Dr Dorthe Villadsen, PhD

  • Lecturer
  • Institute of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies
  • Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
  • Conservation
Dr Dorthe Villadsen, PhD


Born and brought up in Denmark, I did my undergraduate degree in Agriculture at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, in Copenhagen. This was supplemented with an ERASMUS exchange year at The University of Aberdeen. I studied for my MSc and PhD in Plant Biochemistry at the same institution. During my PhD I investigated the regulation of primary carbon metabolism in plants focusing on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, using biochemical and molecular biological methods. Following my PhD, I obtained funding from the Danish Research Council to carry out a post-doctoral research project studying the role of carbohydrates as regulators of gene-expression in A. thaliana. This work was carried out at The University of Edinburgh, using recombinant plants and bio-imaging methods. In a second post-doc in Edinburgh I focused on starch metabolism in A. thaliana. Since joining the University of Cumbria I have been teaching the Biodiversity modules and contributed to several genetics based modules.

I am the module leader for:

Biodiversity 1

Biodiversity 2

Conservation Genetics

Genetic Application for Conservation

Qualifications and memberships

PhD Plant Biochemistry. 2002, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark.

MSc Plant Biochemistry. 1998, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark.

BSc Agricultural Science. 1996 Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark.

PgC Teaching and Learning for Higher Education - Fellow of Higer Education Academy,

Member of the Genetics Society

Member of British Ecological Society

Academic and research interests

Regulation of primary carbon metabolism in plants

Carbohydrates as genetic regulators



Purdy SJ, Bussell JD, Nelson DC, Villadsen D, Smith SM. (2011). A nuclear-localized protein, KOLD SENSITIV-1, affects the expression of cold-responsive genes during prolonged chilling in Arabidopsis. Journal of Plant Physiology. 15: 168: 263-269

NiittylĂ…  T, Comparot-Moss S, Lue WL, Messerli G, Trevisan M, Seymour MD, Gatehouse JA, Villadsen D, Smith SM, Chen J, Zeeman SC, Smith AM. (2006). Similar protein phosphatases control starch metabolism in plants and glycogen metabolism in mammals. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 281: 11815-8

Villadsen D, Rung JH, Nielsen TH. (2005). Osmotic stress changes carbohydrate partitioning and fructose-2,6-bisphosphate metabolism in barley leaves. Functional Plant Biology 32: 1033-1043

Villadsen D, Smith SM. (2004). Identification of more than 200 glucose-responsive Arabidopsis genes: No response to 3-O-methylglucose or 6-deoxyglucose. Plant Molecular Biology.55: 467-477

Nielsen TH, Rung JH, Villadsen D. (2004). Fructose-2,6-bisphosphate: a traffic signal in plant metabolism. Trends in Plant Science. 9: 556-563

Kulma A, Villadsen D, Campbell DG, Meek SEM, Harthill JE, Nielsen TH, MacKintosh C. (2004). Phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding of Arabidopsis 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase. Plant Journal. 37: 654-667

Milne FC, Moorhead G, Rubio MP, Wong B, Kulma A, Harthill JE, Villadsen D, Cotelle V, MacKintosh C. (2002). Affinity purification of diverse plant and juman 14-3-3- binding partners. Biochemical Society Transactions. 30:379-81

Villadsen D, Nielsen TH. (2001). NH2-terminal truncation affects kinetics and structure of fructose-6-phosphate, 2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase from Arabidopsis thaliana. Biochemical Journal. 359: 591-597

Draborg HD, Villadsen D, Nielsen TH. (2001). Transgenic Arabidopsis plants with decreased activity of fructose-6-phosphate,2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase have alterd carbon partitioning. Plant Physiology. 126: 750-758.

Villadsen D, Rung JH, Draborg H, Nielsen TH. (2000). Structure and heterologous expression of a gene encoding fructose-6-phosphate, 2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase from Arabidopsis thaliana. Biochimca et Biophysica Acta 1492: 406-413

Draborg H, Villadsen D, Nielsen TH. (1999). Cloning, characterization and expression of a bifunctional fructose-6-phosphate, 2-kinase/fructose-2,6-phosphatase from potato. Plant Molecular Biology 39: 709-720

Conference Presentations

Villadsden D, Smith SM. (2006) Interaction between glucan water dikinase and the protein kinase CIPK7 in Arabidopsis: Investigation of the effect on carbon metabolism and development. XV FESPB Congress Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology. Lyon, France. Selected for oral presentation.

Villadsen D, Alford HL, Smith SM (2003). 'STP1 - an Arabidopsis gene responsive to sugar, light and mechanical stimulation.' XXI Congress of the Scandinavian Society for Plant Physiology. Nutriome - Stress Biology. Bornholm, Denmark. Selected for oral presentation.

Villadsen D, Rung JH, Draborg HD, Nielsen TH. (1999) 'Fructose-6-phosphate,2kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase in Arabidopsis. Characterization of the regulatory system.' International Conference on assimilate transport and partitioning. Integration of structure, physiology and molecular biology. Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Villadsen D, Draborg H, Nielsen TH. (1998) Expression of active bifunctional fructose-6-phosphate,2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase from potato (Solanum tuberosum) in E. coli. Carbohydrate Metabolism in Plants. The Pathways and their Control. Queens College, Cambridge, England