Sean Mayes

Sean Mayes
University of Nottingham | Notts · Division of Plant and Crop Sciences

PhD

About

199
Publications
62,106
Reads
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3,851
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
Crops for the Future
Position
  • Theme Leader Biotechnology and Crop Genetics
Description
  • Theme Leader and Programme Director
March 2012 - present
Crops for the Future, Serdang, Malaysia
Position
  • Research Theme Leader/Programme Director
Description
  • CFF is focused on research on underutilised crops to lead to a more resilient and diversified agriculture to cope with climate change
October 2004 - present
University of Nottingham
Position
  • Associate Professor in Crop Genetics teaching Genetic Improvement of Crop Plants
Description
  • The 20 credit module examines the challenges facing crop scientists and breeders in the application of biotechnology to crop improvement. The focus is on translation and application of knowledge
Education
October 1991 - October 1995
Plant Breeding International, Cambridge (Unilever)
Field of study
  • Application of Biotechnology to Oil Palm, Registered with OU
September 1985 - June 1989
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Natural Sciences Tripos (Genetics)

Publications

Publications (199)
Article
Full-text available
Planetary health brings together intrinsically linked issues of human health and natural systems. This paper reviews evidence of how agrobiodiversity underpins dietary diversity for current human populations in the context of fruits and vegetables, and ways to maintain and improve these for future generations. Both the conservation and sustainable...
Article
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Amaranth ( Amaranthus spp.) is a highly nutritious, underutilized vegetable and pseudo-cereal crop. It possesses diverse abiotic stress tolerance traits, is genetically diverse and highly phenotypically plastic, making it an ideal crop to thrive in a rapidly changing climate. Despite considerable genetic diversity there is a lack of detailed charac...
Article
Full-text available
Bambara groundnut [ Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.] is grown in rainfed production systems and suffers from periodic drought stress (DS), leading to yield reductions. Natural genotypic variation for root traits is essential for adaptation to water deficit conditions. However, root traits have not been fully utilised as selection criteria to improve...
Preprint
A sustainable supply of plant protein is critical for future generations. We also need to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture, while increasing resilience in the face of elevated temperatures and climate volatility. Agricultural diversification with more crop options is hampered by limited available genomic resources, lack of understanding of...
Article
Full-text available
Bambara groundnut [Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.] is an underutilised, protein‐rich and self‐pollinating legume that can withstand high temperature and drought stress and is mainly grown in semi‐arid Africa. In order to dissect the complexity of drought resistance and to use genomic tools for yield enhancement of bambara groundnut in response to dr...
Article
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While China has transformed its economy over recent decades, challenges such as climate change and land degradation have continued to impact its agriculture. These effects along with changes in diets and growing food imports will force China to look for alternative cropping options. Despite the broad potential of Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterrane...
Article
Full-text available
The underutilised grain legume bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) has the potential to contribute significantly to nutritional security. However, the lack of commercial cultivars has hindered its wider adoption and utilisation as a food source. The development of competitive cultivars is impeded by (1) lack of systematic data describing variatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Stomata are dynamic structures that control the gaseous exchange of CO2 from the external to internal environment and water loss through transpiration. The density and morphology of stomata have important consequences in crop productivity and water use efficiency, both are integral considerations when breeding climate change resilient crops. The ph...
Article
African rice (Oryza glaberrima) has adapted to challenging environments and is a promising source of genetic variation. We analysed dynamics of photosynthesis and morphology in a reference set of 155 O. glaberrima accessions. Plants were grown in an agronomy glasshouse to late tillering stage. Photosynthesis induction from darkness and the decrease...
Article
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Amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor), an underutilized climate smart crop, is highly nutritious and possesses diverse drought tolerance traits, making it an ideal crop to thrive in a rapidly changing climate. Despite considerable studies on the growth and physiology of plants subjected to drought stress, a precise trait phenotyping strategy for drought t...
Article
Background CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) uses non-functional Cas9 endonuclease (dCas9) but retains the genome targeting ability through its single guide RNAs (sgRNAs). CRISPRa is widely utilized as a gene activation system exploiting its ability to recruit various transcriptional activation domains (TADs) to enhance the expression of the target gene(...
