Professor Anna Amtmann

  • Professor for Molecular Plant Physiology (Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology)

telephone: 01413305393

Research interests

Molecular mechanisms for mineral nutrition and salt/drought tolerance of plants

Why study mineral nutrition and salt/drought tolerance?

One of the major challenges for mankind in this century is to provide enough food for a rapidly expanding world population while preserving ecological and energy resources of our planet. According to the United Nations (2006) the world population will likely grow by 2.5 billion over the next 43 years, passing from the current 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050. A massive increase in crop production is required to meet the food demands of future generations; in 2020 the world agriculture will have to produce about 3.4 billion tons of cereals per year to meet the global demands. This increase in crop production has to come from:

  • Yield increase on existing arable land, which is limited by the (financial and ecological) costs of irrigation, fertilization and pest/disease control
  • Expansion of arable land, which is limited by global soil degradation in the form of erosion, nutrient depletion, water scarcity and salinity

To ensure rapid progress in both directions plant scientists have to work closely together with breeders and ecologists.

The contribution of our laboratory to global food security is to provide an understanding of the molecular mechanisms determining:

  • Nutrient usage efficiency
  • Salt and drought tolerance
  • Interaction between abiotic and biotic stress

Experimental research in the laboratory addresses specific questions in the following areas:

  • Ion & water homeostasis
  • Systems biology and metabolism
  • Nutrient sensing and root architecture
  • Transcriptional regulation and epigenetics
  • Cross-talk of abiotic and biotic stress responses

We apply a wide range of techniques and methodologies:

  • Molecular biology and genetics
  • High-throughput screening and phenomics
  • Microarrays and Illumina sequencing
  • ChIP and MeDIP
  • Microelectrodes and patch (voltage) clamp
  • Biochemistry and proteomics
  • Fluorescence imaging and laser microscopy

Experimental systems used in our research include:

  • Model species (Arabidopsis thaliana)
  • Extremophiles (Thellungiella halophila)
  • Crops (barley, Brassica sp)
  • Heterologous expression systems (Xenopus oocytes, yeast, insect and mammalian cell line)

For more information on research projects and people please visit the laboratory webpage at


Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.

  • Identification of stage-specific promoter elements in photosynthetic bacteria (ISSF Catalyst)
    Wellcome Trust
    2014 - 2015
  • EPIPRIMING: Keeping ready for battle: understanding fundamental mechanisms of establishment and maintenance of epigenetic marks underlying abiotic stress memory in plants.
    European Commission
    2014 - 2016
  • Molecular function and crop improvement potential of Histone Deacteylation Complex 1
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    2013 - 2016
  • ISG-EPSRC: Patent application in the area of water security
    Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
    2012 - 2013
  • Biodesalination: from cell to tap.
    2011 - 2014
  • Increased pest resistance in oilseed rape mediated by an enhanced UV-B response
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    2011 - 2014
  • Stress memory and its relation to stress tolerance in plants
    Leverhulme Trust
    2009 - 2012
  • Inorganic ions and plant metabolism - target, signals and responses
    2006 - 2008
  • Understanding the molecular basis of K-N interactions during plant nutritional stress
    2005 - 2005
  • Studies on an arabidopsis Myb transcription factor that controls salinity tolerance
    2005 - 2008
  • Potassium ? the osmotic force driving plant growth
    Leverhulme Trust
    2004 - 2006
  • Functional genomics of nutrient transport in arabidopsis: a bioinformatics approach
    2003 - 2005
  • Elucidating signalling pathways in plant K homeostasis on the basis ofgene expression patterns
    2002 - 2006

Additional information

Editorial Board

  • 2012 - ongoing: Plant, Cell & Environment
  • 2012 - ongoing: Plant Physiology
  • 2009 - 2012: Plant Biology
  • 2005 - ongoing: BMC Plant Methods

Grant Advisory Board

  • 2013 - 2014: DBT/Crop Genomics and Technologies Initiative (CGAT) - Assessment Panel
  • 2013 - ongoing: BBSRC Crop Improvement Research Club (CIRC) - Member of Steering Group
  • 2010 - ongoing: International Network in Plant Abiotic Stress - (EU COST action FA0605) - Member of Management Committee
  • 2009 - 2011: EU COST Action FA0605 - Management Committee
  • 2008 - 2010: Genomic Arabidopsis Resource Network(GARNet) - Member of Advisory Committee

