Caroline Sparks

NameCaroline Sparks
Job titleSenior Scientific Specialist -Genetic Engineering
Email addresscaroline.sparks@rothamsted.ac.uk
DepartmentPlant Sciences
Research clusterPS: Plant Transformation and Genome Editing
ORCIDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5762-5229
Preferred citationSparks, C. A.
OfficeHarpenden

Research outputs

Overexpression of ca1pase decreases Rubisco abundance and grain yield in wheat

Loba, A. K. M., Orr, D., Gutierrez, M. O., Andralojc, J., Sparks, C. A., Afan, M., Parry, J. and Carmo-Silva, E. 2019. Overexpression of ca1pase decreases Rubisco abundance and grain yield in wheat. Plant Physiology.

Use of the pre-assembled ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex for gene editing of wheat and poplar

Sparks, C. A., Cerezo-Medina, S., Raffan, S. and Hahn, F. 2019. Use of the pre-assembled ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex for gene editing of wheat and poplar. The 7th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress. Rotterdam, The Netherlands 21 May 2019

Silencing an essential gene involved in infestation and digestion in grain aphid through plant‐mediated RNA interference generates aphid‐resistant wheat plants

Sun, Y., Sparks, C. A., Jones, H., Riley, M., Francis, F., Du, W. and Xia, L. 2019. Silencing an essential gene involved in infestation and digestion in grain aphid through plant‐mediated RNA interference generates aphid‐resistant wheat plants. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 17 (5), pp. 852-854.

Characterization of an antimicrobial and phytotoxic ribonuclease secreted by the fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici

Kettles, G. J., Bayon, C., Sparks, C. A., Canning, G., Kanyuka, K. and Rudd, J. J. 2018. Characterization of an antimicrobial and phytotoxic ribonuclease secreted by the fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. New Phytologist. 217 (1), pp. 320-331.

Identification of Leaf Promoters for Use in Transgenic Wheat

Alotaibi, S. S., Sparks, C. A., Parry, M. A. J., Simkin, A. J. and Raines, C. A. 2018. Identification of Leaf Promoters for Use in Transgenic Wheat. Plants. 7 (2), p. 27.

Host-induced gene silencing for the control of the Fusarium Head Blight in wheat fields

Kanyuka, K., Machado, A., Urban, M., Lee, W. S., Brown, N. J., King, R. A., Lau, E. Y., Sparks, C. A., Bonato, A. L. V., Tibola, C. S., Martins, N. F., Aragao, F. J., West, J., Fernandes, J. M. C. and Hammond-Kosack, K. E. 2017. Host-induced gene silencing for the control of the Fusarium Head Blight in wheat fields. 1st COST iPlanta Conferernce; "Creating the plant RNAi research network CA15223", La Sapienza - CNR Headquarter , Rome, Italy, 15-17 February 2017.

Increased SBPase activity improves photosynthesis and grain yield in wheat grown in greenhouse conditions

Driever, S. M., Simkin, A. J., Alotaibi, S., Fisk, S. J., Madgwick, P. J., Sparks, C. A., Jones, H. D., Lawson, T., Parry, M. A. J. and Raines, C. A. 2017. Increased SBPase activity improves photosynthesis and grain yield in wheat grown in greenhouse conditions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 372 (1730), pp. 1-10.

Use of a modified CRISPR/Cas9 construct to simultaneously mutagenize multiple genes in hexaploid wheat

Winfield, M., Allen, S., Cartlidge, L., Sparks, C. A., Jones, H., Huttly, A. K., Martignago, D., Hawkesford, M. J. and Edwards, K. 2017. Use of a modified CRISPR/Cas9 construct to simultaneously mutagenize multiple genes in hexaploid wheat. MonoGram 2017, 4-6 April, University of Bristol. Bristol, University of Bristol.

Opportunities for research via wheat transformation

Sparks, C. A., Martignago, D., Huttly, A. K., Raffan, S., Doherty, A. and Edwards, K. 2017. Opportunities for research via wheat transformation. The 5th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress, Amsterdam, 16–17 March 2017. Societas Physiologiae Plantarum Scandinavica.

Wheat biotechnology: recent developments and future trends

Sparks, C. A. 2016. Wheat biotechnology: recent developments and future trends. in: Jones, H. D. (ed.) Biotechnology of major cereals Chapter 6 CABI International, Wallingford, Oxon (CABI). pp. 88-103

The first crop plant genetically engineered to release an insect pheromone for defence

Bruce, T. J. A., Aradottir, G. I., Smart, L. E., Martin, J. L., Caulfield, J. C., Doherty, A., Sparks, C. A., Woodcock, C. M., Birkett, M. A., Napier, J. A., Jones, H. D. and Pickett, J. A. 2015. The first crop plant genetically engineered to release an insect pheromone for defence. Scientific Reports. 5, p. 11183.