Article
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The high yielding tenera is the commercial oil palm planting material of choice in Southeast Asia. Notwithstanding this, there is continuous effort to further improve the yield and one way to do this is by addressing the yield components (YCs). Using 4451 SNP and over 600 SSR markers, this study revealed quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated wit...
Article
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Crop phenotypic data underpin many pre-breeding efforts to characterize variation within germplasm collections. Although there has been an increase in the global capacity for accumulating and comparing such data, a lack of consistency in the systematic description of metadata often limits integration and sharing. We therefore aimed to understand so...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fruit and vegetable species and varieties, their wild relatives, and pollinators and other associated organisms underpin diverse food production systems and contribute to worldwide health and nutrition. This biodiversity, however, is threatened, remains poorly conserved, and is largely undocumented. Its loss leads to a narrowing of new crop options...
Article
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The economic potential of African leafy vegetables (ALVs) remains obscured by a poorly developed value chain. This scoping review assembled and examined scattered knowledge generated on ALVs across southern Africa, focusing on production, processing, marketing, and consumption. Two electronic databases (Scopus and Web of Science) were screened, and...
Article
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Genetic improvement of quality traits in tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) through conventional breeding methods has been limited, because tea quality is a difficult and expensive trait to measure. Genomic selection (GS) is suitable for predicting such complex traits, as it uses genome wide markers to estimate the genetic values of individuals...
Chapter
Drought is major abiotic stress that causes severe crop losses worldwide. Climate predictions indicate that the frequency of droughts will increase, impacting on global food supply. Currently, the agricultural sector is dominated by the three major crops (Zea mays), rice (Oryza spp.) and wheat (Triticum spp.), contributing to an increasingly unifor...
Article
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Rapid population growth, climate change, intensive monoculture farming, and resource depletion are among the challenges that threaten the increasingly vulnerable global agri-food system. Heavy reliance on a few major crops is also linked to a monotonous diet, poor dietary habits, and micronutrient deficiencies, which are often associated with diet-...
Article
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Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is the most traded crop among the economically important palm species. Here, we report an extended version genome of E. guineensis that is 1.2 Gb in length, an improvement of the physical genome coverage to 79% from the previous 43%. The improvement was made by assigning an additional 1968 originally unplaced scaf...
Article
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Abstract: The growing African population needs a substantial increase in food production along with nutritious food options to address hunger, malnutrition and stunting. The indigenous or naturalized African fruit tree species are inherently nutritious, fortified with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants with high potential to improve the resilience...
Article
Full-text available
Underutilised species such as bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) have the potential to contribute significantly to meeting food and nutritional needs worldwide. We evaluated phenotypic traits in twelve bambara groundnut genotypes from East, West and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia and two F 2 bi-parental segregating populations de...
Article
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Foxtail millet (Setaria italica) is an important crop species and an emerging model plant for C4 grasses. However, functional genomics research on foxtail millet is challenging because of its long generation time, relatively large stature and recalcitrance to genetic transformation. Here we report the development of xiaomi, a rapid-cycling mini fox...
Article
Full-text available
In Bambara groundnut [Vigna subterranea (L) Verdc], long photoperiods can cause a decline in pod and seed number. While negative photoperiod effects on pod yield have been reported, positive effects and the existence of genotypes less sensitive for photoperiod have not been reported. Ten geographically diverse genotypes were evaluated over 3 years...
Article
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Over the past 70 years, the world has witnessed extraordinary growth in crop productivity, enabled by a suite of technological advances, including higher yielding crop varieties, improved farm management, synthetic agrochemicals, and agricultural mechanization. While this “Green Revolution” intensified crop production, and is credited with reducing...
Article
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Superior oil yield is always the top priority of the oil palm industry. Short trunk height (THT) and compactness traits have become increasingly important to improve harvesting efficiency since the industry started to suffer yield losses due to labor shortages. Breeding populations with low THT and short frond length (FL) are actually available, su...
