College of Sciences staff

Associate Professor Jason Wargent staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 84813

Associate Professor Jason Wargent

Associate Professor

Institute of Agriculture and Environment

My research is principally focussed on understanding plant responses to environmental factors within the context of increased sustainability and quality in crop production. My key interest is focused on the role of sunlight, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation in particular. Whilst plant responses to UV are numerous, comparatively little is understood regarding the possible exploitation of such endpoints to drive quality within modern crop production. Our research encompasses fundamental plant science, and the application of that knowledge through commercialisation pathways. 

 

Professional

Qualifications

  • PhD - Lancaster University (2008)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Our research is currently across three themes:

  • Fundamental plant photobiology

Understanding how plants respond to changes in their light environment is an important component of plant biology. We are interested in how photoreceptor systems and signalling networks regulate plant developmental characteristics and physiological responses, particularly those related to UV radiation. One key focus for our work is the importance and function of the UV-B plant photoreceptor, UVR8. This work is currently funded by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

  • Innovation and application of photobiology into food production systems

One of the largest challenges in global agriculture is enabling scientific knowledge to be translated into innovative agricultural practice. We have commercialised photobiological research into a Massey technology start-up company, BioLumic [biolumic.com], which is underpinning research into a range of topics, including the effects of UV radiation on plant pathogen and pest control, plant priming for enhanced quality and yield attributes, and algal farming innovation.

  • Maximising the value of high-value horticultural products

The significant increase in aspiring middle-class consumers during this century demands a pipeline of innovation for maximising productivity and quality of high-value horticultural produce. We are involved in several projects focused on maximising returns across New Zealand hort-sectors, including pipfruit, kiwifruit, wine production, and also manuka honey, which is currently funded by a Ministry of Primary Industries Primary Growth Partnership.   

Thematics

Resource Development and Management, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000):
Biological Sciences (060000):
Horticultural Production (070600):
Plant Biology (060700): Plant Cell and Molecular Biology (060702): Plant Physiology (060705)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 3 12

Current Projects

Project Title: UV-B radiation as a master regulator pf performance and leaf organ development in sunlight.

Date Range: 2014 - 2017

Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand

Project Team:

