Scott Boden

Dr Scott Boden

Independent Research Fellow

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

The Boden group investigates genes and molecular processes that control inflorescence architecture and flowering time in wheat, barley and oats. The goal of our research is to understand the fundamental mechanisms that regulate key yield components of reproductive development in cereals, which can then be applied in breeding programs to improve grain production and quality.

Our research includes investigation of genes that determine the number and arrangement of spikelets that form on an inflorescence, which are specialised reproductive branches that form grain-producing florets. To investigate this trait, we study the development of ‘paired spikelets’, which are supernumerary spikelets characterised by the formation of two spikelets rather than the typical single spikelet. Research investigating this trait has shown that transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the photoperiod-dependent flowering pathway regulates spikelet architecture, with a weak-flowering signal during early developmental stages leading to the production of additional spikelets.

Our research includes analysis of the developmental regulation of floral architecture, particularly the control of stigma and carpel development in wheat and how this can be enhanced to benefit hybrid seed production.

We are also interested in the seasonal regulation of flowering-time, and how a plant interacts with its environment to determine when and how many fertile florets form. We are combining laboratory and field-based experiments to understand how genes respond to the seasonal progression of daylength and temperature to influence flowering-time. This work is being extended into oats to understand the major genetic regulators of phenology-related traits in this important cereal.

Scott is based at the Waite Research Institute at the University of Adelaide, and works with colleagues at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, where he was previously a Group Leader and Royal Society Research Fellow. Scott’s collaborations with colleagues at JIC and the Designing Future Wheat research program in the UK aim to generate a wheat ideotype with improved yield potential that will be resilient to changes in the climate. Scott also collaborates with the international wheat research community through his aligned project with the International Wheat Yield Partnership, and he interacts with commercial breeding programs such as KWS and AGT.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 Independent Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2020 Royal Society University Research Fellow John Innes Centre
    2015 - 2020 Group Leader John Innes Centre
    2011 - 2014 OCE Post-doctoral Research Fellow Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
    2009 - 2011 Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow John Innes Centre
    2008 - 2009 Post-doctoral Scientist John Innes Centre
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    Italian Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2005 - 2008 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2004 - 2004 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Honours)
    2001 - 2003 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science
  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Dixon, L., Karsai, I., Kiss, T., Adamski, N., Liu, Z., Ding, Y., . . . Griffiths, S. (2019). VERNALIZATION1 controls developmental responses of winter wheat under high ambient temperatures. Development (Cambridge, England), 146(3), 10 pages.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3 Europe PMC2
    2019 Boden, S., & Østergaard, L. (2019). How can developmental biology help feed a growing population?. Development (Cambridge), 146(3), 7 pages.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3 Europe PMC1
    2019 Gauley, A., & Boden, S. (2019). Genetic pathways controlling inflorescence architecture and development in wheat and barley. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 61(3), 296-309.
    DOI Scopus9 Europe PMC2
    2018 Finnegan, E., Ford, B., Wallace, X., Pettolino, F., Griffin, P., Schmitz, R., . . . Trevaskis, B. (2018). Zebularine treatment is associated with deletion of FT-B1 leading to an increase in spikelet number in bread wheat. Plant Cell and Environment, 41(6), 1346-1360.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS6 Europe PMC1
    2018 Dixon, L., Farré, A., Finnegan, E., Orford, S., Griffiths, S., & Boden, S. (2018). Developmental responses of bread wheat to changes in ambient temperature following deletion of a locus that includes FLOWERING LOCUS T1. Plant Cell and Environment, 41(7), 1715-1725.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS9 Europe PMC4
    2018 Dixon, L., Bencivenga, S., & Boden, S. (2018). A new opening for wheat seed production. Journal of Experimental Botany, 69(3), 341-343.
    DOI Scopus2 Europe PMC2
    2018 Watson, A., Ghosh, S., Williams, M. J., Cuddy, W. S., Simmonds, J., Rey, M. -D., . . . Hickey, L. T. (2018). Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding. Nature Plants, 4(1), 23-29.
    DOI Scopus147 Europe PMC38
    2018 Dixon, L. E., Greenwood, J. R., Bencivenga, S., Zhang, P., Cockram, J., Mellers, G., . . . Boden, S. A. (2018). TEOSINTE BRANCHED1 Regulates Inflorescence Architecture and Development in Bread Wheat ( Triticum aestivum ). The Plant Cell, 30(3), 563-581.
    DOI Scopus36 WoS35 Europe PMC15
    2017 Serrano-Mislata, A., Bencivenga, S., Bush, M., Schiessl, K., Boden, S., & Sablowski, R. (2017). DELLA genes restrict inflorescence meristem function independently of plant height. Nature Plants, 3(9), 749-754.
    DOI Scopus25 Europe PMC12
    2017 Boden, S. (2017). How hormones regulate floral architecture in barley. Nature Genetics, 49(1), 8-9.
    DOI Scopus3 Europe PMC1
    2016 Ford, B., Deng, W., Clausen, J., Oliver, S., Boden, S., Hemming, M., & Trevaskis, B. (2016). Barley ( Hordeum vulgare ) circadian clock genes can respond rapidly to temperature in an EARLY FLOWERING 3 -dependent manner. Journal of Experimental Botany, 67(18), 5517-5528.
    2015 Deng, W., Clausen, J., Boden, S., Oliver, S. N., Casao, M. C., Ford, B., . . . Trevaskis, B. (2015). Dawn and Dusk Set States of the Circadian Oscillator in Sprouting Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Seedlings. PLOS ONE, 10(6), e0129781.
    2015 Boden, S., Cavanagh, C., Cullis, B., Ramm, K., Greenwood, J., Jean Finnegan, E., . . . Swain, S. (2015). Ppd-1 is a key regulator of inflorescence architecture and paired spikelet development in wheat. Nature Plants, 1(2), 1-6.
    DOI Scopus71 WoS67 Europe PMC36
    2014 Fjellheim, S., Boden, S., & Trevaskis, B. (2014). The role of seasonal flowering responses in adaptation of grasses to temperate climates. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5.
    2014 Boden, S., Weiss, D., Ross, J., Davies, N., Trevaskis, B., Chandler, P., & Swain, S. (2014). EARLY FLOWERING3 regulates flowering in spring barley by mediating gibberellin production and FLOWERING LOCUS T expression. Plant Cell, 26(4), 1557-1569.
    DOI Scopus53 WoS52 Europe PMC42
    2013 Boden, S., Kavanová, M., Finnegan, E., & Wigge, P. (2013). Thermal stress effects on grain yield in Brachypodium distachyon occur via H2A.Z-nucleosomes. Genome Biology, 14(6), 14 pages.
    DOI Scopus48 WoS43 Europe PMC23
    2009 Able, J., Crismani, W., & Boden, S. (2009). Understanding meiosis and the implications for crop improvement. Functional Plant Biology, 36(7), 575-588.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS10 Europe PMC5
    2009 Boden, S., Langridge, P., Spangenberg, G., & Able, J. (2009). TaASY1 promotes homologous chromosome interactions and is affected by deletion of Ph1. Plant Journal, 57(3), 487-497.
    DOI Scopus49 WoS38 Europe PMC30
    2007 Boden, S., Shadiac, N., Tucker, E., Langridge, P., & Able, J. (2007). Expression and functional analysis of TaASY1 during meiosis of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). BMC Molecular Biology, 8(65), 1-14.
    DOI Scopus22 WoS16 Europe PMC14

