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Miriam Gifford

Posted by | February 28, 2021


Miriam Gifford

Job Title:

Associate Professor


Phone Number:

+44 (0) 2476 575 268


We are interested in how an organism interacts with its environment. The mechanisms that facilitate this interaction are particularly important for plants since they are sessile yet still cope with environmental extremes.

Our work investigates the evolution of cell types in determining plant plasticity. This includes using systems analysis to understand the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis of nodulation, with the long-term aim of transferring it from legumes to staple crop species.

We use Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) in combination with genomics and gene network inference to analyse the specific root cell types involved in symbiosis and environmental responses. We will use this information to identify how synthetic biology could be used to rewire plant responses to develop crops that can adapt to a changing climate.

– Assistant then Associate Professor, Systems biology of nitrogen-regulated development, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, 2009 to Present.
– EMBO post-doctoral fellow, Integrating nitrogen-regulatory networks and development, New York University 2004-2008.

Research Areas:

  • Evolution of nodulation
  • Nitrogen regulation of lateral root development
  • Systems and synthetic biology

Current N-related Projects:

  • Capturing microbial co-symbiosis to sustain plant productivity (BBSRC)


Recent N-related publications:
Vernié, Tatiana, Kim, Jiyoung, Frances, Lisa, Ding, Yiliang, Sun, Jongho, Guan, Dian, Niebel, Andreas, Gifford, Miriam L., de Carvalho-Niebel, Fernanda, Oldroyd, Giles E. D.. 2015. The NIN transcription factor coordinates diverse nodulation programmes in different tissues of the root. The Plant Cell, 27 (12), pp. 3410-3424

Lagunas, B., Schäfer, Patrick, Gifford, Miriam L.. 2015. Housing helpful invaders : the evolutionary and molecular architecture underlying plant root-mutualist microbe interactions. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66 (8), pp. 2177-2186

Gifford, Miriam L., Banta, Joshua A., Katari, Manpreet S., Hulsmans, Jo, Chen, Lisa, Ristova, Daniela, Tranchina, Daniel, Purugganan, Michael D., Coruzzi, Gloria, Birnbaum, Kenneth D., Rosas, Ulises, Cibrian-Jaramillo, Angelica. 2013. Plasticity regulators modulate specific root traits in discrete nitrogen environments. PLoS Genetics, Volume 9