Research Outputs

Journal

Nickless, EM., Anderson, CWN., Hamilton, G., Stephens, JM., & Wargent, J. (2017). Soil influences on plant growth, floral density and nectar yield in three cultivars of mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium). New Zealand Journal of Botany. 55(2), 100-117
[Journal article]Authored by: Anderson, C., Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ. (2016). UV LEDs in horticulture: From biology to application. Acta Horticulturae. 1134, 25-32
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Nickless, EM., Holroyd, SE., Hamilton, G., Gordon, KC., & Wargent, JJ. (2016). Analytical method development using FTIR-ATR and FT-Raman spectroscopy to assay fructose, sucrose, glucose and dihydroxyacetone, in Leptospermum scoparium nectar. Vibrational Spectroscopy. 84, 38-43
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Dunlop, SJ., Arbestain, MC., Bishop, PA., & Wargent, JJ. (2015). Closing the loop: Use of biochar produced from tomato crop green waste as a substrate for soilless, hydroponic tomato production. HortScience. 50(10), 1572-1581
[Journal article]Authored by: Camps Arbestain, M., Wargent, J.
Dupont, PY., Eaton, CJ., Wargent, JJ., Fechtner, S., Solomon, P., Schmid, J., . . . Cox, MP. (2015). Fungal endophyte infection of ryegrass reprograms host metabolism and alters development. New Phytologist. 208(4), 1227-1240
[Journal article]Authored by: Cox, M., Dupont, P., Eaton, C., Schmid, J., Scott, D., Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Nelson, BCW., Mcghie, TK., & Barnes, PW. (2015). Acclimation to UV-B radiation and visible light in Lactuca sativa involves up-regulation of photosynthetic performance and orchestration of metabolome-wide responses. Plant, Cell and Environment. 38(5), 929-940
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Barnes, PW., Flint, SD., Ryel, RJ., Tobler, MA., Barkley, AE., & Wargent, JJ. (2015). Rediscovering leaf optical properties: New insights into plant acclimation to solar UV radiation. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 93, 94-100
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Allen, G., Halsall, CJ., Ukpebor, J., Paul, ND., Ridall, G., & Wargent, JJ. (2015). Increased occurrence of pesticide residues on crops grown in protected environments compared to crops grown in open field conditions. Chemosphere. 119, 1428-1435
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Nickless, EM., Holroyd, SE., Stephens, JM., Gordonc, KC., & Wargent, JJ. (2014). Analytical FT-Raman spectroscopy to chemotype Leptospermum scoparium and generate predictive models for screening for dihydroxyacetone levels in floral nectar. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy. 45(10), 890-894
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Nickless, EM., Holroyd, SE., Stephens, JM., Gordon, KC., & Wargent, JJ. (2014). Analytical FT-Raman spectroscopy to chemotype Leptospermum scoparium and generate predictive models for screening for dihydroxyacetone levels in floral nectar. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy.
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Nelson, BCW., Mcghie, TK., & Barnes, PW. (2014). Acclimation to UV-B radiation and visible light in Lactuca sativa involves up-regulation of photosynthetic performance and orchestration of metabolome-wide responses. Plant, Cell and Environment.
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Gegas, VC., Wargent, JJ., Pesquet, E., Granqvist, E., Paul, ND., & Doonan, JH. (2014). Endopolyploidy as a potential alternative adaptive strategy for Arabidopsis leaf size variation in response to UV-B. Journal of Experimental Botany. 65(10), 2757-2766
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ. (2013). UV radiation as a new regulator of horticultural quality and yield - Possibilities for innovation in crop production systems - Mini review. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources. 8
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Gamage, GR., Wargent, J., Palmer, JS., & Heyes, JA. (2013). Effectiveness of UV-C irradiation on growth of post-inoculated listeria monocytogenes on fresh-cut broccoli. Acta Horticulturae. 1012, 1031-1036
[Journal article]Authored by: Heyes, J., Palmer, J., Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Pickup, DA., Paul, ND., & Roberts, MR. (2013). Reduction of photosynthetic sensitivity in response to abiotic stress in tomato is mediated by a new generation plant activator. BMC Plant Biology. 13(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Morales, LO., Brosché, M., Vainonen, J., Jenkins, GI., Wargent, JJ., Sipari, N., . . . Aphalo, PJ. (2013). Multiple roles for UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 in regulating gene expression and metabolite accumulation in arabidopsis under solar ultraviolet radiation. Plant Physiology. 161(2), 744-759
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., & Jordan, BR. (2013). From ozone depletion to agriculture: Understanding the role of UV radiation in sustainable crop production. New Phytologist. 197(4), 1058-1076
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Davey, MP., Susanti, NI., Wargent, JJ., Findlay, JE., Paul Quick, W., Paul, ND., . . . Jenkins, GI. (2012). The UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 promotes photosynthetic efficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana exposed to elevated levels of UV-B. Photosynthesis Research. 114(2), 121-131
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Elfadly, EM., Sobeih, W., Wargent, JJ., Moore, JP., & Paul, ND. (2012). UV radiation as an exploitable and diverse tool in the regulation of crop quality and yield. Acta Horticulturae. 956, 67-74
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Paul, ND., Moore, JP., Mcpherson, M., Lambourne, C., Croft, P., Heaton, JC., . . . Wargent, JJ. (2012). Ecological responses to UV radiation: Interactions between the biological effects of UV on plants and on associated organisms. Physiologia Plantarum. 145(4), 565-581
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Gregan, SM., Wargent, JJ., Liu, L., Shinkle, J., Hofmann, R., Winefield, C., . . . Jordan, B. (2012). Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation and canopy manipulation on the biochemical composition of Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. 18(2), 227-238
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Elfadly, EM., Moore, JP., & Paul, ND. (2011). Increased exposure to UV-B radiation during early development leads to enhanced photoprotection and improved long-term performance in Lactuca sativa. Plant, Cell and Environment. 34(8), 1401-1413
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Weber, J., Halsall, CJ., Wargent, JJ., & Paul, ND. (2009). A comparative study on the aqueous photodegradation of two organophosphorus pesticides under simulated and natural sunlight. Journal of Environmental Monitoring. 11(3), 654-659
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Weber, J., Halsall, CJ., Wargent, JJ., & Paul, ND. (2009). The aqueous photodegradation of fenitrothion under various agricultural plastics: Implications for pesticide longevity in agricultural 'micro-environments'. Chemosphere. 76(1), 147-150
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Moore, JP., Roland Ennos, A., & Paul, ND. (2009). Ultraviolet radiation as a limiting factor in leaf expansion and development. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 85(1), 279-286
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Gegas, VC., Jenkins, GI., Doonan, JH., & Paul, ND. (2009). UVR8 in Arabidopsis thaliana regulates multiple aspects of cellular differentiation during leaf development in response to ultraviolet B radiation. New Phytologist. 183(2), 315-326
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, J., & Paul, N. (2007). Mechanisms of response to ultraviolet-b radiation - A whole plant perspective. COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY. 146(4), S228-S228
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Foggo, A., Higgins, S., Wargent, JJ., & Coleman, RA. (2007). Tri-trophic consequences of UV-B exposure: Plants, herbivores and parasitoids. Oecologia. 154(3), 505-512
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Nadal, M., Wargent, JJ., Jones, KC., Paul, ND., Schuhmacher, M., & Domingo, JL. (2006). Influence of UV-B radiation and temperature on photodegradation of PAHs: Preliminary results. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry. 55(3), 241-252
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Paul, ND., Jacobson, RJ., Taylor, A., Wargent, JJ., & Moore, JP. (2005). The use of wavelength-selective plastic cladding materials in horticulture: Understanding of crop and fungal responses through the assessment of biological spectral weighting functions. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 81(5), 1052-1060
[Journal article]Authored by: Wargent, J.

