Prof James Brown
James researches the evolution of plant diseases to understand how pathogens adapt to plants, both in crops and natural populations, and how this knowledge can be exploited for disease control.
He is currently investigating the role of natural selection in a range of situations including fungicide insensitivity in powdery mildew, trade-offs between resistances to different types of fungal pathogens in cereals, and resistance of ash trees to dieback.
James’ research uses modelling techniques to investigate the co-evolution of plants and their parasites, involving trade-offs between disease resistance and other positive plant traits such as yield.
- Identifying fungicide resistance genes within fungal populations such as powdery mildew
- Trade-offs between disease resistance in plants and other positive traits
- Understanding population structures of fungal populations and co-evolution with plants
There is a constant struggle between plants and their parasites: as plants evolve to become resistant to disease, parasites evolve to overcome that resistance. Consequently, crops in agriculture are exposed to a constantly changing population of different genotypes and species of parasites.
James Brown's group's research relates to the need to produce new crop varieties with elite standards of yield and quality and acceptable, all-round disease resistance. Much of their research concerns trade-offs between responses to different diseases and between disease resistance and other desirable traits, while researching processes by which plants and parasites coevolve to become adapted to one another.
The group also work on several diseases, as appropriate for the research in question. Most of their work is on fungal pathogens of cereals, especially powdery mildew of barley and wheat, septoria tritici blotch of wheat and ramularia leaf spot of barley. Their research on coevolution uses of mathematical and computer modelling.
ContactTel: 01603 450615
Continental controls needed to maintain fightback against tree diseasesread more
John Innes Centre scientists solve 60 year old Septoria mysteryread more
Population structure of the ash dieback pathogen, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, in relation to its mode of arrival in the UK
Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12762 p12762
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/ppa.12762
Plant Biotechnology Journal Plant Biotechnol J. 2017 Apr 24. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12749. [Epub ahead of print] pdoi: 10.1111/pbi.12749
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/pbi.12749
Early molecular signatures of responses of wheat to Zymoseptoria tritici in compatible and incompatible interactions
Plant Pathology - p-
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/ppa.12633
Molecular plant pathology 18 p276-292
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/mpp.12482
Proposal for a unified nomenclature for target-site mutations associated with resistance to fungicides.
Pest management science 72 p1449-59
Publisher’s version: 10.1002/ps.4301
- Dr Laetitia Chartrain Research Assistant
- Rachel Burns Research Assistant
- Dr Elizabeth Orton Postdoctoral Scientist
- Corinne Arnold Postgraduate Student
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