James Doughty


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Personal profile

Research interests

Current Research

My research interests are currently focused on molecular recognition events and signalling between the pollen and stigma in species belonging to the Brassicaceae (including Brassica oleracea and Arabidopsis thaliana).

Pollinations can be either compatible or incompatible and a molecular dialogue is established within minutes of the arrival of the pollen grain at the stigma surface that will lead either to acceptance or rejection of the pollen.

Brassica oleracea, in common with many flowering plant species, prevents self-fertilization by a mechanism termed self-incompatibility (SI). Simply, SI permits the recognition and rejection of 'self' pollen - an attribute that promotes genetic diversity and one that is held to have been crucial to the rapid adaptive radiation of flowering plants early in their evolutionary history. SI in Brassica is controlled by a single multiallelic locus, the S-locus. The female determinant is known to be a transmembrane receptor kinase, the SRK (S-receptor kinase), which is thought to be activated by binding the pollen-borne determinant of SI, SCR (for S cysteine-rich protein). Activation of SRK initiates a signalling cascade that ultimately leads to pollen rejection probably through denial of access to stigmatic water.

My research has established that SCR is but one member of a family of small cysteine-rich pollen coat proteins (the PCP-A class) that bind stigmatic proteins known to have roles in pollen-stigma interactions and recognition. These proteins tend to be gametophytically expressed (see figure) and are secreted from the pollen protoplast to ultimately end up on the surface of the grains. Studies are underway to further characterise this family of proteins and establish their functions during the pollination process.

Further, although the primary determinants of SI have been identified, gaining an understanding of the molecular basis of S-specific recognition and the precise mode of activation of the SI system is of particular interest in my lab.


To further our understanding of the molecular basis of pollen recognition and rejection both within and between species.

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Research Output 2003 2017

  • 13 Article
  • 6 Doctoral Thesis
  • 3 Poster
  • 2 Conference contribution
10 Citations

A cationic diode based on asymmetric nafion film deposits

He, D., Madrid, E., Aaronson, B. D. B., Fan, L., Doughty, J., Mathwig, K., Bond, A. M., Mckeown, N. B. & Marken, F. 29 Mar 2017 In : ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 9, 12, p. 11272-11278

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Polyethylene Terephthalates
Charge carriers
Electric space charge
8 Citations

Ionic diodes based on regenerated α-cellulose films deposited asymmetrically onto a microhole

Aaronson, B. D. B., He, D., Madrid, E., Johns, M. A., Scott, J. L., Fan, L., Doughty, J., Kadowaki, M. A. S., Polikarpov, I., McKeown, N. B. & Marken, F. 23 Jan 2017 In : ChemistrySelect. 2, 3, p. 871-875 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Cellulose films
Ionic Liquids
Polyethylene Terephthalates
3 Citations

PCP-B class pollen coat proteins are key regulators of the hydration checkpoint in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen-stigma interactions

Wang, L., Clarke, L. A., Eason, R. J., Parker, C. C., Qi, B., Scott, R. J. & Doughty, J. Jan 2017 In : New Phytologist. 213, 2, p. 764-777

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Capsid Proteins
Arabidopsis thaliana
2 Citations
Open Access
Manihot esculenta
RNA Interference
Open Access
Arabidopsis thaliana
Brassica oleracea