Department of Biology & Biochemistry



4 South 1.50


Tel: +44 (0)1225 386410


Dr Volkan Cevik


Our research focuses on molecular characterisation of compatible and incompatible interactions between plants and their pathogens. Our research interests include mechanistic understanding of processes such as how plant immune receptors perceive microbial pathogenicity proteins (effectors) in order to activate defence and how pathogens evolve to circumvent such recognition events. We are similarly interested in comparative genomics and evolution of pathogens with the aim of better understanding host specialization and virulence.

In order to achieve this, we work on Albugo candida – Brassicaceae pathosystem. The obligate biotrophic parasite Albugo candida infects many distinct Brassicaceae and it causes white blister rust disease resulting in significant losses on economically important oilseed and vegetable brassica crops. Albugo candida consists of physiological races that each specialize on distinct hosts. Some Albugo candida races can also infect the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and this provides an excellent opportunity to elucidate some of the fundamental questions in plant-microbe interactions.

Our current research activities include:

  • How various White Rust Resistance (WRR) proteins recognise different races of Albugo candida and activate downstream signalling leading to resistance
  • Resistance protein engineering for a broader recognition specificity
  • Identification and characterisation of plant developmental processes manipulated by plant pathogens to impose susceptibility
  • Identification of novel susceptibility factors required for host colonisation by Albugo candida
  • How different Albugo candida races evolved to colonize distinct host species


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