Book

Jordan, BR., Strid, A., & Wargent, JJ. (2016). What role does UVB play in determining photosynthesis?. In M. Pessarakli (Ed.) Handbook of Photosynthesis. (pp. 333 - 344). : CRC Press
[Chapter]Contributed to by: Wargent, J.

Thesis

Wargent, JJ. (2008). The effects of UV-B radiation on plant growth and mechanisms of response. (Doctoral Thesis, Lancaster University, United Kingdom)
[Doctoral Thesis]Authored by: Wargent, J.

Conference

Pabellon, IVS., wargent, J., & Kerckhoffs, LHJ. (2017). Photoreceptor cross-talk in UV-B photomorphogenesis in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum): Screening through phytochrome and cryptochrome mutants.. , Plant Science Central 2017 Conference- Plants in a Changing Environment
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Kerckhoffs, L., Wargent, J.
Sheridan, R., matthew, C., stephens, JM., wargent, J., & Kerckhoffs, LHJ. (2017). The Effect of Temperature on Growth and Flowering of ‘High Performance’Mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) Clones;. Plant Science Central 2017 Conference – Plants in a Changing Environment Book of Abstracts. : Plant Science Central 2017 Conference – Plants in a Changing Environment
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Kerckhoffs, L., Matthew, C., Wargent, J.
Robertson, AW., Nickless, E., Hamilton, G., Arfmann, K., Weeds, Z., Olsen, M., . . . Kerckhoffs, .High-Performance Mānuka Plantation. . Massey University, Palmerston North
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Archer, R., Kerckhoffs, L., Millner, J., Robertson, A., Wargent, J.
Kyere, E., Palmer, J., Wargent, J., Fletcher, G., & Flint, SH.(2016, November). Colonisation of lettuce by listeria monocytogenes. . (pp. 54 - 54).
[Conference]Authored by: Flint, S., Wargent, J.
Gamage, GR., Heyes, JA., Palmer, JS., & Wargent, J.Antimicrobial effect of UV-C treated fresh-cut broccoli against Listeria monocytogenes. Acta Horticulturae. (pp. 187 - 192). 0567-7572.
[Conference]Authored by: Heyes, J., Palmer, J., Wargent, J.
Dupont, P-Y., Eaton, C., Wargent, J., Fechtner, S., Solomon, P., Schmid, J., . . . Cox, M. (2015). Epichloë endophytes: a powerful model system for determining genomic responses to genome merger. Poster session presented at the meeting of 28th Fungal Genetics Conference, Pacific Grove, California
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Cox, M., Dupont, P., Eaton, C., Schmid, J., Wargent, J.
Dupont, P., Eaton, CJ., Wargent, J., Fechtner, S., Solomon, P., Schmid, J., . . . Cox, MP. (2015, March). Insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying grass-endophyte symbiosis. Presented at Plant-fungal interaction symposium
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Cox, M., Dupont, P., Eaton, C., Schmid, J., Scott, D., Wargent, J.
Dupont, P., Eaton, CJ., Wargent, J., Fechtner, S., Solomon, P., Schmid, J., . . . Cox, MP.(2015, March). Insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying grass-endophyte symbiosis. .
[Conference]Authored by: Cox, M., Dupont, P., Eaton, C., Schmid, J., Scott, D., Wargent, J.
Sheridan, R., Wargent, J., Stephens, J., & Kerckhoffs, LHJ. (2015). Genetic constraints of high-performance manuka. Poster session presented at the meeting of The New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science (NZIAHS) and the New Zealand Branch of the International Association of Plant Biotechnology (IAPB) Conference “Plants for the Future”. Palmerston North
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Kerckhoffs, L., Wargent, J.
Sheridan, R., Wargent, J., Stephens, J., & Kerckhoffs, LHJ. (2015). Genetic constraints of high-performance manuka. , The New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science (NZIAHS) and the New Zealand Branch of the International Association of Plant Biotechnology (IAPB) Conference “Plants for the Future”
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Kerckhoffs, L., Wargent, J.
Dupont, PY., Eaton, C., Wargent, J., Fechtner, S., Solomon, P., Schmid, J., . . . Cox, M. (2015). Endophyte infection of ryegrass alters metabolism development and response to stress. Poster session presented at the meeting of 28th Fungal Genetics Conference. California, United States of America
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Cox, M., Dupont, P., Eaton, C., Schmid, J., Scott, D., Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ. (2014). UV4Growth & agriculture: Turning photobiology into commercial reality. In http://www.ucc.ie/en/media/research/uv4growth/year4meetings/finalnetworkmeeting/BookofAbstractsBled.pdf(pp. 79 - 79). , Final network conference of COST-Action FA0906 - UV4Growth
