Chungui Lu


School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Professor of Sustainable Agriculture.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU, Professor Lu was Director of the Centre for Urban Agriculture at the University of Nottingham. Professor Lu graduated with an MSc in Plant Science from Yangzhou University, China in 1992 and gained a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Nottingham in 2000. Following postdoc positions at the University of Wales in Bangor and the University of Bristol, he took up a joint post as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at NTU/UoN in 2006. Professor Lu taught across 12 modules (e.g. Advanced Omics Technologies, Genetic Analysis & Bioinformatics, Genetic Crop Improvement, Transferable Skills) whilst working in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham. He joined NTU full time in 2016.

Research areas

Professor Lu’s research interests fall into two main areas: Sustainable Agriculture and Functional-genomics. Professor Lu's main aim is to investigate resource use efficiency, in particular nutrients (e.g. N, P) and energy (LED light) use efficiency in both soil and soilless growing systems. His research also focuses on the use of post-genomic technologies (e.g. RNA Seq) to monitor gene expression profiles/ patterns and gene regulatory networks for understanding genetic control for crop improvement. Current research interests include:

  • sustainable urban agriculture through innovative vertical farming
  • innovative energy saving and climate control systems for greenhouses
  • light-emitting diode (LED) lights to regulate plant growth and development
  • systematic functional analysis of nitrogen/phosphate use efficiency in crops
  • modelling the development of root hairs in rice and wheat
  • application of next-generation sequencing in crop improvement and animal
    feed efficiency.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards and MPhil/PhD exist, and further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

Sponsors and collaborators

Current funded research projects include:

  • Measurement of plant growth and health for optimal crop yield in LED horticulture, Innovate UK (2013-2016), £1.5m
  • The concept of plant growth stimulators that protect against heat-stress in greenhouse crops, Innovate UK, TSB Smart project (2015-2017), £165k
  • Innovative energy saving and climate control system for greenhouses, Innovate UK, Agri-Tech Catalyst (2014-2016), £497k
  • Pig feed efficiency BBSRC (2012-2016), £735k
  • High throughput intermediate scale sequencing for the Midlands, BBSRC (2014-2017), £350k
  • Programming genome with LED light in tomato, BBSRC DTP (2015-2019), £80K
  • New answers for old problems: a global interdisciplinary training network to address key questions in plant development, British Council (2014-2016), £100k
  • Innovative active-uptake foliar nutrition technology capable of significantly reducing pesticide rates in wheat, EU-Horizon 2020 first round award (2015-2017), £100k
  • Urban agriculture: ensuring resource use efficiency in vertically integrated farming, CFFRC (2013-2017), £80k
  • A multidimensional approach to transfer data from major crops to minor crops for global food security, CFFRC (2013-2017), £100k


Continuous light from red, blue, and green light-emitting diodes reduces nitrate content and enhances phytochemical concentrations and antioxidant capacity in lettuce. Bian ZH, Cheng RF, Yang QC, Wang J and Lu C, Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 2016, 141, 186-195

Gluten quality of bread wheat is associated with activity of RabD GTPases. Tyler AM, Bhandari DG, Poole M, Napier JA, Jones HD, Lu C and Lycett GW, Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2015, 13 (2), 163-176

Network inference analysis identifies an aprr2-like gene linked to pigment accumulation in tomato and pepper fruits. Pan Y, Bradley G, Pyke k, Ball G, Lu C, Fray R, Marshal A, Ayasuta S, Baxter C, Wijk R V, Boyden L, Cade R, Chapman NH, Fraser PD, Hodgman C and Seymour G, Plant Physiology, 2013, 161, 1476-1485

An ethylene response factor (erf5) promoting adaptation to drought and salt tolerance in tomato. Pan Y, Seymour GB, Lu C, Hu Z, Chen X and Chen G, Plant Cell Reports, 2012, 31 (2), 349-60

OsCAND1 Is Required for Crown Root Emergence in Rice. Wang XF, He FF, Ma XX, Mao CZ, Hodgman C, Lu C, Wu P, Mol Plant, 2010, 4 (2), 289-99

Plant responses to cold: transcriptome analysis of wheat. Winfield MO, Lu C, Wilson ID, Coghill JA and Edwards KJ, The Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2010, 8, 749–771

Functional Analysis of Tomato LeEIL1 in an Arabidopsis ein2 mutant. Pan Y, Chen G, Lu C, Chen X and Hu Z, Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 2010, 33 (2), 489-496

Cold-and light-induced changes in the transcriptome of wheat leading to phase transition from vegetative to reproductive growth. Lu C, Winfield M, Wilson ID, Coghill JA and Edwards KJ, BMC Plant Biology, 2010, 9, 55-69

See all of Chungui Lu's publications...

Press expertise

  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Urban agriculture
  • Container farms
  • Vertical farming
  • Plant genomics
  • Plant quality and growth
  • Plant growing methods (including LED lighting)
  • Precision farming