, T., Meyer, M., Griffiths, H. and Spreitzer, R.J. (2010) Functional Hybrid Rubisco Enzymes with Plant Small Subunits and Algal Large Subunits: engineered rbcS cDNA for expression in Chlamydomonas J. Biological Chemistry doi/10.1074/jbc.M110.124230
Tcherkez G., Schäufele, R., Nogués, S., Piel, C., Boom, A., Lanigan G., Barbaroux, C., Mata, C., Elhani, S., Hemming D., Maguas, C., Yakir, D., Badeck, F., Griffiths, H., Schnyder, H. and Ghashghaie, J. (2010) On the 13C/12C isotopic signal of day and night respiration at the mesocosm levelpce_2115 Plant Cell and Environment 33, 900-913 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02115.x
Nottingham A.T., Griffiths, H., Chamberlain, P.M., Stott, A.W. and Tanner E.V.J. (2009) Soil priming by sugar and leaf-litter substrates: A link to microbial groups Applied Soil Ecology 42 (2009) 183-190
Borland, A.M., Griffiths, H., Hartwell, J. and Smith, J.A.C. (2009) Exploiting the potential of plants with crassulacean acid metabolism for bioenergy production on marginal lands Journal of experimental Botany, 60, 2879-2896, doi:10.1093/jxb/erp118
Snell, K.R.S., Kokubun, T., Griffiths, H., Convey, P, Hodgson, D.A., and Newsham, K.K. (2009) Quantifying the metabolic cost to an Antarctic liverwort of responding to an abrupt increase in UV-B radiation exposure Global Change Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01929.x
von Caemmerer S. and Griffiths H. (2009) Stomatal responses to CO2 during a diel CAM cycle in Kalanchoe daigremontiana and Kalanchoe pinnata. Plant, Cell & Environment, 32, 567-576 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2009.01951.x
Rajabi, A. Griffiths H. & Ober E.S. (2009) Carbon isotope discrimination in sugar beet: stability across environments and potential surrogate measures. Field Crops Research, 112, 172-181
Cernusak L.A., Tcherkez G., Keitel, C., Cornwell, W.K., Santiago, L.S., Knohl, A., Barbour, M.M., Williams, D.G., Reich, P.B., Ellsworth, D.S., Dawson, T.E., Griffiths, H., Farquhar, G.D., Wright, I.J., Westoby, M. (2009) Within plant variation in stable carbon isotopes: why are non-photosynthetic tissues generally 13C enriched compared to leaves? Functional Plant Biology, 36, 199-213 doi: 10.1071/FP08216
Lanigan, G.J., Betson, N., Griffiths, H. & Seibt, U. (2008) Carbon isotope fractionation during photorespiration and carboxylation in Senecio. Plant Physiology, 148, 2013-2020 doi: 10.1104/pp.108.130153
Kromdijk, J Schepers, H.E., Albanito, F, Fitton, N, Carroll, F.,Jones, M.B., Finnan, J, Lanigan, G.J., Griffiths, H. (2008) Bundle Sheath Leakiness and Light Limitation during C4 Leaf and Canopy CO2 Uptake. Plant Physiology, 148, 2144-2155 doi/10.1104/pp.108.129890
Cernusak, L.A. Mejia-Chang, M. Winter, K. & Griffiths H (2008) Oxygen isotope composition of CAM and C3 Clusia species: non-steady-state dynamics control leaf water 18O enrichment in succulent leaves Plant Cell Environment, 31, 1644-1662 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2008.01868.x
Meyer M, Seibt U, Griffiths H (2008) To concentrate or ventilate? Carbon acquisition, isotope discrimination and physiological ecology of early land plant life-forms. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B, 363, 2767-2778
Griffiths, H Robe WE, Girnus J, Maxwell K (2008) Leaf succulence determines the interplay between carboxylase systems and light use during crassulacean acid metabolism species Journal of Experimental Botany, 59, 1851-1861 doi:10.1093/jxb/ern085
Reyes-Garcia C., Mejia-Chang M. Jones GD & Griffiths H (2008) Water vapour isotopic exchange by epiphytic bromeliads in tropical dry forests: from niche differentiation to climate reconstruction. Plant Cell & Environment, 31, 828-841 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2008.01789.x
Reyes-Garcia C., Griffiths H., Rincon E. & Huante P. (2008) Niche differentiation in tank and atmospheric epiphytic bromeliads of a seasonally dry forest. Biotropica, 40 168-175.
Seibt U, Rajabi A., Griffiths H. & Berry J (2008) Carbon isotopes and water use efficiency - Sense and sensitivity, Oecologia, DOI 10.1007/s00442-007-0932-7; for an interactive model, go to: carbonisotopes.googlepages.com
Kromdijk J, Albanito F, Fitton N, Lanigan G, Finnan J, Carroll M, Jones M, Schepers H and Griffiths H Geophysical Research Abstracts,(submitted) Vol. 10, EGU2008-A-00000, 2008 Is CO2-uptake by C4-grass canopies limited by leakage of CO2 from bundle sheath cells?
Meyer M, Seibt U, Griffiths H (2008) To concentrate or ventilate? Carbon acquisition, isotope discrimination and physiological ecology of early land plant life-forms. Submitted to Proceedings of "Photosynthetic and Atmospheric Evolution", Royal Society Discussion Meeting, November 12-13th 2007, organised by Professor Euan Nisbet, Dr Derek Bendall, Professor Christopher Howe and Dr Ellen Nisbet.