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Dupont, P., Eaton, CJ., Wargent, JJ., Fechtner, S., Solomon, P., Schmid, J., . . . Cox, MP. (2014, August). Endophyte infection of ryegrass alters metabolism, development and response to stress. Presented at Queenstown Molecular Biology Meeting (Plant and Main meetings)
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Cox, M., Dupont, P., Eaton, C., Schmid, J., Scott, D., Wargent, J.
Dunlop, S., Wargent, JJ., & Bishop, P. (2012). Closing the loop: use of biochar produced from tomato crop green waste for soiless tomato production. (pp. 27). , New Zealand 2012 Biochar Workshop: NZBRC
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Elfadly E, ., Wargent, JJ., Moore, J., Sobeih, W., & Paul, ND. (2011, September). Exploiting plant responses to solar UV radiation in improved protecting cropping systems. Presented at 14th Congress of the European Society for Photobiology. Geneva, Switzerland.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Jordan, B., Gregan, S., Wargent, JJ., Liu, L., Podolyan, A., Shinkle, J., . . . Trought, M.(2011, February 7). The Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Grape Berry Biochemical Composition. , UV4Growth COST-Action FA0906 1st Annual Meeting
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Elfadly, EM., Moore, JP., & Paul, ND.(2011, July 25). Increased Exposure to UV-B Radiation During Early Development Leads to Enhanced Photoprotection and Improved Long-Term Performance of a Model Crop Species – the Role of Ultraviolet Radiation in Sustainable Crop Production. , XVIII International Botanical Congress
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ.(2010, October 4). From Ozone Depletion to Agriculture: Understanding the Role of UV radiation in Sustainable Crop Production. , First Brazilian Symposium on the Effects of Increased UV Radiation on Agriculture
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ. (2009, January). UVR8 in Arabidopsis Regulates Multiple Aspects of Cellular Differentiation During Leaf Development in Response to UV-B Radiation. Presented at UK North West Plant Science Meeting. Liverpool University.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Jordan, B., Wargent, JJ., Shinkle, J., Hofmann, R., Winefield, C., & Trought, M. (2009, December). The Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation and Canopy Shading on Grape Berry Biochemistry. Presented at 'COMBIO' Conference of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Christchurch, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Gegas, VC., Jenkins, GI., Doonan, JH., & Paul, ND.(2009, September 6). UVR8 in Arabidopsis regulates UV-B specific leaf photomorphogenesis and other aspects of whole-plant development. , 13th Congress of the European Society for Photobiology
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Gegas, VC., Jenkins, GI., Doonan, JH., & Paul, ND. (2008). UVR8 in Arabidopsis regulates UV-B specific leaf photomorphogenesis and other aspects of whole-plant development. , GARNet Annual Conference, University of Nottingham, UK
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Paul, ND., Jenkins, GI., & Wargent, JJ. (2007). Plant responses to UV radiation: from signalling pathways to sustainable production. (pp. 109 - 109). , 12th Congress of the European Society for Photobiology
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Paul, ND., Moore, JP., & Wargent, JJ.(2007, September 1). Exploiting plant UV responses for sustainable crop production in a changing climate. , 12th Congress of the European Society for Photobiology
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ. (2007, January). Mechanisms of UV response in a Horticultural Model Species. Presented at UK North West Plant Science Meeting. Lancaster University.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Paul, ND., Moore, JM., & Wargent, JJ. (2007, September). Exploiting Plant UV Responses for Sustainable Crop Production in a Changing Climate. Presented at 12th International Congress of the European Society for Photobiology. Bath, UK.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Paul, ND., Jenkins, GI., & Wargent, JJ. (2007, September). Plant Responses to UV Radiation: from Signalling Pathways to Sustainable Production. Presented at 12th International Congress of the European Society for Photobiology. Bath, UK.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., & Paul, ND. (2007). The Effects of UV radiation on Multitrophic Responses and their Implications for Sustainable Agroecosystem Management. (pp. 110 - 110). , 12th Congress of the European Society for Photobiology
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ., Taylor, A., & Paul, ND. (2006). UV supplementation for growth regulation and disease control. Acta Horticulturae. Vol. 711 (pp. 333 - 338).
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Wargent, J.

