Dr Diarmuid O'Maoileidigh

Biology, Human Health Institute


2nd Floor


Dr. Ó'Maoiléidigh is a plant developmental biologist with a PhD from the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland. Dr. Ó'Maoiléidigh also has a Bachelor's degree in Human Genetics from TCD. During his undergraduate he developed an interest in plant genetics and has since been interested in dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying developmental processes.

Following his PhD research, Dr. Ó'Maoiléidigh worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the same group in TCD before moving in 2015 to the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) in Cologne, Germany to take up another postdoctoral research position. While at the MPIPZ, he was awarded a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship and subsequently moved to The University of Liverpool (UoL) in 2019 as a Tenure Track Fellow where he established the Comparative Developmental Genetics Lab.

In 2020, Dr. Ó'Maoiléidigh was awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship and in 2022 he was tenured as a permanent member of staff at UoL. Later in 2022, Dr. Ó'Maoiléidigh moved back to Ireland to take up a role as a permanent Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology, Maynooth University.

Research Interests

The Comparative Developmental Genetics (CDG) group is interested in how cis regulatory elements and transcription factor function coordinate development in different plant species. We are particularly interested in the transcription factors that control flower and fruit development. Floral organs are derived from leaves and these transcription factors are necessary and sufficient for floral organ identity. The modes by which these transcription factors interact with the underlying leaf developmental programme are poorly described, although our research has made progress on this in recent years. We are particularly interested in how floral organs become photosynthetically active and we are investigating variation in floral organ photosynthetic activity using comparative developmental, functional genomic, and physiological approaches.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Rewiring of photosynthesis in floral organs PI 29/05/2023 28/05/2025 15926

Working Paper

Year Publication
2024 Ailbhe J. Brazel; Franziska Turck; Diarmuid S. Ó’Maoiléidigh (2024) Measuring CO2 assimilation of Arabidopsis thaliana whole plants and seedlings. [Working Paper] https://doi.org/10.1101/2024.01.22.576682