Genetic transformation of wheat via particle bombardment

Sparks, C. A. and Jones, H. D. 2014. Genetic transformation of wheat via particle bombardment. in: Henry, R. J. and Furtado, A. (ed.) Cereal genomics: methods and protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1099 Springer, New York. pp. 201-218

Genetic transformation of wheat via Agrobacterium-mediated DNA delivery

Sparks, C. A., Doherty, A. and Jones, H. D. 2014. Genetic transformation of wheat via Agrobacterium-mediated DNA delivery. in: Henry, R. J. and Furtado, A. (ed.) Cereal genomics: methods and protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1099 Springer, New York. pp. 235-250

Temporal and spatial transgene expression using a heat-shock promoter in transgenic wheat

Freeman, J., Sparks, C. A., West, J. S., Shewry, P. R. and Jones, H. D. 2011. Temporal and spatial transgene expression using a heat-shock promoter in transgenic wheat. GM Crops: from Basic Research to Application. Aspects of Applied Biology 110 . Association of Applied Biologists (AAB) Wellesbourne Warwick . pp. 85-91

Molecular characterization of Rht-1 dwarfing genes in hexaploid wheat

Pearce, S., Saville, R., Vaughan, S. P., Chandler, P. M., Wilhelm, E. P., Sparks, C. A., Al-Kaff, N., Korolev, A., Boulton, M. I., Phillips, A. L., Hedden, P., Nicholson, P. and Thomas, S. G. 2011. Molecular characterization of Rht-1 dwarfing genes in hexaploid wheat. Plant Physiology. 157, pp. 1820-1831.

Temporal and spatial control of transgene expression using a heat-inducible promoter in transgenic wheat

Freeman, J., Sparks, C. A., West, J., Shewry, P. R. and Jones, H. D. 2011. Temporal and spatial control of transgene expression using a heat-inducible promoter in transgenic wheat. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 9 (7), pp. 788-796.

Studying the pattern of synthesis, deposition and tissue location of gluten proteins by epitope tagging

Tosi, P., Gritsch, C., Freeman, J., Sparks, C. A., Jones, H. D., Funatsuki, W., Niwa, K. and Shewry, P. R. 2010. Studying the pattern of synthesis, deposition and tissue location of gluten proteins by epitope tagging. Branlard, G. (ed.) Gluten Proteins 2009: Proceedings 10th International Gluten Workshop, Clermont-Ferrand, 7-9 September 2009 . Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris. pp. 17-20

Dough properties of transgenic wheat transformed with Cys-mutated low-molecular-weight glutenin genes

Funatsuki, W., Tosi, P., Ito, M., Jones, H. D., Sparks, C. A., Riley, A., Nishio, Z., Tadashi, T., Yamauchi, H. and Shewry, P. R. 2010. Dough properties of transgenic wheat transformed with Cys-mutated low-molecular-weight glutenin genes. Branlard, G. (ed.) Gluten Proteins 2009: Proceedings of the 10th International Gluten Workshop, Clermont-Ferrand, 7-9 September 2009 . Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris. pp. 175-179

Down-regulation of the CSLF6 gene results in decreased (1,3;1,4)-beta-D-glucan in endosperm of wheat

Nemeth, C., Freeman, J., Jones, H. D., Sparks, C. A., Pellny, T. K., Wilkinson, M. D., Dunwell, J., Andersson, A. A. M., Aman, P., Guillon, F., Saulnier, L., Mitchell, R. A. C. and Shewry, P. R. 2010. Down-regulation of the CSLF6 gene results in decreased (1,3;1,4)-beta-D-glucan in endosperm of wheat. Plant Physiology. 152, pp. 1209-1218.

Studying the pattern of synthesis, deposition and tissue location of gluten proteins by epitope tagging

Tosi, P., Gritsch, C., Freeman, J., Sparks, C. A., Jones, H. D., Funatsuki, W., Niwa, K. and Shewry, P. R. 2009. Studying the pattern of synthesis, deposition and tissue location of gluten proteins by epitope tagging. Abstracts Xth International Gluten Workshop, Clermont Ferrand, 7-9 September 2009 .