Invited International Presentations

  • 2013: Perth, Australia - Annual Meeting of the Australian Science Societies 'ComBio 2013'
  • 2013: Puerto Varas, Chile - 2nd International Symposium on the Nitrogen Nutrition of Plants 'Nitrogen 2013'
  • 2012: Hong Kong, China - Gordon Research Conference, 'Salt and Water Stress in Plants'
  • 2012: Vienna, Austria - International Conference, 'Plant Growth, Nutrition and Environment Interactions'
  • 2011: Conegliano, Italy - BIONUT 'State of the art in plant nutrition research'
  • 2010: Valencia, Spain - INPAS Meeting: Plant Abiotic Stress; From Signaling to Crop Improvement
  • 2010: Les Diablerets, Switzerland - Chair Gordon Research Conference 'Salt and Water Stress in Plants'
  • 2009: Vienna, Austria - International Conference on Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance
  • 2009: Lausanne, Switzerland - Invited Talk - Regulatory Oxylipins Conference
  • 2009: Adelaide, Australia - ACPFG Symposium 'Genomics of Salinity'
  • 2008: Big Sky, Montana, USA - Vice-Chair Gordon Research Conference 'Salt and Water Stress in Plants'
  • 2008: Cordoba, Argentina - Annual Meeting of SAIB
  • 2008: Cold Spring Harbour, Huntington, New York, USA - Nutrient Sensing in Plants
  • 2007: Cambridge, England, UK - International Fertiliser Society: Potassium and Magnesium
  • 2007: Valencia, Spain - International Workshop on Plant Membrane Biology
  • 2006: Potsdam, Germany - Max-Planck Institute Seminar
  • 2005: Barcelona, Spain - Annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Biology
  • 2004: Cracow, Poland - 14th Congress of the Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology
  • 2004: Montpellier, France - International Workshop on Plant Membrane Biology
  • 2004: Paris, France - Integrating international research on plant abiotic stress tolerance using Arabidopsis related model species: Thellungiella halophila (BBSRC International workshop)
  • 2004: Hong Kong, China - Gordon Conference on Plant Salt and Water Stress
  • 2003: Barcelona, Spain - International Congress of Plant Molecular Biology

Professional Learned Society

  • 2004 - ongoing: Biochemical Society - Member
  • 2002 - ongoing: American Society of Plant Biologists - Member
  • 1994 - ongoing: Society for Experimental Biology - Life Member


List by: Type | Date

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Number of items: 44.


Perrella, G., Carr, C., Asensi-Fabado, M. A., Donald, N. A., Páldi, K., Hannah, M. A., and Amtmann, A. (2016) The Histone Deacetylase Complex (HDC) 1 protein of Arabidopsis thaliana has the capacity to interact with multiple proteins including histone 3-binding proteins and histone 1 variants. Plant Physiology, (doi:10.1104/pp.15.01760) (Early Online Publication)


Amtmann, A., Ma, H., and Wagner, D. (2015) Chromatin and epigenetics. Plant Physiology, 168(4), pp. 1185-1188. (doi:10.1104/pp.15.01023) (PMID:26246617)

Minas, K. et al. (2015) Biodesalination: an emerging technology for targeted removal of Na+and Cl−from seawater by cyanobacteria. Desalination and Water Treatment, 55(10), pp. 2647-2668. (doi:10.1080/19443994.2014.940647)


Benito, B., Haro, R., Amtmann, A., Cuin, T. A., and Dreyer, I. (2014) The twins K+ and Na+ in plants. Journal of Plant Physiology, 171(9), pp. 723-731. (doi:10.1016/j.jplph.2013.10.014)

Amezaga, J. M. et al. (2014) Biodesalination: a case study for applications of photosynthetic bacteria in water treatment. Plant Physiology, 164(4), pp. 1661-1676. (doi:10.1104/pp.113.233973)

Kellermeier, F., Armengaud, P., Seditas, T. J., Danku, J., Salt, D. E., and Amtmann, A. (2014) Analysis of the root system architecture of Arabidopsis provides a quantitative readout of crosstalk between nutritional signals. Plant Cell, 26(4), pp. 1480-1490. (doi:10.1105/tpc.113.122101)


Kellermeier, F., Chardon, F., and Amtmann, A. (2013) Natural variation of arabidopsis root architecture reveals complementing adaptive strategies to potassium starvation. Plant Physiology, 161(3), pp. 1421-1432. (doi:10.1104/pp.112.211144)

Perrella, G., Lopez Vernaza, M.A., Carr, C., Sani, E., Gossele, V., Verduyn, C., Kellermeier, F., Hannah, M.A., and Amtmann, A. (2013) Histone deacetylase complex1 expression level titrates plant growth and abscisic acid sensitivity in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 25(9), pp. 3491-3505. (doi:10.1105/tpc.113.114835)

Sani, E., Herzyk, P., Perrella, G., Colot, V., and Amtmann, A. (2013) Hyperosmotic priming of arabidopsis seedlings establishes a long-term somatic memory accompanied by specific changes of the epigenome. Genome Biology, 14(6), R59. (doi:10.1186/gb-2013-14-6-r59) (PMID:23767915) (PMCID:PMC3707022)


Chen, Z.-H., Hills, A., Batz, U., Amtmann, A., Lew, V.L., and Blatt, M.R. (2012) Systems dynamic modeling of the stomatal guard cell predicts emergent behaviors in transport, signaling, and volume control. Plant Physiology, 159(3), pp. 1235-1251. (doi:10.1104/pp.112.197350)

Hills, A., Chen, Z.-H., Amtmann, A., Blatt, M.R., and Lew, V.L. (2012) OnGuard, a computational platform for quantitative kinetic modeling of guard cell physiology. Plant Physiology, 159(3), pp. 1026-1042.