Reyes-Garcia C., Mejia-Chang M. Jones GD & Griffiths H (2008) Water vapour isotopic exchange by epiphytic bromeliads in tropical dry forests: from niche differentiation to climate reconstruction. Revised, submitted to PC&E
Rajabi, A. Griffiths H. & Ober E.S. (2008) Carbon isotope discrimination in sugar beet: stability across environments and potential surrogate measures. Field Crops Research, under revision
Reyes-García C., Griffiths H., Rincón E. & Huante P. (2008) Niche differentiation in tank and atmospheric epiphytic bromeliads of a seasonally dry forest. Biotropica, In press.
Reyes-Garcia C. & Griffiths H. (2007) Ecophysiological Studies of Perennials in a Dry Forest - Strategies for Survival In Perspectives in biophysics and plant ecology: a tribute to Park S. Nobel, (eds. E. De la Barrera & W.K. Smith), In press.
Marshall D.M., Muhaidat R., Brown N.J., Liu Z., Stanley S., Griffiths H., Sage R.F. & Hibberd J.M. (2007) Cleome, a genus closely related to Arabidopsis, contains species spanning a developmental progression from C3 to C4 photosynthesis. The Plant Journal, 51, 886-896
Tcherkez G, Ghashghaie J & Griffiths H (2007) An added dimension to stable isotope analyses integrates outputs from plant and earth systems Plant Cell & Environment 30, 887- 891 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2007.01687.x
Griffiths H, Cousins A, Badger M, von Caemmerer S (2007) Discrimination in the dark: resolving the interplay between metabolic and physical constraints to PEPC activity during the CAM cycle. Plant Physiology 147, 1055- 1067 doi/10.1104/pp.106.088302
Helliker B ,Griffiths H (2007) Towards a plant-based proxy for the 18O content of atmospheric water vapour. Global Change Biology 13, 723-733, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01325.x
Hemming D., Griffiths H., Loader N.J., Marca A.,Robertson I., Williams D.G., Wingate L. Yakir D. The future of large-scale isotope networks In: Stable Isotopes as Indicators of Ecological Change T.E. Dawson, and R.T.W. Siegwolf (Eds.), Terrestrial Ecology Series, Elsevier, Amsterdam, Boston
Rajabi, A., Ober, E.S., Griffiths, H., Kromdijk, W., Pidgeon, J.D., 2007. Genetic characteristics of water-use related traits in sugar beet. Euphytica. DOI 10.1007/s10681-007-9520-5).
Lanigan GJ, Davis PA, Osborne BA, Griffiths H, Burke J, Clifton-Brown J and Jones MB (2008) Partitioning of Net Ecosystem Exchange associated with a Spring Barley (Hordeum vulgare) crop - evidence for light inhibition of respiration at a stand scale.
Griffiths H (2006) Designs on Rubisco Nature 441, 940-941
Jankju-Borzelebad, M, Griffiths H (2006) Competition for pulsed resources: an experimental study of establishment and coexistence for an arid-land grass Oecologia 148, 555-563
Griffiths H, Jarvis PG (2005) The Carbon Balance of Forest Biomes. Taylor and Francis, pp. 356 ISBN 1 85996 214 9
Hall, NM, Griffiths H Corlett J, Jones HG, Lynn J, King GJ (2005) Relationship between water use traits and photosynthesis in Brassica oleracea revealed by quantitative genetic analysis Plant Breeding 124, 557-564
Ghashghaie J Badeck F Lanigan G Nogues S Tcherkez G Deleens E, Cornic G and Griffiths H (2003) Carbon isotope fractionation during dark respiration and photorespiration. Phytochemistry Reviews 2, 145-162
Haslam R, Borland AM, Maxwell K, Griffiths H (2003) Physiological responses of the CAM epiphyte Tillandsia usneoides L. (Bromeliaceae) to variations in light and water supply. Journal of Plant Physiology, 160, 627-634.
Dodd AN, Griffiths H, Taybi T, Cushman JC and BorlandAM (2003) Integrating diel starch metabolism with the circadian and environmental regulation of Crassulacean acid metabolism in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Planta 216: 789-797
Brendel O Handley LL and Griffiths H (2003) The δ13C of scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) needles: intra-branch and temporal variations. Annals of Forest Science, 60, 97-104
Maguas C and Griffiths H (2002) Applications of stable isotopes in plant ecology. In Progress in Botany, ed Beyschlag et al, 64, 472-505
Brendel O, Handley LL and Griffiths H (2002) Differences in δ13C and diameter growth among remnant Scots pine populations in Scotland. Tree Physiology 22 983-992 2002
Dodd AN, Borland AM, Haslam RP, Griffiths H and Maxwell K (2002) Crassulacean acid metabolism: plastic, fantastic. Journal of experimental Botany, 53, 1-12.
Price AH, Cairns, JE, Horton P, Jones HG and Griffiths H (2002) Linking drought-resistance mechanisms to drought avoidance in upland rice using a QTL approach: progress and new opportunities to integrate stomatal and mesophyll responses. Journal of experimental Botany, 53, 989-1004.
Pierce S, Winter K and Griffiths H (2002) The role of CAM in high rainfall cloudforests: an in situ comparison of photosynthetic pathways in Bromeliaceae. Plant Cell and Environment, 25, 1181- 1189
Griffiths, H et al (2000) Stable isotopes reveal exchanges between soil, plants and the atmosphere. In: Physiological Plant Ecology (eds MC Press, JD Scholes and MG Barker) Blackwells, pp 415-441