Stable transformation of plants

Jones, H. D. and Sparks, C. A. 2009. Stable transformation of plants. in: Gustafson, J. P., Somers, D. J. and Langridge, P. (ed.) Plant genomics. (Methods in Molecular Biology vol 513) Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey. pp. 111-130

Transient transformation of plants

Jones, H. D., Doherty, A. and Sparks, C. A. 2009. Transient transformation of plants. in: Gustafson, J. P., Somers, D. J. and Langridge, P. (ed.) Plant genomics. (Methods in Molecular Biology vol 513) Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey. pp. 131-152

Transgenic manipulation of wheat quality

Jones, H. D. and Sparks, C. A. 2009. Transgenic manipulation of wheat quality. in: Shewry, P. R. and Khan, K. (ed.) Wheat: chemistry and technology, 4th ed American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC), St Paul, MN. pp. 437-451

A transgenic approach to understanding gene expression in cereals

Jones, H. D., Freeman, J. and Sparks, C. A. 2008. A transgenic approach to understanding gene expression in cereals. Molinacano, J. L. (ed.) Cereal Science and Technology for Feeding Ten Billion People: Genomics Era and Beyond. Proceedings of the Meeting of the Eucarpia Cereal Section, Lleida (Spain), 13-17 November 2006 . Options Mediterraneennes, Series A, No 81. pp. 427-430

Biolistics transformation of wheat

Sparks, C. A. 2008. Biolistics transformation of wheat. in: Shewry, P. R. and Jones, H. D. (ed.) Transgenic wheat, barley and oats. Methods in molecular biology, vol. 478 Humana Press, New York. pp. 71-92

Selection of transformed plants

Sparks, C. A. 2008. Selection of transformed plants. in: Shewry, P. R. and Jones, H. D. (ed.) Transgenic wheat, barley and oats. Methods in molecular biology, vol. 478 Humana Press, New York. pp. 23-37

Promoter sequences for defining transgene expression

Sparks, C. A. 2008. Promoter sequences for defining transgene expression. in: Shewry, P. R. and Jones, H. D. (ed.) In %Transgenic wheat, barley and oats. Methods in molecular biology, vol. 478 Humana Press, New York. pp. 171-184

Detailed analysis of the expression of an alpha-gliadin promoter and the deposition of alpha-gliadin protein during wheat grain development

Van Herpen, T. W. J. M., Riley, M., Sparks, C. A., Jones, H. D., Gritsch, C., Dekking, E. H., Hamer, R. J., Bosch, D., Salentijn, E. M. J., Smulders, M. J. M., Shewry, P. R. and Gilissen, L. J. W. J. 2008. Detailed analysis of the expression of an alpha-gliadin promoter and the deposition of alpha-gliadin protein during wheat grain development. Annals of Botany. 102, pp. 331-342.

The maize Activator/Dissociation system is functional in hexaploid wheat through successive generations

Pastori, G. M., Huttly, A. K., West, J., Sparks, C. A., Pieters, A., Luna, C. M., Jones, H. D. and Foyer, C. H. 2007. The maize Activator/Dissociation system is functional in hexaploid wheat through successive generations. Functional Plant Biology. 34, pp. 835-843.

Production of transgenic wheat transformed with low-molecular-weight glutenin genes aiming for the understanding of the dough strength

Maruyama-Funatsuki, W., Tosi, P., Jones, H. D., Sparks, C. A., Riley, A., Yamauchi, H. and Shewry, P. R. 2007. Production of transgenic wheat transformed with low-molecular-weight glutenin genes aiming for the understanding of the dough strength.

Using epitope tagging to explore the trafficking, location and functional properties of wheat gluten proteins

Shewry, P. R., Tosi, P., Jones, H. D., Sparks, C. A., Gritsch, C., Funatsuki, W., Niwa, K., Huttly, A. K., Napier, J. A., D'ovidio, R. and Freeman, J. 2007. Using epitope tagging to explore the trafficking, location and functional properties of wheat gluten proteins. Lookhart, G. L. and Ng, P. W. K. (ed.) Gluten proteins 2006 . American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC), St Paul, MN. pp. 112-116

Characterisation of T-DNA loci and vector backbone sequences in transgenic wheat produced by Agrobacterium -mediated transformation

Wu, H., Sparks, C. A. and Jones, H. D. 2006. Characterisation of T-DNA loci and vector backbone sequences in transgenic wheat produced by Agrobacterium -mediated transformation. Molecular Breeding. 18, pp. 195-208.

Transformation of wheat by biolistics

Sparks, C. A. and Jones, H. D. 2004. Transformation of wheat by biolistics. in: Curtis, I. S. (ed.) Transgenic crops of the world: essential protocols Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands. pp. 19-33

Genetic manipulation of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) synthesis in a commercial variety of evening primrose (Oenothera sp.)

Mendoza De Gyves, E., Sparks, C. A., Sayanova, O. V., Lazzeri, P. A., Napier, J. A. and Jones, H. D. 2004. Genetic manipulation of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) synthesis in a commercial variety of evening primrose (Oenothera sp.). Plant Biotechnology Journal. 2 (4), pp. 351-357.