Krämer, U., and Amtmann, A. (2011) Physiology and metabolism. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 14(3), pp. 223-224. (doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2011.04.008)


Garcia-Mata, C., Wang, J., Gajdanowicz, P., Gonzalez, W., Hills, A., Donald, N., Riedelsberger, J., Amtmann, A., Dreyer, I., and Blatt, M.R. (2010) A minimal cysteine motif required to activate the SKOR K+ channel of arabidopsis by the reactive oxygen species H2O2. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(38), pp. 29286-29294. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.141176)

Teakle, N.L., Amtmann, A., Real, D., and Colmer, T.D. (2010) Lotus tenuis tolerates combined salinity and waterlogging: maintaining O2 transport to roots and expression of an NHX1-like gene contribute to regulation of Na+ transport. Physiologia Plantarum, 139(4), pp. 358-374. (doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.2010.01373.x)

Armengaud, P., Breitling, R., and Amtmann, A. (2010) Coronatine-insensitive 1 (COI1) mediates transcriptional responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to external potassium supply. Molecular Plant, 3(2), pp. 390-405. (doi:10.1093/mp/ssq012)

Amtmann, A., and Beilby, M.J.. (2010) The role of ion channels in plant salt tolerance. In: Demidchik, V. and Maathuis, F. (eds.) Ion Channels and Plant Stress Responses. Series: Signaling and communication in plants. Springer: Heidelberg, pp. 23-46. ISBN 9783642104930 (doi:10.1007/978-3-642-10494-7_2)

Troufflard, S., Mullen, W., Larson, T. R., Graham, I. A., Crozier, A., Amtmann, A., and Armengaud, P. (2010) Potassium deficiency induces the biosynthesis of oxylipins and glucosinolates in Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Plant Biology, 10(1), p. 172. (doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-172)


Armengaud, P., Sulpice, R., Miller, A.J., Stitt, M., Amtmann, A., and Gibon, Y. (2009) Multilevel analysis of primary metabolism provides new insights into the role of potassium nutrition for glycolysis and nitrogen assimilation in arabidopsis roots. Plant Physiology, 150(2), pp. 772-785. (doi:10.1104/pp.108.133629)

Armengaud, P., Zambaux, K., Hills, A., Sulpice, R., Pattison, R. J., Blatt, M. R., and Amtmann, A. (2009) EZ-Rhizo: integrated software for the fast and accurate measurement of root system architecture. Plant Journal, 57(5), pp. 945-956. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03739.x)

Amtmann, A., and Blatt, M.R. (2009) Regulation of macronutrient transport. New Phytologist, 181(1), pp. 35-52. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02666.x)

Amtmann, A. (2009) Learning from evolution: Thellungiella generates new knowledge on essential and critical components of abiotic stress tolerance in plants. Molecular Plant, 2(1), pp. 3-12. (doi:10.1093/mp/ssn094)

Amtmann, A., and Armengaud, P. (2009) Effects of N,P,K and S on metabolism: new knowledge gained from multi-level analysis. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 12(3), pp. 275-283. (doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2009.04.014)

Amtmann, A., and Leigh, R. (2009) Ion homeostasis. In: Pareek, A., Sopory, S.K., Bohnert, H.J. and Govindjee, (eds.) Abiotic Stress Adaptation in Plants: Physiological, Molecular and Genomic Foundation. Springer: Dordrecht, pp. 245-262. ISBN 9789048131112 (doi:10.1007/978-90-481-3112-9_12)

Boscari, A., Clement, M., Volkov, V., Golldack, D., Hybiak, J., Miller, A.J., Amtmann, A., and Fricke, W. (2009) Potassium channels in barley: cloning, functional characterization and expression analyses in relation to leaf growth and development. Plant, Cell and Environment, 32(12), pp. 1761-1777. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-3040.2009.02033.x)

Pattison, R. J., and Amtmann, A. (2009) N-glycan production in the endoplasmic reticulum of plants. Trends in Plant Science, 14(2), pp. 92-99. (doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2008.11.008)

Volkov, V., Boscari, A., Clement, M., Miller, A.J., Amtmann, A., and Fricke, W. (2009) Electrophysiological characterization of pathways for K+uptake into growing and non-growing leaf cells of barley. Plant, Cell and Environment, 32(12), pp. 1778-1790. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-3040.2009.02034.x)


