Speakers

Prof Kevin Davies

Prof Kevin Davies

Plant and Food Research, New Zealand

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kevin_Davies3

Prof. Kevin Davies is a Science Leader in the New Cultivar Innovation portfolio of Plant & Food Research, New Zealand. His research is focussed on the flavonoid group of plant specialised metabolites. In angiosperms, flavonoids provide pigmentation to flowers and fruit to facilitate plant reproduction, and thus contribute to the visual appeal of our ornamental and fruit crops. However, flavonoids also have important functions in plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress, and the biosynthetic pathway is thought to have arisen during the period when plants were colonizing the land around 500 million years ago. Recent work in Kevin’s lab has examined the production and function of flavonoids in basal plants, specifically the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, with regard to how this can inform us on the origin and diversification of the flavonoid pathway during land plant evolution. His work has shown that flavonoids are key compounds in marchantia for reducing damage from UV-B light exposure and that liverworts produce previously uncharacterised flavonoids that may help them tolerate extreme environments.