John Beeching

Dr

  • 4 SOUTH 1.11

1983 …2018
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Personal profile

Research interests

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is the world’s sixth most important crop in terms of production and is the staple food of over 700 million in the tropical regions of the world, being of particular importance in sub-Saharan Africa. With increasing population pressures and demand for food in these regions the production of cassava will need to increase over the next few decades; as a result cassava is now an international priority crop for improvement.

The starchy storage roots of cassava deteriorate rapidly upon harvesting rendering them unpalatable and unmarketable with 24 – 72 hours. With increased urbanisation and the entry of cassava into the cash economy this post-harvest deterioration physiological (PPD) has become a major constraint to the development and exploitation of this crop impacting on producers, processors and consumers alike. Extending the shelf-life of cassava roots to one to two weeks would resolve this bottleneck, unlocking the crop's full potential and converting cassava into a modern crop for Africa and the world.

The prime focus of my laboratory is directed towards understanding and ultimately controlling this deterioration process. PPD is an active process involving changes in gene expression, the synthesis of novel proteins and changing profiles of accumulation of secondary metabolites. Work using cDNA micro-arrays has confirmed the central role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and has led to a model of PPD as a ROS-mediated programmed cell death (PCD). We are testing candidate genes in transgenic cassava for their ability to modify the anti-oxidant and anti-PCD status of the storage roots. Potentially these constructs may have the ability to delay the deterioration response.

This research forms part of major collaborative projects with national and international laboratories in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US aimed at addressing the major constraints to the improvement of cassava as a crop.

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Deterioration Chemical Compounds
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2008 2018

Crop Innovations

Scott, R. & Beeching, J.

1/07/1331/10/18

Project: UK charity

Research Output 1983 2018

Correlation of scopoletin-induced fluorescence with visible PPD symptoms in greenhouse cassava

Mahmod, N. & Beeching, J. 5 Jun 2018 In : Postharvest Biology and Technology. 145, p. 10-14 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Scopoletin
scopoletin
Manihot
cassava
Fluorescence

Cassava post-harvest physiological deterioration: From triggers to symptoms

Zainuddin, I. M., Fathoni, A., Sudarmonowati, E., Beeching, J. R., Gruissem, W. & Vanderschuren, H. 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : Postharvest Biology and Technology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Manihot
cassava
signs and symptoms (plants)
deterioration
shelf life

Phytochemistry of hydroxycoumarins from Manihot esculenta Euphorbiaceae (cassava)

Alhalaseh, L. 16 Oct 2017 205 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Open Access
File
scopoletin
plant biochemistry
Manihot esculenta
Euphorbiaceae
cassava
2 Citations
Open Access
Scopoletin
scopoletin
Manihot
Manihot esculenta
RNA Interference

The Role of Interconversion of Scopoletin and Scopolin in Cassava Postharvest Physiological Deterioration (PPD)

Fathoni, A. 8 Nov 2017 (Unpublished) 280 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

File
scopoletin
cassava
deterioration
glucosyltransferases
beta-glucosidase