• Research

Nicola Patron

Synthetic Biology Group Leader

Biography.

Contact details:

  • +44 (0) 1603 450 845

nicola.patron@earlham.ac.uk

@nicolabiologist

Nicola Patron is a molecular and synthetic biologist interested in the natural and engineered transfer of genetic material between genomes of different species. Her lab is focused on engineering photosynthetic organisms for industrial biotechnology and crops that are healthier to consume and less environmentally damaging to cultivate. 

Nicola obtained her PhD in plant molecular biology studying recombination between viruses and viral transgenes inserted into plant genomes. In post-doctoral research at The John Innes Centre, U.K. and The University of British Columbia, Canada she studied the impact that genes transferred from endosymbionts have on cellular metabolism and function, and evolution of endosymbiont genomes. From 2009-2013 Nicola was based in Melbourne, Australia leading a plant molecular biology group working with industry. Achievements included precision genome editing and targeted gene transfer with programmable nucleases. In 2013, Nicola returned to the UK to head a new Synthetic Biology venture at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich before moving to EI.

As recipient of a 2015 SynbioLEAP fellowship, Nicola was recognised as an emerging leader in synthetic biology with a vision and aspiration to shape biotechnology for the public good. She is particularly interested the societal impacts of synthetic biology and the complex intellectual property issues that surround genetic sequences, DNA and natural products. Nicola is an advocate of responsible and ethical innovation and of open-source tools for biotechnology. She is also active in promoting diversity and inclusivity in science.

Publications.

Blueprints for green biotech: development and application of standards for plant synthetic biology

Patron NJ (2016) Biochemical Society Transactions 44 (3), 702-708

Multi-gene Engineering with RNA-guided Cas9 Nuclease

Raitskin O, Patron NJ. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 37; 69-75

Induction of targeted, heritable mutations in barley and Brassica oleracea using RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease

Lawrenson T, Shorinola O, Stacey N, Liu C, Østergaard L, Patron NJ, Uauy C, Harwood, W (2015) Genome Biology 16; 258

Synthetic Plants

Patron NJ (2016) in Synthetic Biology Handbook. Ed. Darren N. Nesbeth. CRC Press

Standards for Plant Synthetic Biology: A Common Syntax for Exchange of DNA Parts

Parry G*, Patron NJ, Bastow R, Matthewman C (2016) GARNet/OpenPlant CRISPR-Cas Workshop Methods in Plant Biology 12:16
Patron NJ*, Orzaez D, Marillonnet S, Warzecha H, Matthewman C, Youles M, Raitskin O, Leveau A, Farré G, Rogers C, Smith A, Hibberd J, Webb AAR, Locke J, Schornack S, Ajioka J, Baulcombe DC, Zipfel C, Kamoun S, Jones JDG, Kuhn H, Robatzek S, Van Esse HP, Sanders D, Oldroyd G, Martin C, Field R, O’Connor S, Fox S, Wulff B, Miller B, Breakspear A, Radhakrishnan G, Delaux PM, Loque D, Granell A, Tissier A, Shih P, Brutnell TP, Quick PW, Rischer H, Fraser PD, Aharoni A, Raines C, South PF, Ané JM, Hamberger BR, Langdale J, Stougaard J, Bouwmeester H, Udvardi M, Murray JAH, Ntoukakis V, Schäfer P, Denby K, Edwards KJ, Osbourn A, Jim Haseloff J (2015) . New Phytologist 2018:13-19

A Standard Type IIS Syntax for Plants

Rutten V, Munabi A, Riche F, Lewy G, Wilson H, Pipan M, Bhate S, Nghiem T-A, Kaufhold W, Haseloff J, Rubert A, González A, Quijano A, Llopis I, Gavaldá J, Estellés L, Vásquez M, Orzáez D, Deal C, Gray J, Spiegel M, Monsey S, Middlemiss A, Day J, Patron NJ* (2015)  BioBricks Foundation RFC106 -  http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/96069

An Introduction to Synthetic Biology in Plant Systems

Carmichael RE*, Boyce A, Matthewman C, Patron NJ (2015)  – ERASynBio/ OpenPlant Summer School for early career researchers, New Phytologist 208(1):20-2

A Standard Type IIS Syntax for Plants

Rutten V, Munabi A, Riche F, Lewy G, Wilson H, Pipan M, Bhate S, Nghiem T-A, Kaufhold W, Haseloff J*, Rubert A, González A, Quijano A, Llopis I, Gavaldá J, Estellés L, Vásquez M, Orzáez D*, Deal C, Gray J, Spiegel M, Monsey S, Middlemiss A, Day J, Patron NJ* (2015) . BioBricks Foundation Request For Comment #106

DNA assembly for plant biology: techniques and tools

Belhaj K, Chaparro-Garcia A, Kamoun S*, Patron NJ*, Nekrasov V*. Editing plant genomes with CRISPR/Cas9 (2015) Current Opinion in Biotechnology 32:76–84
Patron NJ* (2014) . Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 19:14–19

A Golden Gate Modular Cloning Toolbox for Plants

Engler C, Youles M, Grützner R, Ehnert T-M, Werner S, Jones JDG, Patron NJ*, Marillonnet S* (2014)  ACS Synthetic Biology

Paspalum dilatatum by Down-Regulation of a Cinnamoyl CoA Reductase Gene

Giordano A, Liu Z, Panter SN, Dimech AM, Shang Y, Wijesinghe H, Fulgueras K, Ran R, Mouradov A, Rochfort S, Patron NJ, Spangenberg GC* (2014) Transgenic Research 23(3):503-17

Related reading.