Staff Profile

Dr Jason Johnston
Science Group Leader, Postharvest Fresh Foods
Food Innovation

More information about our Food Innovation research

Dr Jason Johnston


BHortSci (Hons), Horticultural Science, Massey University, New Zealand
PhD, Plant Science, Massey University, New Zealand

Research Interests & Activities

Developing handling protocols for new cultivars. Assessing postharvest performance of apple and interspecific pears from the breeding programme. Predicting and managing the stress responses of produce in storage. Developing new tools for assessing the quality and sensory properties of fruit. Understanding ethylene signalling and responses to inhibitors of ethylene action

International Collaboration

Diagnostic Toolbox for Integrated Management of Postharvest Apple Necrotic Disorders 2010-2014. USDA-ARS Wenatchee, Cornell University, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Professional Memberships

Member, New Zealand Society for Horticultural Science
Member, New Zealand Society of Plant Biologists

Key Publications

Cascia G, Bulley S, Punter M, Bowen J, Rassam M, Schotsmans W, Larrigaudière C and Johnston JW. 2013. Investigation of ascorbate metabolism during inducement of storage disorders in pear. Physiologia Plantarum, 147, 121-134.
Atkinson R, Sutherland PW, Johnston SL, Gunaseelan K, Hallett I, Mitra D, Brummell D, Schröder R, Johnston JW and Schaffer RJ. 2012. Down regulation of polygalacturonase 1 alters firmness, tensile strength and water loss in apple fruit. BMC Plant Biology, 12, 129.
Ireland HS, Guillen F, Bowen J, Tacken EJ, Putterill J, Schaffer RJ and Johnston JW. 2012. Mining the apple genome reveals a family of nine ethylene receptor genes. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 72, 42-46.
Palmer JW, Harker FR, Tustin DS, Johnston JW. 2010. Fruit dry matter concentration: a new quality metric for apples. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90, 2586-94.
Tacken E, Ireland H, Gunaseelan K, Karunairetnam S, Wang D, Schultz K, Bowen J, Atkinson R, Johnston JW, Putterill J, Hellens RP, Schaffer RJ. 2010. The role of ethylene and cold temperature in the regulation of the apple polygalacturonase1 gene and fruit softening. Plant Physiology, 153: 294-305.
Johnston J, Gunaseelen K, Pidakala P, Wang M, Schaffer R. 2009. Coordination of early and late ripening events in apple is regulated through differential sensitivities to ethylene. Journal of Experimental Botany, 60: 2689-2699.
McAtee P, Hallett I, Johnston J, Schaffer I. 2009. A rapid method of fruit cell size and shape measurements. Plant Methods, 5: 5.