Article
The present study searched for candidate genes in five linkage groups (LGs) - T2, T3, OT4, OT6 and T9 hosting the QTLs associated with iodine value (IV) and fatty acid composition (FAC) in an oil palm interspecific hybrid population. Each of the five LGs was successfully anchored to its corresponding chromosomal segment where, a wider repertoire of...
Chapter
Oil palm is a remarkable crop which in 2017 produced 34% of the world’s vegetable oil from 0.36% of the world’s agricultural land. The fact that it is a perennial ‘tree’ crop growing in the humid tropics under high light intensity accounts for the tenfold advantage in oil yield it has over many annual temperate oil crops, per hectare, per year. How...
Article
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The Rab GTPase family plays a vital role in several plant physiological processes including fruit ripening. Fruit softening during ripening involves trafficking of cell wall polymers and enzymes between cellular compartments. Mango, an economically important fruit crop, is known for its delicious taste, exotic flavour and nutritional value. So far,...
Article
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Characterizing the morphological variability in root system architecture (RSA) during the sensitive pre-flowering growth stage is important for crop performance. To assess this variation, eight bambara groundnut single genotypes derived from landraces of contrasting geographic origin were selected for root system architecture and rooting distributi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Underutilised crops contribute only marginally to global food and nutritional security, despite their regional nutritional, economic, and cultural significance. Their potential to make a greater contribution is often overlooked, in part due to the scarcity of data reflecting the range of nutritional variation. Bambara groundnut (BG; Vigna subterran...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Underutilised crops have potential to play an increasing role in the diet of many who may lack adequate nutrition. At present, there appears to be no comprehensive or systematic effort to collate and analyse nutritional composition data, although this is likely to make a significant contribution to global food and nutritional security. For example,...
Article
A total of 170 bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) accessions were evaluated using both Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers generated using Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GbS) of which 56 accessions were collected from West and East Java. Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA), population structure and cluster...
Article
Background: Food security is recognised as a major global challenge, yet human food chain systems are inherently not geared towards nutrition, with decisions on crop and cultivar choice not informed by dietary composition. Currently, food compositional tables and databases (FCT/FCDB) are the primary information source for decisions relating to die...
Article
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Background: Legitimacy in breeding and commercial crop production depends on optimised protocols to ensure purity of crosses and correct field planting of material. In oil palm, the presence of three fruit forms permits these assumptions to be tested, although only after field planting. The presence of incorrect fruit forms in a cross is a clear s...
Article
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Main conclusion Orphan crops can contribute to building resilience of marginal cropping systems as a climate chnage adaptation strategy. Orphan crops play an important role in global food and nutrition security, and may have potential to contribute to sustainable food systems under climate change. Owing to reports of their potential under water sca...
Article
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Main conclusion Crops For the Future (CFF), as an entity, has established a broad range of research activities to promote the improvement and adoption of currently underutilised crops. Abstract This paper summarises selected research activities at Crops For the Future (CFF) in pursuit of its mission ‘to develop solutions for diversifying future ag...
Article
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Main conclusion Bambara groundnut has the potential to be used to contribute more the climate change ready agriculture. The requirement for nitrogen fixing, stress tolerant legumes is clear, particularly in low input agriculture. However, ensuring that existing negative traits are tackled and demand is stimulated through the development of markets...
Chapter
Full-text available
Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L) Verdc.) is an underutilized legume native to sub-Saharan Africa, where it is grown at low levels by many farmers as a component of household food and nutritional security. It is generally regarded as drought tolerant and fills the same agroecological niche as peanut (Arachis hypogaea L). Molecular research i...
Article
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Meiotic crossovers in outbred species, such as oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq., 2n = 32) contribute to allelic re-assortment in the genome. Such genetic variation is usually exploited in breeding to combine positive alleles for trait superiority. A good quality reference genome is essential for identifying the genetic factors underlying traits of...
Article
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Main Conclusion Winged bean is popularly known as “One Species Supermarket” for its nutrient-dense green pods, immature seeds, tubers, leaves, and mature seeds. This underutilised crop has potential beneficial traits related to its biological nitrogen-fixation to support low-input farming. Drawing from past knowledge, and based on current technolog...