Amtmann, A., Troufflard, S., and Armengaud, P. (2008) The effect of potassium nutrition on pest and disease resistance in plants. Physiologia Plantarum, 133(4), pp. 682-691. (doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.2008.01075.x)


Amtmann, A., and Armengaud, P. (2007) The role of calcium sensor-interacting protein kinases in plant adaptation to potassium-deficiency: new answers to old questions. Cell Research, 17(6), pp. 483-485. (doi:10.1038/cr.2007.49)


Amtmann, A., Hammond, J., Armengaud, P., and White, P. (2006) Nutrient sensing and signalling in plants: Potassium and phosphorus. Advances in Botanical Research, 43, pp. 209-257. (doi:10.1016/S0065-2296(05)43005-0)

Gobert, A., Park, G., Amtmann, A., Sanders, D., and Maathuis, F. (2006) Arabidopsis thaliana Cyclic Nucleotide Gated Channel 3 forms a non-selective ion transporter involved in germination and cation transport. Journal of Experimental Botany, 57, pp. 791-800. (doi:10.1093/jxb/erj064)

Volkov, V., and Amtmann, A. (2006) Thellungiella halophila, a salt-tolerant relative of Arabidopsis thaliana, has specific root ion-channel features supporting K+/Na+ homeostasis under salinity stress. Plant Journal, 48, pp. 342-353. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02876.x)

Wang, B., Davenport, R., Volkov, V., and Amtmann, A. (2006) Low unidirectional sodium influx into root cells restricts net sodium accumulation in Thellungiella halophila, a salt-tolerant relative of Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany, 57, pp. 1161-1170. (doi:10.1093/jxb/erj116)


Amtmann, A. (2005) Abiotic stress and plant genome evolution. Search for new models. Plant Physiology, 138(1), pp. 127-130. (doi:10.1104/pp.105.059972)

Breitling, R., Armengaud, P., and Amtmann, A. (2005) Vector analysis as a fast and easy method to compare gene expression responses between different experimental backgrounds. BMC Bioinformatics, 6, (doi:10.1186/1471-2105-6-181)

Jakobsen, M., Poulsen, L., Schulz, A., Fleurat-Lessard, P., Moller, A., Husted, S., Schiott, M., Amtmann, A., and Palmgren, M. (2005) Pollen development and fertilization in Arabidopsis is dependent on the MALE GAMETOGENESIS IMPAIRED ANTHERS gene encoding a type VP-type ATPase. Genes and Development, 19, pp. 2757-2769. (doi:10.1101/gad.357305)


Breitling, R., Armengaud, P., Amtmann, A., and Herzyk, P. (2004) Rank products: a simple, yet powerful, new method to detect differentially regulated genes in replicated microarray experiments. FEBS Letters, 573(1-3), pp. 83-92. (doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2004.07.055)

Breitling, R., Amtmann, A., and Herzyk, P. (2004) Iterative Group Analysis (iGA): A simple tool to enhance sensitivity and facilitate interpretation of microarray experiments. BMC Bioinformatics, 5(34),

Amtmann, A., Armengaud, P., Breitling, R., and Herzyk, P. (2004) Recent advances in using microarray technology to study the role of hormonal control in plant responses to abiotic stress. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 26, p. 92.

Armengaud, P., Breitling, R., and Amtmann, A. (2004) The potassium-dependent transcriptome of Arabidopsis reveals a prominent role of jasmonic acid in nutrient signaling. Plant Physiology, 136, pp. 2556-2576. (doi:10.1104/pp.104.046482)

Breitling, R., Amtmann, A., and Herzyk, P. (2004) Graph-based iterative Group Analysis enhances microarray interpretation. BMC Bioinformatics, 5, (doi:10.1186/1471-2105-5-100)

Volkov, V., Wang, B., Dominy, P., Fricke, W., and Amtmann, A. (2004) Thellungiella halophila, a salt-tolerant relative of Arabidopsis thaliana, possesses effective mechanisms to discriminate between potassium and sodium. Plant Cell and Environment, 27, pp. 1-14.


Maathuis, F. et al. (2003) Transcriptome analysis of root transporters reveals participation of multiple gene families in the response to cation stress. Plant Journal, 35, pp. 675-692. (doi:10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01839.x)


Amtmann, A. (2001) Phylogenetic relationships within cation transporter families of Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 126(4), pp. 1646-1667. (doi:10.1104/pp.126.4.1646)

Amtmann, A. (2001) The wheat cDNA LCT1 generates hypersensitivity to sodium in a salt-sensitive yeast strain. Plant Physiology, 126(3), pp. 1061-1071. (doi:10.1104/pp.126.3.1061)

This list was generated on Tue May 24 11:58:18 2016 BST.