Dr Andrew Simkin

Deputy Head of Crop Sciences and Production Systems
Department:Genetics, Genomics & Breeding
Tel:01732 523754
DD:01732 523734
Fax:01732 849067

Research Interests

My principal research activities over the past 20 years have focused on the production of secondary metabolites implicated in the nutritional quality of foods (tomato, pepper, coffee) and in plant development (tomato, tobacco, petunia, Catharanthus, Arabidopsis). This research has essentially concentrated on carotenoid/apocarotenoid metabolism and the production of terpenoids implicated in plant development (strigolactones). More recently, my work (University or Essex) has focused on primary metabolism and the improvement of photosynthesis through genetic manipulation.

I am interested in all areas of plant development – from improving fruit quality and development targeting increased fruit yields (and quality), bio-pharmaceuticals and industrially important secondary metabolites. Also interested in manipulating photosynthesis to improve biomass and fruit yields for the horticultural industry and important oil crops. My interest extent to high-value metabolites (include biofuels, bioplastics) and bio-fortification of food crops. 

Selected current projects (PI)

2018-2022 – Genetic manipulation of photosynthetic efficiency to increase strawberry yields (BBSRC)

2018-2022 – Understanding fruit development in the cultivated cherry (Industry)

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5056-1306






Selected Publications

  • Simkin AJ, Faralli, M, Ramamoorthy S, Lawson T.. (2020). Photosynthesis in non-foliar tissues: Implications for yield. Plant J 101 (4):. 1001-1015. (IF=5.7).
  • Simkin AJ. . (2019). Genetic engineering for global food security: Photosynthesis and biofortification. Plants 8 (12):. 586, (IF=2.6).
  • Wilson F, Harrison K, Armitage AD, Simkin, AJ, Harrison RJ. (2019). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of phytoene desaturase in diploid and octoploid Strawberry. BMC Plant Methods. 15:45. (IF=4.2).
  • Simkin AJ*, Lopez-Calcagno PE, Raines CA. (2019). Feeding the world: Improving photosynthetic efficiency for sustainable crop production. J Exp Bot. 70 (4): 1119-1140 (IF=5.4).
  • Alotaibi SS, Alyassi H, Alshehawi A, Gaber A, Hassan MM, Aljuaid BS, Simkin AJ, Raines CA. (2019). Functional analysis of SBPase gene promoter in transgenic wheat under different growth conditions. Biotechnology 18(1):. 15-23 (IF=0.5).
  • Alotaibi SS, Sparks CA, Parry MAJ, Simkin AJ*, Raines CA. (2018). Identification of leaf promoters for use in transgenic wheat Plants 7:(2) 27. (IF=3.1).
  • Simkin AJ, McAusland L, Lawson T, Raines CA . (2017b). Over-expression of the RieskeFes protein increases electron transport rates and biomass yield. Plant Phys. 175: 134-145 (IF=6.8).
  • Driever SM, Simkin AJ, Alotaibi S, Fisk SJ, Madgwick PJ, Sparks CA, Jones HD, Lawson T, Parry MAJ, Raines CA. (2017). Increased SBPase activity improves photosynthesis and grain yield in wheat grown in greenhouse conditions Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 372:. 1730 (IF=7.4).
  • Vialet-Chabrand S, Matthews JSA, Simkin AJ, Raines CA, Lawson T, . (2017). Importance of fluctuations in light on plant photosynthetic acclimation. Plant Phys 173:. 2163-2179 (IF=6.8).
  • Simkin AJ, Lopez-Calcagno PE, Davey PA, Headland LR, Lawson T, Timm S, Bauwe H, Raines CA, . (2017 a). Simultaneous stimulation of sedoheptulose 1, 7-bisphosphatase, fructose 1,6-bisphophate aldolase and the photorespiratory glycine decarboxylase H-protein increases CO2 assimilation, vegetative biomass and seed yield in Arabidopsis. Plant Biotech, J 15 (7):. 805-816 (IF=7.4).
  • Exposito-Rodriguez M, Laissue PP, Lopez-Calcagno PE, Mullineaux P, Raines CA, Simkin AJ*. (2017). Development of pGEMINI, a plant Gateway destination vector allowing the simultaneous integration of two cDNA via a single LR-clonase reaction. Plants 6: . 55 (IF=3.1).
  • Simkin AJ, McAusland L, Headland LR, Lawson T, Raines CA. (2015). Multigene manipulation of photosynthetic carbon assimilation increases CO2 fixation and biomass yield in tabacco. J Exp Bot, 66 (13):. 4075-4090 (IF=5.8).
