John Seymour Heslop Harrison
Highest Education Ph.D.
Office 723, Xingke Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Education and Appointments

John Seymour (Pat) Heslop-Harrison, Department of Genetics and Genomics, University of Leicester. Distinguished Foreign Scholar Project Awardee of South China Botanical Garden between 2018-2023. Number of Research Publications: c. 350, Author of one book, Editor of 2 books (full list and abstracts available from, in collaboration with active scientists from around the world in a productive research laboratory. Two patents.


1983 PhD Spatial Distribution of Chromosomes in Wheat Species (Cambridge, UK) 1980-1983 University of Cambridge. ARC Research Studentship at Plant Breeding Institute and Peterhouse

1977-1980 BSc University College of Wales, Aberystwyth UK

1976-1977 University of Massachusetts, USA


2000-Present Professor of Plant Cell Biology and Molecular Cytogenetics, Department of Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences, University of Leicester, UK.

1990-2000 Group Leader, Karyobiology Group, John Innes Centre, Norwich;

1991 Principal Research Scientist / Unified Grade 7

1996 Individual Merit, Senior Principal (UG6/Band 3)

1987-1990 Staff Member -senior Scientific Officer, Institute Plant Science Research, Cambridge

1986-1987 BP Venture Research Fellow, Plant Breeding Institute; PI: Nuclear Architecture

1983-1986 Research Fellow, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge and Plant Breeding Institute

Research Interest

Plant cell and molecular biology; genetic DNA Markers; Genomics; Epigenetics; Hyperspectral imaging; Molecular biology and molecular cytogenetics; Genomics and functional genomics; Retrotransposons and transposons; Repetitive DNA structure and function; Virus-nuclear genome interactions; Meiosis and recombination. Species include wheat, cereals, gymnosperms, banana, Brassicas, oil palm, bovines, cattle, Drosophila; Reproduction, relationships and evolution; Systems biology, Crop plant evolution; Plant breeding; Food security; biotic and abiotic stress. Pedagogy, teaching, networks and assessment; exploitation and commercialization of research.

Public Services

Editorial Positions

2008-present Chief Editor, Annals of Botany

1988-2008 Accepting Editor for Annals of Botany

1991-present Accepting Editor for Sexual Plant Reproduction

2000-present Accepting Editor for Theoretical and Applied Genetics

2012-present Emeritus Editor, Chromosome Research

1992-2012 Accepting Editor for Chromosome Research

1996-2004 Accepting Editor for Protoplasma

Other positions

2015 Reviewer, Grant Agency of Czech Republic GACR

2013- Academic Icon, University of Malaya, Malaysia

2011-2014 Sub-panel member, Research Excellence Framework REF, HEFCE

2011-present External Examiner, University of Nottingham, UK

2009-2011 President, Society for Experimental Biology, SEB (VP 2007-9)

2000-present Regular consultant/expert for IAEA/FAO genetics and plant breeding section

2004-2008 External examiner, MSc in Plant Conservation (Seed Banking), University of Sussex 2004-present Council Member, European Cytogeneticists Association

2004-2014 Founder and Director (-2010), BioAstral Limited (

2004-2008 Director and Trustee, Annals of Botany Company (Registered Charity)

2004-2007 Director of Research Strategy, School of Biological Sciences, University of Leicester

2005- Global Musa Genomics Consortium, Member and Management Committee Member

Selected Publication

350 publicaiton website:

Selected papers

1. Dietrich DR, Dekant W, Greim H, Heslop-Harrison P, Berry C, Boobis A, Hengstler JG, Sharpe R. 2016. EU safety regulations: Don’t mar legislation with pseudoscience. Nature 535: 355

2. John S. Heslop-Harrison *, Trude Schwarzacher. 2013. Nucleosomes and centromeric DNA packaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110(50): 19974–19975.

3. John S. Heslop-Harrison*. 2012. Genome evolution: extinction, continuation or explosion? Current Opinion in Plant Biology 15(2):115–121.

4. John S. Heslop-Harrison*, Trude Schwarzacher*. 2011. Organization of the plant genome in chromosomes. Plant Journal 66(1): 18–33.

5. John S. Heslop-Harrison*, Minoru Murata, Yutaka Ogura, Trude Schwarzacher, Fusao Motoyoshi. 1999. Polymorphisms and genomic organization of repetitive DNA from centromeric regions of Arabidopsis thaliana chromosomes. Plant Cell 11(1): 31–42.