Article
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Winged bean (P. tetragonolobus (L.) DC.) is a leguminous crop that could contribute towards food security in tropical areas, but whose growth and development is still poorly understood. In order to develop improved individuals for increased green pod and seed productivity, we investigated the factors involved in winged bean plant architecture, deve...
Chapter
Global dependence on only a few crops for food and non-food uses is risky due to the multifaceted challenges that crop production faces. One such challenge is climate change and its effects on food production. Emerging evidence suggests that climate change will cause shifts in crop production areas and yield loss due to more unpredictable and hosti...
Chapter
Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.; www.bamyield.org) is a crop similar in morphology and growth habit to groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). It was also historically largely displaced by groundnut upon the latter’s introduction to sub-Saharan Africa from Latin America (Sprent et al. 2010). Bambara groundnut nevertheless still holds loca...
Article
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Background Continuous growth of the world population is expected to double the worldwide demand for food by 2050. Eighty-eight percent of countries current face a serious burden of malnutrition, especially in Africa and South and South-East Asia. About 95% of the food energy needs of humans are fulfilled by just 30 species, of which wheat, maize an...
Article
Full-text available
Background Continuous growth of the world population is expected to double the worldwide demand for food by 2050. Eighty-eight percent of countries current face a serious burden of malnutrition, especially in Africa and South and South-East Asia. About 95% of the food energy needs of humans are fulfilled by just 30 species, of which wheat, maize an...
Article
Bambara groundnut is an underutilized pulse that can make a positive contribution to food and nutritional security at the regional and global level, particularly in tropical developing countries where the crop is currently grown. Improvement of the crop is constrained by limited understanding of variation in its nutritional composition compared wit...
Article
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Palm oil is among the most important vegetable oils, contributing to a quarter of the world’s oils and fats market. The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) fruitlets, which are the source of palm oil, vary from 8 to 20 g in weight. Palm oil content in the fruitlets is approximately 45–50% by weight and an increase in the percentage of mesocarp-to-fr...
Chapter
Climate change is impacting the cropping system, landscape, livelihoods, and nutrition diversity of farming households and communities in Africa. Climate change adaptability and resilience are emerging as important criteria for setting national priorities for promoting indigenous crops to enhance food and nutrition security, especially of resource-...
Article
Fruit ripening is a complex developmental process that involves the synthesis and modification of the cell wall leading up to the formation of an edible fruit. During the period of fruit ripening, new cell wall polymers and enzymes are synthesized and trafficked to the apoplast. Vesicle trafficking has been shown to play a key role in facilitating...
Article
Full-text available
Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is an outbreeding perennial tree crop with long breeding cycles, typically 12 years. Molecular marker technologies can greatly improve the breeding efficiency of oil palm. This study reports the first use of the DArTseq platform to genotype two closely related self-pollinated oil palm populations, namely AA0768 an...
Article
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Background Genomic selection (GS) uses genome-wide markers as an attempt to accelerate genetic gain in breeding programs of both animals and plants. This approach is particularly useful for perennial crops such as oil palm, which have long breeding cycles, and for which the optimal method for GS is still under debate. In this study, we evaluated th...
Chapter
A subset of underutilised crops copes comparatively better in marginal soils and under less favourable environmental conditions than their major crop equivalents. Hence, developing the subset further for future agriculture makes a suitable and complementary approach to the continued use of major crops. This is particularly true given the expected n...
Article
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The paper retraces the GRASPgfs endeavor (Geospatial Resource for Agricultural Species and Pests with integrated workflow modelling to support Global Food Security) between multiple disciplines around a common objective of facilitating research and model simulations for sustainable food security. Within this endeavor, the geospatial media has been...
Article
Temperate forests have been affected extensively by human activities, resulting in land cover changes and population fragmentation. However, these anthropogenic effects can be superimposed onto the natural history of species, making it difficult to determine which effect is more important for a particular species. Gomortega keule is an endangered t...