  • Houillé B, Besseau S, Delanoue G, Oudin A, Papon N, Clastre M, Guérin L, Simkin AJ, Courdavault V, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Lanoue A. (2015). Composition and Tissue Specific Distribution of Stilbenoids in Grape Canes is Affected by Downy Mildew Pressure in Vineyard. j Agricul. Food Chem. 63 (38):. 8472-8477 (IF=3.1).
  • Houillé B, Besseau S, Courdavault V, Oudin A, Glévarec G, Delanoue G, Guérin L, Simkin AJ, Papon N, Clastre M, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Lanoue A. (2015). The biosynthetic origin of t-resveratrol accumulation in grape canes during post-harvest storage. J Agricul. Food Chem 63 (5):. 1631-1638 (IF=3.1).
  • Lawson T, Simkin AJ, Kelly G, Granot D. (2014). Mesophyll photosynthesis and guard cell metabolism impacts on stomatal behaviour. New Phytol 203 (4):. 1064-1081 (IF=6.7).
  • Montoya EJO, Mélin C, Blanc N, Lanoue A, Foureau E, Boudesocque L, Prie G, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Atehortùa L, Giglioli-Guivarch'h N, Clastre M, Courdavault V, Papon N. (2014). Disrupting the methionine biosynthetic pathway in Candida guilliermondii: characterization of the MET2 gene as counter-selectable marker. Yeast 31(7):. 243-251 (IF=1.9).
  • Defosse T, Mélin C, Erika J, Montoya EJ, Lanoue A, Foureau E, Glévarec G, Oudin A, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Atehortùa L, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Clastre M, Courdavault V, Papon N. (2014). A new series of vectors for constitutive, inducible or repressible gene expression in Candida guilliermondii. Journal J. Biotech. 180:. 37-42 (IF=3.2).
  • Foureau E, Clastre M, Obando Montoya EJ, Besseau S, Oudin A, Glévarec G, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Atehortùa L, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Courdavault V, Papon N. (2014). Subcellular localization of the histidine kinase receptors Sln1p, Nik1p and Chk1p in the yeast CTG clade species Candida guilliermondii. Fungal Genet. Biol. 65:. 25-36 (IF=3.3).
  • Simkin AJ, Miettinen K, Claudel P, Burlat V, Guirimand G, Courdavault V, Papon N, Meyer S, Godet S, St-Pierre B, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Fischer MJC, Memelink J, Clastre M. (2013). Characterization of the plastidial geraniol synthase from Madagascar periwinkle which indicates the monoterpenoid branch of the alkaloid pathway in internal phloem associated parenchyma. Phytochem 85:. 36-43 (IF=3.4).
  • Courdavault V, Clastre M, Simkin AJ, Gilioli-Guivarc'h N. (2013). Prenylated proteins are required for methyl jasmonate-induced monoterpenoid indole alkaloids biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus. In: Isoprenoid Synthesis in Plants and Microorganisms: New Concepts and Experimental Approaches, Bach, TJ Rohmer, M., ed., Springer, New York, Chapter 19. 285-296.
  • Papon N, Savini V, Lanoue A, Courdavault V, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Clastre M, Sibirny AA. (2013). Candida guilliermondii: biotechnological applications, perspectives for biological control, emerging clinical importance and recent advances in genetics. Curr Gene. 59(3):. 73-90 (IF=2.6).
  • Foureau E, Courdavault V, Navarro-Gallon SM, Besseau S, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Atehorua L, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Clastre M, Papon N. (2013c). Characterization of an autonomously replicating sequence in Candida guilliermondii. Microbiol. Res. 168(9):. 580-588 (IF=2.3).
  • Foureau E, Courdavault V, Hoyos LFR, Dutilleul C, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Atehortùa L, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Clastre M, Papon N. (2013b). Efficient gene targeting in a Candida guilliermondii non-homologous end-joining pathway-deficient strain. Biotech Lett 35(7):. 1035-1043 (IF=1.7).