GRDC (2020-2023) - Optimise oat phenology for Australian oat production environments.

SAGIT (2020-2023) - Enhancing grain production and quality traits for bread wheat.

BBSRC Responsive Mode (2020-2023) - Regulation of wheat inflorescence architecture by a cation amino acid transporter.

Royal Society Research Grant (2018-2020) - Genetic regulation of spikelet architecture in bread wheat

Royal Society Resaerch Grant (2017-2018) - Investigating genetic diversity regulating spikelet development in bread wheat.

Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2016-2020) - Genetic regulation of inflorescence architecture in wheat.

International Wheat Yield Partnership (2016-2019) - A genetic diversity toolkit to maximise harvest index by controlling the duration of developmental phases.

Marie Curie IIF (2009-2011) - TemPiC: Temperature perception in crop plants.


  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Genetic control of stigma development and survival in bread wheat University of East Anglia/John Innes Centre Doctorate Full Time Marina Millan-Blanquez
    2018 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Genetic regualtion of spikelet and floret development in wheat University of East Anglia/John Innes Centre Master Full Time Agamemnon Soutas
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Improving yield components in Triticum aestivum at contrasting environment with novel QTL/genes for cell division and expansion. University of East Anglia/John Innes Centre Doctorate Aura Montemayor Lara
    2016 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Flowering time regulation in bread wheat University of East Anglia/John Innes Centre Doctorate Adam Gauley
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Balancing the genetics of source to sink to increase of bread wheat productivity University of East Anglia/John Innes Centre Doctorate Elizabeth Chapman
    2015 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Genetic diversity for floret development in wheat University of East Anglia/John Innes Centre Master Full Time Abdul Kamara
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2017 - 2020 Member Designing Future Wheat ISP John Innes Centre United Kingdom
    2015 - 2020 Member Monogram UK Monogram UK United Kingdom
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2018 - ongoing Member International Wheat Yield Partnership United States
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Editor Agronomy Journal University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 - ongoing Consulting Editor Frontiers in Plant Science University of Adelaide Australia
  • Position: Independent Research Fellow
  • Email:
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Research Centre
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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