Abi Johnson

Project Leader, Strawberry Breeder
Department:Genetics Genomics & Breeding
Tel:+44 (0)1732 843833
DD:+44 (0)1732 523746
Fax:+44 (0)1732 849067

Research Interests

I am principally a plant breeder, involved in all aspects of the strawberry breeding programmes at EMR. I manage a commercial project, the aim of which is to develop strawberry varieties that are suitable for tabletop production. For the Strawberry Breeding Club programme in my role as Trials Officer, I manage the distribution of advanced trial material, collate and disseminate results generated from the offsite trials. I currently manage the glasshouse trials for a 2 year HDC project, with the objective to determine the genetics of resistance to Verticillium wilt in strawberry. I also assist with the commercially-funded sweet cherry breeding programme at EMR. I was previously involved in a 5 year Defra project to determine the response of strawberry to water-limited conditions in order to identify quantitative trait loci associated with water use efficiency (WU0107). Additionally, I have participated in other areas of Defra-funded research; investigating the heat tolerance of everbearing lines (FO0306), the development of germplasm with a reduced thermodormant response to high temperature periods (FO0313) and the understanding of inheritance of extended dormancy in EMR late season germplasm (HH3201SSF).

Selected Publications

  • Whitehouse, A.B., Johnson, A.W., Passey, A.J., McLeary K.J. & Simpson, D.W. (2014). Recent Progress in Breeding for Improved Performance in Programmed Cropping Systems. Acta Horticulturae 1049. 867-872.
  • Whitehouse, A.B., Johnson, A.W., Passey, A.J., McLeary K.J. & Simpson, D.W. (2014). ‘Serenity’: A paler skin-coloured somaclonal variant of the short-day cultivar ‘Florence’. Acta Horticulturae 1049. 819-821.
  • Simpson, D.W., Whitehouse, A.B., Johnson, A.W., McLeary, K.J. & Passey, A.J. (2014). 'Elegance' and 'Vibrant', two new strawberry cultivars fro programmed cropping in Northern Europe. Acta Horticulturae 1049. 259-261.
  • Johnson, A.W., Davies, M.J., Grant ,O.M. and Simpson, D.W. (2014). Developing strawberry cultivars with improved water use efficiency Acta Horticulturae 1049. 853-858.
  • Johnson, A. W. and Simpson, D.W. (2014). The effect of deficit irrigation on the flowering behaviour of two day neutral and one everbearing strawberry cultivar Acta Horticulturae 1049. 435-438.
  • Olga M. Grant, Michael J. Davies, Abigail W. Johnson, David W. Simpson . (2012). Physiological and growth responses to water deficits in cultivated strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) and in one of its progenitors, Fragaria chiloensis. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 83. pp 23-32.
  • Grant, O.M, Davies, M.J, James, C.M, Johnson, A.W, Leinonen, I., Simpson, D.W. (2012). Thermal imaging and carbon isotope composition indicate variation amongst strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) cultivars in stomatal conductance and water use efficiency. Environmental and Experimental Botany, Vol 76. pp 7-15.
  • Grant ,O.M., Davies, M.J., Johnson, A.W. and Simpson, D.W. (2012). Physiological and morphological responses to water deficits in cultivated strawberry (Fragaria  ananassa) and in one of its progenitors, F. chiloensis. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 83; 23-32.
  • Grant, O.M, Johnson, A.W, Davies, M.J, James, C.M, Simpson, D.W . (2010). Physiological and morphological diversity of cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) in response to water deficit. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 68 (3) . pp 264-272.
  • Whitehouse, A.B., Johnson, A.W. & Simpson, D.W. (2009). Manipulation of the production pattern of everbearing cultivars by defoliation treatments. Acta Horticulturae 842. 507-510.
  • Johnson, A.W., Grant, O.M., Davies, M.J., James, C.M., Passey, A.J. & Simpson, D.W. (2009). Determining the response of ten strawberry cultivars to water-limited conditions. Acta Horticulturae Proceedings of the VI International Strawberry Symposium, 842: 769-772.
  • Johnson, A.W. and Simpson, D.W. (2009). Development of strawberry breeding lines with extended dormancy. Acta Horticulturae Proceedings of the VI International Strawberry Symposium, 842: 507-510.
  • Johnson, A.W., Grant, O.M., Davies, M.J., Passey, A.J. & Simpson, D.W. (2009). Investigating the response of strawberry to water-deficit conditions. Acta Horticulturae Proceedings of the Workshop on Berry Production in Changing Climate Conditions and Cultivation Systems 838:169-173.
  • Simpson, D.W., Hammond, K.J. Johnson, A.W., Passey, A.J. & Whitehouse, A.B. (McLeary, K.J. née Hammond). Six new strawberry cultivars from East Malling Research.  Acta Horticulturae 842. 525-528.

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Key Contacts

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Operations Director

Head of Science Group

Managing Director