  • Foureau E, Courdavault V, Simkin AJ, Sibirny AA, Crѐche J, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Clastre M, Papon N. (2013a). Transformation of Candida guilliermondii wild-type strains using the Staphylococcus aureus MRSA 252 ble gene as a phleomycin-resistant marker. FEMS Yeast Res. 13 (3):. 354-358 (IF=2.4).
  • Guirimand G, Simkin AJ, Papon N, Besseau S, St-Pierre B, Giglioli-Guivarc'h, Clastre M, Courdavault V. (2012). Cycloheximide as a tool to investigate protein import in peroxisomes: a case study of the subcellular localization of isoprenoid biosynthetic enzymes. J.Plant Physiol. 169 (8):. 825-829 (IF=2.8).
  • Thabet J, Guirimand G, Guihur A, Lanoue A, Courdavault V, Papon N, Bouzid S, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Simkin AJ, Clastre M. (2012). Characterisation and subcellular localization of geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase from Catharanthus roseus. Mol. Biol. Rep 39 (3):. 3235-3243 (IF=2.9).
  • Thabet I, Geiger M, Papon N, Courdavault V, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Bouzid S, Simkin AJ, Clastre M. (2012). Isolement de deux ADNc de al Pervenche de Madagascar codant des enzymes de la voie du mevalonate. Revue de la Sociere des Sciences Naturelles de Tunisie, Volume 37:. 34-43.
  • Foureau E, Courdavault V, Simkin AJ, Crѐche j, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Clastre M, Papon N. (2012b). Optimization of the URA-blaster disruption system in Candida guilliermondii: efficient gene targeting using the URA3 marker. J. Micro Methods. 91(1):. 117-120 (IF=2.4).
  • Foureau E, Clastre M, Millerioux Y, Simkin AJ, Cornet L, Dutilleul C, Besseau S, Marais E, Melin C, Guillard J, Crѐche J, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Courdavault V, Papon N. (2012a). A TRP5/5-fluroanthranilic acid counter-selection system for gene disruption in Candida guilliermondii. Curr Gene. 58 (4):. 245-254 (IF=2.6).
  • Papon N, Courdavault V, Clastre M, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N. (2012). Deus ex Candida genetics: overcoming hurdles for the development of a molecular toolbox in the CTG clade. Microbiology. 158(3):. 585-600 (IF=3.1).
  • Clastre M, Papon N, Courdavault V, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, St-Pierre B, Simkin AJ*. (2011). Subcellular evidence for the involvement of peroxisomes in plant isoprenoid biosynthesis. Plant Signal Behav. 6 (12):. 2044-2046 (IF=2.0).
  • Thabet I, Guirimand G, Papon N, Courdavault V, Godet S, Dutilleul C, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Bouzid S, Clastre M, Simkin, AJ*. (2011). The subcellular localization of periwinkle farnesyl diphosphate synthase gives insight into the role of peroxisome in isoprenoid biosynthesis. J. Plant Physiol. 168 (17):. 2110-2116 (IF-=2.8).
  • Simkin AJ*, Guirimand G, Papon N, Courdavault V, Thabet I, Ginis O, Bouzid S, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Clastre M. (2011). Peroxisomal localization of the final steps of the mevalonic acid pathway in planta. Planta 234 (5):. 903-914 (IF=3.4).
  • Courdavault V, Millerioux Y, Clastre M, Simkin AJ, Crѐche J, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Papon N. (2011). Flourescent protein fusions in Candida guilliermondii. Fungal Genet. Biol. 48(11):. 1004-1011 (IF=3.7).
  • Millerioux Y, Clastre M, Simkin AJ, Marais E, Sibirny AA, Noël T, Crѐche J, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Papon N. (2011). Drug-resistant cassettes for efficient transformation of Candida guilliermondii strains. FEMS Yeast Res, 11 (6):. 457-463 (IF=2.4).
  • Millerioux Y, Clastre M, Simkin AJ, Marais E, Sibirny AA, Noel T, Giglioli-Guivarc'h N, Crѐche J, Papon N. (2011). Development of a URA5 blaster integrative cassette for gene disruption in Candida guilliermondii ATCC 6260 strain. J. Micro. Methods, 84 (2):. 355-358 (IF=2.4).
  • Vogel JT, Walter MH, Giavalisc P, Lytovchenko A, Kohlen W, Charnikhova T, Simkin, AJ, Goulet C, Bouwmeester HJ, Fernie AR, Klee HJ. (2010). SICCD7 controls strigolactone biosynthesis, shoot branching and mycorrhizal-induced apocarotenioid formation in tomato. Plant J, 61 (2):. 300-311 (IF=6.9).