Other

Wargent, JJ. (2010, August). Plant Responses to UV Radiation: Fundamental Mechanisms to Applied Outcomes. Presented at the Palmerston North Plant Biology Meeting, August 2010.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.
Wargent, JJ. (2007, June). The use of spectral modification to control plant growth and quality- a biological framework for predicting crop responses. Presented to the Horticultural Development Council (UK) Protected Crops Panel June 2007 meeting.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Wargent, J.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 3 1
Co-supervisor 3 1

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Konstancija Vasilenkaite - Doctor of Philosophy
    UV-B light as an inducer of plant pathogen resistance
  • Emily Smith - Doctor of Philosophy
    UV-B as a new tool for disease control in crop production
  • Rixta Sievers - Doctor of Philosophy
    UV-B radiation as a master regulator of phtosynthetic performance and leaf organ development in sunlight

Co-supervisor of:

  • Emmanuel Owusu Kyere - Doctor of Philosophy
    Colonization of lettuce by Listeria monocytogenes and its biofilm formation
  • Roland Schaap - Doctor of Philosophy
    UV radiation as a new tool to control microalgal bio-product yield and quality
  • Rachael Sheridan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Environmental and Genetic Influences on Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) Accumulation in NZ Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2017 - Elizabeth Nickless - Doctor of Philosophy
    Influential Factors in Nectar Composition and Yield in Leptospermum scoparium

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2015 - Gayani Gamage - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effectiveness of UV-C irradiation as a postharvest treatment to control growth of L. monocytogenes on fresh cut broccoli

Media and Links

Media

  • 13 May 2013 - Online
    Drought and horticulture
    The prolonged and extended drought during 2012/13 summer that affected much of the country during the summer was a new situation and challenge for many horticultural growers.

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