Dr Rachael Symonds

School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

I am interested in all aspects of the molecular physiology of plant abiotic stress tolerance, with a particular focus on water relations in underutilized vegetables and crop wild relatives. Current projects include investigating the drought tolerance characteristics of wild and cultivated Amaranthus species and the development of molecular markers to study the genetic diversity of vegetable amaranth.


University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, PhD
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, MSc
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, BSc


Jamalluddin N, Symonds R, Mayes S, Ho WK, Massawe F. 2020. Diversifying crops for food and nutrition security: A case of vegetable amaranth, an ancient climate-smart crop Galanakis CM. Food Security and Nutrition :125-138 Academic Press 978-0-12-820521-1 Publisher Url

Suckling C, Kelly M, Symonds R. 2020. Carotenoids in sea urchins Lawrence J. Sea Urchins Biology and Ecology 43 :209-217 Academic Press 9780128195703 DOI

Cleasby P, Symonds RC, Massawe FJ. 2016. Bambara Groundnut for Food Security in the Changing African Climate Lichtfouse E. Springer, Cham DOI

Symonds RC, Kelly MS. 2013. Carotenoids in Sea Urchins Sea Urchins Biology and Ecology Academic Press 9780123972132 DOI

de la Peña RC, Ebert AW, Gniffke PA, Hanson P, Symonds RC. 2011. Genetic Adjustment to Changing Climates: Vegetables Crop Adaptation to Climate Change John Wiley & Sons 9780470960905

Journal article

Singh A, Siddiqui Y, Symonds RC, Musa M. 2019. Application of Rock Phosphate Levels Influenced the Root Growth, N and P uptake in Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea) Landraces International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 22 :1167-1172 DOI Author Url Public Url

Pitt S, Hawthorne J, Mitla G-M, Alexandrovich A, Symonds R, Gunn A. 2019. Identification and characterisation of anti - Pseudomonas aeruginosa proteins in mucus of the brown garden snail, Cornu aspersum British Journal of Biomedical Science, 76 :129-136 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Jamalluddin N, Massawe FJ, Symonds RC. 2018. Transpiration efficiency of Amaranth (Amaranthus sp.) in response to drought stress Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, DOI Author Url Public Url

Sangu E, Tibazarwa FI, Nyomora A, Symonds RC. 2015. Expression of genes for the biosynthesis of compatible solutes during pollen development under heat stress in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Journal of Plant Physiology, 178 :10-16 DOI

Massawe FJ, Mayes S, Cheng A, Chai HH, Cleasby P, Symonds R, Ho WK, Siise A, Wong QN, Kendabie P, Yanusa Y, Jamalluddin N, Singh A, Azman R, Azam-Ali SN. 2015. The Potential for Underutilised Crops to Improve Food Security in the Face of Climate Change Procedia Environmental Sciences, 29 :140-141 DOI

Luoh JW, Begg CB, Symonds RC, Ledesma D, Yang R-Y. 2014. Nutritional Yield of African Indigenous Vegetables in Water-Deficient and Water-Sufficient Conditions Food and Nutrition Sciences, 05 :812-822 DOI

Rao ES, Kadirvel P, Symonds RC, Ebert AW. 2013. Relationship between survival and yield related traits in Solanum pimpinellifolium under salt stress Euphytica, 190 :215-228 DOI

Rao ES, Kadirvel P, Symonds RC, Geethanjali S, Ebert AW. 2012. Using SSR markers to map genetic diversity and population structure ofSolanum pimpinellifoliumfor development of a core collection Plant Genetic Resources, 10 :38-48 DOI


Suckling CC, Symonds RC, Kelly MS, Young AJ. 2011. The effect of artificial diets on gonad colour and biomass in the edible sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris AQUACULTURE, 318 :335-342 DOI Author Url

Symonds RC, Kelly MS, Suckling CC, Young AJ. 2009. Carotenoids in the gonad and gut of the edible sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris AQUACULTURE, 288 :120-125 DOI Author Url

Symonds RC, Kelly MS, Caris-Veyrat C, Young AJ. 2007. Carotenoids in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus: Occurrence of 9 '-cis-echinenone as the dominant carotenoid in gonad colour determination COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY B-BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 148 :432-444 DOI Author Url

Thompson AJ, Mulholland BJ, Jackson AC, McKee JMT, Hilton HW, Symonds RC, Sonneveld T, Burbidge A, Stevenson P, Taylor IB. 2007. Regulation and manipulation of ABA biosynthesis in roots Plant, Cell and Environment, 30 :67-78 DOI Author Url

Thompson AJ, Jackson AC, Symonds RC, Mulholland BJ, Dadswell AR, Blake PS, Burbidge A, Taylor IB. 2000. Ectopic expression of a tomato 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase gene causes over-production of abscisic acid The Plant Journal, 23 :363-374 DOI

Rao ES, Kadirvel P, Symonds RC, Geethanjali S, Thontadarya RN, Ebert AW. Variations in DREB1A and VP1.1 Genes Show Association with Salt Tolerance Traits in Wild Tomato (Solanum pimpinellifolium) PLOS ONE, 10 :e0132535-e0132535 DOI

Internet publication

Symonds RC. 2018. Amaranthus tricolor: eat your greens (and reds and purples) Author Url Publisher Url