  • Simkin AJ*, Kuntz M, Moreau H, McCarthy J. (2010). Carotenoid profiling and the expression of related genes in developing coffee grain. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 48 (6):. 434-442 (IF=2.8).
  • Simkin AJ, Moreau H, Kuntz M Pagny G, Lin C, Tanksley S, McCarthy J. (2008). An investigation of carotenoid and apocarotenoids biosynthesis. Coffea canephore and C. arabica. J. Plant Physiol. 165 (10):. 1087-1106 (F=2.8).
  • Lepelley M, Cheminade G, Tremillon N, Simkin AJ, Caillet V, McCarthy J. (2007). Chlorogenic acid synthesis in Coffee: An analysis of CGA content and real-time RT-PCR expression of HCT, HQT, C3H1 and CcoAOMT1 genes during grain development. C. canephora. Plant Sci. 172 (5):. 978-996 (IF=2.9).
  • Simkin AJ, Gaffé J, Alcaraz JP, Carde JP, Bramley PM, Fraser PD, Kuntz M. (2007). Fibrillin influence on plastid ultrastructure and pigment content in tomato fruit. Phytochem. 68 (11):. 1545-1556 (IF=3.3).
  • Simkin AJ, Qian T, Caillet V, Michoux F, Ben Amor M, Lin C, Tanksley S, McCarthy J. (2006). Oleosin gene family of Coffea canephora: quantitative expression analysis of five oleosin genes in developing and germinating coffee grain. J.Plant Physiol. 163(7):. 691-708 (IF=2.8).
  • Underwood BA, Tieman DM, Shibuya K, Dexter RJ, Loucas HM, Simkin AJ, Sims CA, Schmelz EA, Klee HJ, Clark DG. (2005). Ethylene-regulated floral volatile synthesis in petunia corollas. Ethylene-regulated floral volatile synthesis in petunia corollas. Plant Physiol. 138(1):. 255-266 (IF=6.5).
  • Snowden KC, Simkin AJ, Janssen BJ, Templeton KR, Loucas HM, Simons JL, Karunairetnam S, Gleave AP, Clark DG, Klee HJ. (2005). The decreased apical dominance 1/Petunia x hybrid carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 8 gene affects branch production and has a role in leaf senescence, root growth and flower development. Plant Cell 17(3):. 746-759 (IF=11.1).
  • Simkin AJ, Schwartz SH, Auldrige M, Taylor MG, Klee HJ. (2004a). The tomato carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 genes contribute to the formation of the flavour volatiles β-ionone, pseudoionone and geranylacetone. Plant J. 40(6). 882-894 (IF=6.9).
  • Simkin AJ, Underwood BA, Auldrige M, Loucas HM, Shibuya K, Clark DG, Klee HJ. (2004b). Circadian regulation of the PhCCD1 carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase controls emission of β-ionone, a fragrance volatile of petunia flowers. Plant Physiol. 136(3):. 3504-3514 (IF=6.5).
  • Simkin AJ, Laizet Y, Kuntz M. (2004c). Plastid lipid associated proteins of the fibrillin family: structure, localisation, functions and gene expression. In: pandalai, S.G. (Ed.), Recent Res. Devel. Biochem, vol 5, Research Signpost, India,. 307-316.
  • Simkin AJ, Changfu Z, Kuntz M, Sandmann G. (2003a). Light-dark regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis in pepper (Capsicum annuum) leaves. J. Plant Physiol. 160(5):. 439-443 (IF=2.8).
  • Simkin AJ, Labouré AM, Kuntz M, Sandmann G. (2003b). Comparison of carotenoid content, gene expression and enzyme levels in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) leaves. Z.Naturforsch. c. Journal of Biosciences. 58c:. 371-380 (IF=1.8).
  • Simkin AJ, Breitenback J, Kuntz M, Sandmann G. (2000). In vitro and in situ inhibition of carotenoid biosynthesis in Capsicum annuum by bleaching herbicides. J.Agricul. Food Chem. 48(10):. 4676-4680 (IF=3.1).
  • Josse EM, Simkin AJ, Gaffé J, Labouré AM, Kuntz M, Carol P. (2000). A plastid terminal oxidase associated with carotenoid desaturation during chromoplast differentiation. Plant Physiol. 123(4):. 1427-1436 (IF=6.5).
  • Bertolla F, Pepin R, Passelegue-Robe E, Paget E, Simkin A, Nesme X, Simonet P. (2000). Plant genome complexity could be the main factor limiting in situ the transfer of transgenic plants genes to the pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66 (9):. 4161-4167 (IF=3.7).
  • Kuntz M, Chen HC, Simkin AJ, Rӧmer S, Shipton CA, Drake R, Schuch W, Bramley PM. (1998). Up-regulation of two ripening-related genes from non-climacteric plant (pepper) in a transgenic climacteric plant (tomato). Plant J. 13:. 351-361 (F=6.9).