October 2019 – September 2023
Mark studied for his BSc in BSc Plant Science at the Cambridge University. For his PhD research study, Mark will examine whether pathogens target N metabolism directly in the Rosaceae, specifically strawberry and apple.
Mark will obtain experimental data to test two potential hypotheses, by which both foliar and root pathogens may modulate plant immunity and disease: (1) N-related gene expression can be directly affected by pathogen infection; and (2) nitrogen status alters plant immune responses and thus the plant’s response to pathogens.
The research work will be divided into four major areas:
- Developing a robust assay to study alterations in N metabolism through tagging of N-responsive reporter genes
- Tagging and localisation of key immune system markers in foliar and root tissues
- Assessing cross-talk between N-sensing and immune signalling upon infection with biotrophic pathogens
- Assessing cross-talk between N-sensing and immune signalling upon infection with necrotrophic pathogens