William Paul Quick


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with IRRI Principal Scientist and C4 Rice Project Head William Paul Quick

Paul is the leader of the C4 research project based at IRRI. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of C4-related research activities in the Institute and for managing and coordinating the global C4 rice program. He has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, has written five major book chapters, and has edited one book.

His research demonstrated the direct link between the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis, which led to non-intrusively investigate this process using modulated chlorophyll fluorescence. Paul discovered thiol-regulation of the photosynthetic ATPase and its mechanism of action, which resulted in the publication of five papers in the prestigious journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. His work on the coordination of photosynthesis with the metabolism of sucrose and starch, and the identification of the enzymes responsible for regulation photosynthetic carbohydrate partitioning has been central to the development and exploitation of this relatively new field of plant biotechnology.

Paul pioneered the use of transgenic plants for functional analysis of plant metabolism. This work is still regarded as the ‘benchmark’ for analysis of transgenic plants. Paul led one of the first groups to establish sugars as regulators of gene expression in plants, and produced the first papers that demonstrated the functional significance of sucrose transporter genes in plants.

More recently, his laboratory pioneered the use of non-targeted metabolic profiling in the Systems Biology approach for genomics information. In 2009, Paul took up the leadership of the C4 Rice Project, a multi-discipline consortia funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to engineer C4 photosynthesis into rice.


  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant physiology and biochemistry
  • Plant functional genomics
  • High throughput plant phenotyping
  • Systems biology


  • PhD, University of Sheffield, UK (1984)
  • BSc, University of Essex, UK (1981)


  • Principal Scientist and C4 Rice Programme Leader (2009-present)
  • Professor of Plant Physiology, Deparment of Animal & Plant Sciences (2003-present)
  • Reader, University of Sheffield (2001-2003)
  • Senior Lecturer, Sheffield, UK (1995-2001)
  • Lecturer, Sheffield, UK (1991-1995)
  • European Research Fellowship, Lehrstuhl fur Pflanzenphysiologie, Universitat, Bayreuth, D8580, FRG (1987-1991)
  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of Keele, Keele, Newcastle, Staffs, UK (1984-1987)
  • Ph.D. Department of Botany, University of Sheffield, P.O. Box 601, Sheffield S10 2UQ, UK (1981-1984)
  • BSc, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, UK (1978-1981)


  1. Zhu, XG; Shan, LL; Wang, Y, Quick, WP (2010) C4 Rice - an Ideal Arena for Systems Biology Research. JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE PLANT BIOLOGY 52 : 762-770
  2. Abogadallah, GM; Serag, MM; El-Katouny, TM, Quick WP (2010) Salt tolerance at germination and vegetative growth involves different mechanisms in barnyard grass (Echinochloa crusgalli L.) mutants: PLANT GROWTH REGULATION 60: 1-12.
  3. Abogadallah, GM; Serag, MM; Quick, WP (2010) Fine and coarse regulation of reactive oxygen species in the salt-tolerant mutants of barnyard grass and their wild-type parents under salt stress. PHYSIOLOGIA PLANTARUM 138: 60-73
  4. Abogadallah, GM; Quick, WP (2010) Fast versatile regeneration of Trifolium alexandrinum L. PLANT CELL TISSUE AND ORGAN CULTURE: 100: 39-48
  5. Brown, NJ; Palmer, BG; Stanley, S, Quick, WP, Hibberd, JM (2010) C-4 acid decarboxylases required for C-4 photosynthesis are active in the mid-vein of the C-3 species Arabidopsis thaliana, and are important in sugar and amino acid metabolism: PLANT JOURNAL 61: 122-133
  6. Davey, MP; Woodward, FI; Quick, WP (2009) Intraspecfic variation in cold-temperature metabolic phenotypes of Arabidopsis lyrata ssp petraea METABOLOMICS 5 (1):138-149 2009
  7. Abogadallah, GM; Quick, WP (2009) Vegetative salt tolerance of barnyard grass mutants selected for salt-tolerant germination ACTA PHYSIOLOGIAE PLANTARUM 31 (4):815-824
  8. Janacek, SH; Trenkamp, S; Palmer, B; Brown, NJ; Parsley, K; Stanley, S; Astley, HM; Rolfe, SA; Quick, WP; Fernie, AR; Hibberd, JM (2009) Photosynthesis in cells around veins of the C-3 plant Arabidopsis thaliana is important for both the shikimate pathway and leaf senescence as well as contributing to plant fitness PLANT JOURNAL 59 (2):329-343
  9. Kunin, WE; Vergeer, P; Kenta, T; Davey, MP; Burke, T; Woodward, FI; Quick, P; Mannarelli, ME; Watson-Haigh, NS; Butlin, R (2009) Variation at range margins across multiple spatial scales: environmental temperature, population genetics and metabolomic phenotype. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 276 (1661):1495-1506
  10. Population-specific metabolic phenotypes of Arabidopsis lyrata ssp petraea. (2009) Davey, MP; Burrell, MM; Woodward, FI; Quick, WP. NEW PHYTOLOGIST 177 380-388 2008.

William Paul Quick
Dr. William Paul Quick

Principal Scientist and Head of C4 Rice Project

International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Laguna

+63 2 580 5600
ext 2771