The potential of biotechnology to produce novel gluten phenotypes

Jones, H. D., Wu, H., Sparks, C. A., Doherty, A., Cannell, M., Goodwin, J., Pastori, G. M. and Shewry, P. R. 2004. The potential of biotechnology to produce novel gluten phenotypes. D'ovidio, R., Lafiandra, D. and Masci, S. (ed.) Gluten Proteins. Proceedings of the 8th Gluten Workshop, Viterbo, 8-10 September 2003 . Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Cambridge. pp. 14-17

Use of MAR sequences to stabilise the expression of a HMW glutenin subunit gene in transgenic wheat

Doherty, A., West, J. S., Sparks, C. A., Stone, M. C., Cannell, M. and Jones, H. D. 2003. Use of MAR sequences to stabilise the expression of a HMW glutenin subunit gene in transgenic wheat. Proceedings 10th International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Paestum, Italy, 1-6 September 2003 .

Transgenic approaches to study quality traits in cereals

Jones, H. D., Wu, H., Sparks, C. A. and Shewry, P. R. 2003. Transgenic approaches to study quality traits in cereals. Proceedings BCPC International Congress - Crop Science and Technology, Glasgow, 10-12 November 2003 . pp. 133-140

Promoters for driving transgene expression in wheat

Sparks, C. A., Collins, R. and Jones, H. D. 2003. Promoters for driving transgene expression in wheat. Proceedings 10th International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Paestum, Italy, 1-6 September 2003 .

Optimisation factors for Agrobacterium -mediated genetic transformation of wheat (cv Florida)

Wu, H., Sparks, C. A. and Jones, H. D. 2003. Optimisation factors for Agrobacterium -mediated genetic transformation of wheat (cv Florida). Proceedings 10th International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Paestum, Italy, 1-6 September 2003 . pp. 181-184

Agrobacterium mediated transformation of wheat: progress and application

Jones, H. D., Wu, H., Patil, M. S., Rubio, S. and Sparks, C. A. 2003. Agrobacterium mediated transformation of wheat: progress and application. Proceedings 10th International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Paestum, Italy, 1-6 September 2003 . pp. 914-916

Factors influencing successful Agrobacterium -mediated genetic transformation of wheat

Wu, H., Sparks, C. A., Amoah, B. and Jones, H. D. 2003. Factors influencing successful Agrobacterium -mediated genetic transformation of wheat. Plant Cell Reports. 21, pp. 659-668.

Age-dependent transformation frequency in elite wheat varieties

Pastori, G. M., Wilkinson, M. D., Steele, S. H., Sparks, C. A., Jones, H. D. and Parry, M. A. J. 2001. Age-dependent transformation frequency in elite wheat varieties. Journal of Experimental Botany. 52, pp. 857-863.

High frequency of adventitious shoot regeneration from commercial cultivars of evening primrose (Oenothera spp.) using thidiazuron

Mendoza De Gyves, E., Sparks, C. A., Fieldsend, A. F., Lazzeri, P. A. and Jones, H. D. 2001. High frequency of adventitious shoot regeneration from commercial cultivars of evening primrose (Oenothera spp.) using thidiazuron. Annals of Applied Biology. 138 (3), pp. 329-332.

Factors influencing Agrobacterium -mediated transient expression of uid A in wheat inflorescence tissue

Amoah, B. K., Wu, H., Sparks, C. A. and Jones, H. D. 2001. Factors influencing Agrobacterium -mediated transient expression of uid A in wheat inflorescence tissue. Journal of Experimental Botany. 52, pp. 1135-1142.

Potential for manipulating carbon metabolism in wheat

Sparks, C. A., Castleden, C. K., West, J., Habash, D. Z., Madgwick, P. J., Paul, M. J., Noctor, G., Harrison, J., Wu, R., Wilkinson, J., Quick, W. P., Parry, M. A. J., Foyer, C. H. and Miflin, B. J. 2001. Potential for manipulating carbon metabolism in wheat. Annals of Applied Biology. 138 (1), pp. 33-45.

Overexpression of sucrose-phosphate synthase in wheat

Castleden, C. K., Sparks, C. A., West, J. M., Quick, W. P. and Foyer, C. H. 1999. Overexpression of sucrose-phosphate synthase in wheat. Abstracts International Conference on Assimilate Transport and Partitioning, Newcastle NSW, 15-20 August 1999 . pp. 95

Current status of transformationin bread and durum wheats and modifications of gluten quality

He, G. Y., Rooke, L., Cannell, M., Rasco-Gaunt, S., Sparks, C. A., Lamacchia, C., Bekes, F., Tatham, A. S., Barcelo, P., Shewry, P. R. and Lazzeri, P. A. 1998. Current status of transformationin bread and durum wheats and modifications of gluten quality.

Transient expression of CAT in wheat protoplasts.

Jones, M. G. K., De Both, M. T. J., Wu, Q. S., Sparks, C. A., Maddock, S. E. and Gleddie, S. 1986. Transient expression of CAT in wheat protoplasts.

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