Dr Helen Bates

Research scientist
01732 523736

Research interests

I am interested in plant-microbe interactions, how fungi sense and respond to both biotic and abiotic factors in their environment and the influence of the soil microbiome on plant-pathogen interactions. My research over the past five years has focused on using DNA and RNA sequencing technologies to investigate plants and plant pathogen interactions. I have developed the nanopore sequencing facilities at NIAB East Malling enabling us to achieve very long read DNA sequencing of plant, fungal and insect genomes as well as direct RNAseq to gain insights into the transcriptome and control of gene expression. I am currently involved in two projects developing techniques to investigate protein:protein and protein:DNA interactions in the control of gene expression (EMSA, IP, co-IP, HA-tag and biotin-label pulldowns, ChIP-PCR and ChIPseq) in response to nutrients (Fusarium venenatum Mycoprotein) and light and temperature (Verticillium dahliae).

Research projects

Verticillium: Light and temperature
Duration: April 2018-April 2021
Partners: NIAB (lead), University of Manchester
Funding: BBSRC (BB/R00935X/1)

Mycoprotein 2.0
Duration: November 2017-Nov 2020
Partners: NIAB (lead), Marlow Foods Ltd
Funding: BBSRC BB/P020364/1

Recent publications

Armitage, A.D., Taylor, A., Sobczyk, M.K., Baxter, L., Greenfield, B.P., Bates, H.J., Wilson, F., Jackson, A.C., Ott, S., Harrison, R.J. and Clarkson, J.P., 2018. Characterisation of pathogen-specific regions and novel effector candidates in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae. Scientific Reports 8,13530.

Fan, R., Cockerton, H.M., Armitage, A.D., Bates, H., Cascant-Lopez, E., Antanaviciute, L., Xu, X., Hu, X. and Harrison, R.J., 2018. Vegetative compatibility groups partition variation in the virulence of Verticillium dahliae on strawberry. PloS One 13, e0191824.

Hulin, M.T., Armitage, A.D., Vicente, J.G., Holub, E.B., Baxter, L., Bates, H.J., Mansfield, J.W., Jackson, R.W. and Harrison, R.J., 2018. Comparative genomics of Pseudomonas syringae reveals convergent gene gain and loss associated with specialization onto cherry (Prunus avium). New Phytologist 219, 672-696.

Full publication list on ORCiD