My principal research activities over the past 20 years have focused on the production of secondary metabolites implicated in the nutritional quality of foods (tomato, pepper, coffee) and in plant development (tomato, tobacco, petunia, Catharanthus, Arabidopsis). This research has essentially concentrated on carotenoid/apocarotenoid metabolism and the production of terpenoids implicated in plant development (strigolactones). More recently, my work (University or Essex) has focused on primary metabolism and the improvement of photosynthesis through genetic manipulation.
I am interested in all areas of plant development – from improving fruit quality and development targeting increased fruit yields (and quality), bio-pharmaceuticals and industrially important secondary metabolites. Also interested in manipulating photosynthesis to improve biomass and fruit yields for the horticultural industry and important oil crops. My interest extent to high-value metabolites (include biofuels, bioplastics) and bio-fortification of food crops.
Production at the point of consumption: a distributed network of intelligent growing systems for foodservice operators and consumers (Innovate UK): Duration: 2020- 2025; Partners: Evogro; Funding: Innovate UK (TS/V002805/1)
Genetic manipulation of photosynthetic efficiency to increase strawberry yields (BBSRC): Duration: Nov 2018- April 2022; Partners: University of Reading; Funding: BBSRC (BB/S507192/1)
Understanding fruit development in the cultivated cherry: Duration: Nov 2018- April 2021; Partners: University of Reading and Berry Gardens; Funding: Berry Gardens
Simkin AJ*. (2019). Genetic engineering for global food security: Photosynthesis and biofortification. Plants 8(12): 586. (IF=2.6)
Simkin AJ*, Lopez-Calcagno PE, Raines CA. (2019). Feeding the world: Improving photosynthetic efficiency for sustainable crop production. J Exp Bot. 70(4):1119-1140. (IF=5.4)
Driever SM, Simkin AJ, Alotaibi S, Fisk SJ, Madgwick PJ, Sparks CA, Jones HD, Lawson T, Parry MAJ, Raines CA. (2017). Increased SBPase activity improves photosynthesis and grain yield in wheat grown in greenhouse conditions. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 372: 1730. (IF=7.4)
Simkin AJ, Lopez-Calcagno, PE, Davey PA, Headland LR, Lawson T, Timm S, Bauwe H, Raines CA. (2017a). Simultaneous stimulation of sedoheptulose 1,7-bisphosphatase, fructose 1,6-bisphophate aldolase and the photorespiratory glycine decarboxylase H-protein increases CO2 assimilation, vegetative biomass and seed yield in Arabidopsis. Plant Biotech. J 15(7): 805-816. (IF=7.4)
Simkin AJ, McAusland L, Headland LR, Lawson T, Raines CA. (2015). Multigene manipulation of photosynthetic carbon assimilation increases CO2 fixation and biomass yield in tobacco. J Exp Bot. 66(13):4075-4090. (IF=5.8)