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2023 Brazel A.J.; Fattortini R.; McCarthy J.; Frazen R.; Rümpler F.; Coupland G.; Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2023) 'AGAMOUS mediates timing of guard cell formation during gynoecium development'. PLoS Genetics, 19 (10). [DOI]
2022 Fattorini R.; Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2022) 'Cis-regulatory variation expands the colour palette of the Brassicaceae'. Journal of Experimental Botany, 73 (19):6511-6515. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erac366
2022 Sang Q.; Vayssières A.; Ó'Maoiléidigh D.S.; Yang X.; Vincent C.; de Olalla E.B.G.; Cerise M.; Franzen R.; Coupland G. (2022) 'MicroRNA172 controls inflorescence meristem size through regulation of APETALA2 in Arabidopsis'. New Phytologist, (235):356-371. [DOI]
2021 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; van Driel A.; Singh A.; Sang Q.; Le Bec N.; Vincent C.; de Olalla E.B.G; Vayssières A.; Romera-Branchat M.; Severing E.; Coupland G. (2021) 'Systematic analyses of the MIR172 family members of Arabidopsis define their distinct roles in regulation of APETALA2 during floral transition'. PLoS Biology, 19 (2). [DOI]
2021 Kwaśniewska K.; Breathnach C.; Fitzsimons C.; Goslin K.; Thomson B.; Beegan J.; Finocchio A.; Prunet N.; Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Wellmer F. (2021) 'Expression of KNUCKLES in the Stem Cell Domain Is Required for Its Function in the Control of Floral Meristem Activity in Arabidopsis'. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12 . [DOI]
2019 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2019) 'A Growing Reputation for FRUITFULL Genes'. Plant Cell, 31 (6):1220-1221. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00194
2019 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2019) 'The White Stripes Featuring ALBOSTRIANS, a Chloroplast-Localized CCT Domain Protein'. Plant Cell, 31 (7):1418-1419. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00289
2019 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2019) 'The Same But Different: CoMoVa, an Algorithm to Identify Functional Variation in Cis Regulatory Elements'. Plant Cell, 31 (11):2546-2547. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00676
2019 Ailbhe J Brazel; Diarmuid S Ó’Maoiléidigh (2019) 'Photosynthetic activity of reproductive organs'. Journal of Experimental Botany, . [DOI]
2018 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Stewart D.; Zheng B.; Coupland G.; Wellmer F. (2018) 'Floral homeotic proteins modulate the genetic program for leaf development to suppress trichome formation in flowers'. Development - Company of Biologists, 145 (3). [DOI]
2018 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2018) 'A Conserved Mechanism to Terminate Floral Meristems'. Plant Cell, 30 (2). https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.18.00054
2017 Goslin K.; Zheng B.; Serrano-Mislata A.; Rae L.; Ryan P.T.; Kwaśniewska K.; Thomson B.; Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Madueno F.; Wellmer F.; Graciet E. (2017) 'Transcription factor interplay between LEAFY and APETALA1/CAULIFLOWER during floral initiation'. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, 174 (2):1097-1109. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.17.00098
2017 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2017) 'Intrafamily Protein Interactions Contribute to DNA Localization'. Plant Cell, 29 (9):2076-2077. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00735
2016 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Graciet E.; Wellmer F. (2016) 'Strategies for Performing Dynamic Gene Perturbation Experiments in Flowers'. Bio-Protocol, 6 (7). https://www.doi.org/10.21769/BioProtoc.1774
2016 Drost H.G.; Bellstädt J.; Ó'Maoiléidigh D.S.; Silva A.T.; Gabel A.; Weinholdt C.; Ryan P.T.; Dekkers B.J.W.; Bentsink L.; Hilhorst H.W.M.; Ligterink W.; Wellmer F.; Grosse I.; Quint M. (2016) 'Post-embryonic hourglass patterns mark ontogenetic transitions in plant development'. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33 (5):1158-1163. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msw039
2015 Stewart D.; Wellmer F.; Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S. (2015) 'My favourite flowering image: floral organs with trichomes'. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66 (23):9-10. https://www.doi.org/1093/jxb/erv072
2015 O'Maoileidigh, DS; Thomson, B; Raganelli, A; Wuest, SE; Ryan, PT; Kwasniewska, K; Carles, CC; Graciet, E; Wellmer, F (2015) 'Gene network analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana flower development through dynamic gene perturbations'. Plant Journal, 83 :344-358. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 Ryan, PT; O'Maoileidigh, DS; Drost, HG; Kwasniewska, K; Gabel, A; Grosse, I; Graciet, E; Quint, M; Wellmer, F (2015) 'Patterns of gene expression during Arabidopsis flower development from the time of initiation to maturation'. BMC Genomics, 16 . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2014 Graciet, E., Ó'Maoiléidigh, D.S., Wellmer, F. (2014) 'Next-generation sequencing applied to flower development: ChIP-Seq'. 1110 :413-429. [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2014 Ó'Maoiléidigh, D.S., Graciet, E., Wellmer, F. (2014) 'Gene networks controlling Arabidopsis thaliana flower development'. 201 (1):16-30. [Link] [DOI]
2014 Pajoro A.; Madrigal P.; Muiño J.M.; Matus J.T.; Jin J.; Mecchia M.A.; Debernardi J.M.; Palatnik J.F.; Balazadeh S.; Arif M.; Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Wellmer F.; Krajewski P.; Riechmann J.L.; Angenent G.C.; Kaufmann K. (2014) 'Dynamics of chromatin accessibility and gene regulation by MADS-domain transcription factors in flower development'. Genome Biology, R41 . https://doi.org/10.1186/gb-2014-15-3-r41
2013 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Wuest S.E.; Rae L.; Raganelli A.; Ryan P.T.; Kwaśniewska K.; Das P.; Lohan A.J.; Loftus B.; Graciet E.; Wellmer F. (2013) 'Control of Reproductive Floral Organ Identity Specification in Arabidopsis by the C Function Regulator AGAMOUS'. Plant Cell, 25 (7):2482-2503. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.113.113209
2012 Wuest, S.E., O'Maoileidigh, D.S., Rae, L., Kwasniewska, K., Raganelli, A., Hanczaryk, K., Lohan, A.J., Loftus, B., Graciet, E., Wellmer, F. (2012) 'Molecular basis for the specification of floral organs by APETALA3 and PISTILLATA'. 109 (33):13452-13457. [Link] [DOI]
2009 Graciet, E., Walter, F., Maoiléidigh, D.Ó., Pollmann, S., Meyerowitz, E.M., Varshavsky, A., Wellmer, F. (2009) 'The N-end rule pathway controls multiple functions during Arabidopsis shoot and leaf development'. 106 (32):13618-13623. [Link] [DOI]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2023 Ó'Maoiléidigh, D.S.; Thomson B.; Wellmer F. (2023) 'Floral Induction Systems for the Study of Arabidopsis Flower Development' In: Flower Development. Methods in Molecular Biology. New York, NY : Humana Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-3299-4_12
2014 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Graciet E.; Wellmer F. (2014) 'Genetic control of Arabidopsis flower development' In: Advances in Botanical Research. USA : Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-417162-6.00006-7
2014 Ó’Maoiléidigh D.S.; Wellmer F. (2014) 'A Floral Induction System for the Study of Early Arabidopsis Flower Development' In: Flower Development. Methods in Molecular Biology. USA : Humana Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9408-9_16
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
02/03/2020 BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
01/02/2016 Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung


Committee Function From / To
Research Committee in the Department of Biology Committee Member 27/11/2023 -
Sustainable Ecosystems Research Cluster Committee Member 05/06/2023 -


Employer Position From / To
University of Liverpool Lecturer 25/02/2019 - 05/09/2022
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Postdoctoral Researcher 05/01/2015 - 28/12/2018
Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin Postdoctoral Researcher 23/01/2012 - 03/11/2014


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
03/09/2007 Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin PhD Plant Developmental Genetics
06/10/2003 Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin B.A. Moderatorship Human Genetics

Editorial / Academic Reviews

Amount Role From / To
Bio-protocol Associate Editor 04/09/2023 -

Outreach Activities

Organisation Type Description
Science Night 2023 Civic Society Genetics and Epigenetics: The Music of Life [Link]
Pint of Science Ireland Civic Society Speaker at Pint of Science Ireland 2023 [Link]
Judge for SciFest Civic Society Judge for secondary school science projects for SciFest 2023 [Link]