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Alison Lees

Staff picture: Alison Lees
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Potato Pathologist
+44 (0)1382 568834

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Current research interests

  • Tools for Integrated Pest Management of potato diseases

  • IPM of potato late blight through improved in-field detection of Phytophthora infestans, appropriate use of fungicides and host resistance and alternatives to conventional pesticides.
  • DNA-based diagnostics to investigate the epidemiology of potato diseases and for disease risk assessment.
  • IPM of aerial oomycetes including Bremia lactucae on lettuce
  • Epidemiology and control of soil-borne potato diseases including black dot (Colletotrichum coccodes), powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea) and Rhizoctonia.
  • Euroblight – A potato late blight Network for Europe.
  • Alison is a key staff member leading Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPM) research at the James Hutton Institute. For details of ongoing IPM research areas and projects, please visit the IPM@hutton website.  
  • ResearchGate

Past research

  • Coordination of EU Concerted Action ‘Eucablight’ – A Late Blight Network for Europe.
  • Inheritance of resistance to fungal potato pathogens.
  • Fusarium diseases of wheat


  • Lees, A.K. (2018) Fungal diseases affecting potato storage., In: Wale, S. (ed.). Achieving Sustainable Cultivation of Potatoes: Volume 2: Production and Storage, Production and Sustainability. Cambridge, Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Ltd., Chapter 8, 179-185.
  • Colon, L.T.; Cooke, D.E.L.; Gronbech-Hansen, J.; Lassen, P.; Andrivon, D.; Hermansen, A.; Zimnoch-Guzowska, E.; Lees, A.K. (2005) Eucablight: a late blight network for Europe., In: Haverkort, A.J. and Struik, P.C (eds.). Potato in Progress: Science Meets Practice. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, pp290-297
  • Kerby, N.W.; Dale, M.F.B.; Lees, A.K.; Taylor, M.A.; Bradshaw, J.E. (2005) Breeding and diagnostic developments for better storage of potatoes to meet future industry needs., In: Potato in Progress: Science Meets Practice (eds. Haverkort, A.J. and Struik, P.C.), Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, pp76-85. (Proceedings of the Potato 2005 Congress, Emmeloord, Netherlands, 5-7 September 2005.)
  • Parry D.W.; Pettitt T.R.; Jenkinson P.; Lees A.K. (1994) The cereal fusarium complex., In: Blakeman, J.P. & Williamson, B. (eds.). Ecology of Plant Pathogens. CABI, Wallingford, pp301-320.

  • Cooke, D.;Lees, A. (2021) Population monitoring and fungicide sensitivity testing of Phytophthora infestans across GB 201921 Project annual report for 201920,
  • Cooke, D.E.L.; Lees, A.K.; Chapman, A.; Cooke, L.R.; Bain, R. (2014) GB Late Blight Populations: monitoring and implications of population changes. Reporting Period 2009-2012., Potato Council Final Report (R423), 94pp.
  • Cooke, D.E.L.; Lees, A.K.; Chapman, A.; Cooke, L.R.; Bain, R. (2014) GB Late blight populations: monitoring and implications of population changes., Potato Council Final Report, R423.
  • Lees, A.; Cooke, D,.E.L.; Toth, I.; Dolan, A.; SRUC; Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. (2014) Scottish Government Plant Health Workshop., Rapporteur, Scottish Government Plant Health Workshop, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, 8 December 2014.
  • Brierley, J.L.; Lees, A. (2012) International diagnostics collaboration: informing management of potato diseases through epidemiology and diagnostics., R422 Final Report. Potato Council Ltd, Stoneleigh.
  • Carnegie, S.F.; Campbell, H.; Heaton, K.; Wale, S.; Davey, T.; Roberts, A.M.I.; Kirkwood, M.; Lees, A.K. (2010) Research project report: Independent variety trials 2009., Potato Council Ltd., Stoneleigh, Report No 2010/12, 41pp.
  • Wale, S.; Lees, A.K.; Peters, J.; Brierley, J.L.; Woodhall, J.W.; Davey, T. (2010) Final report: Extending the scope of modern potato diagnostics and their interpretation., Potato Council Ltd, Stoneleigh.
  • Cooke, D.E.L.; Lees, A.K.; Shaw, D.S.; Bain, R.; Ritchie, F.; Taylor, M. (2010) Final report: Survey of GB blight populations., Potato Council, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
  • Torrance, L.; Toth, I.K.; Cooke, D.E.L.; Fenton, B.; Blok, V.C.; Lees, A.K. (2010) Risks of new or emerging pests and pathogens posed by environmental change., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2009, pp14-17.
  • Lees, A.K.; Cooke, D.E.L.; Fenton, B.; Newton, A.C. (2010) Understanding pathogen biodiversity as a key to controlling crop diseases., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2009, pp24-25.
  • Wale, S.; Hilton, A.; Lees, A.K.; Brierley, J.L.; Peters, J.; Gladders, P.; Bradshaw, N. (2008) Developing effective integrated control measures for the control of black dot., R249 Final Report. Potato Council Ltd, Stoneleigh.
  • Brierley, J.L.; Lees, A.; Hilton, A.; Wale, S.; Peters, J.; Elphinstone, J.; Boonham, N. (2008) Improving decision making for the management of potato diseases using real-time diagnostics., R253 Final Report, Potato Council Ltd, Stoneleigh.
  • Brierley, J.L.; Lees, A.K.; Wale, S.; (2008) Powdery scab: strains and conducive conditions. A review of literature and other sources of information., Research Review, Potato Council Ltd., Stoneleigh, 43pp.
  • Lees, A.K.; Brierley, J.L.; Stewart, J.A.; Sullivan, L.; Cullen, D.W. (2006) Molecular diagnostics: quantitative tools for investigating potato pathogens., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2006, pp26-27.

Scientific Posters / Conferences

File The use of microsatellite markers to examine European P. infestans populations using the EUCABLIGHT database 218.37 KB
File Using SSR markers to investigate Scottish Phytophthora infestans populations and the epidemiology of potato late blight 787.86 KB
File The use of SSR markers to examine Scottish Phytophthora infestans populations 189.16 KB
File Eucablight (QLRT-2000-00971) 922.21 KB
File Eucablight – A Late Blight Network for Europe 513.17 KB
File Investigations into the biology of C. coccodes
Developing effective integrated measures for the control of black dot
224.06 KB
File Diagnostic testing for seed- and soil-borne diseases
Improving decision-making for the management of potato diseases using real-time predictive diagnostics
215.92 KB
File Black Dot Control Measures 122.08 KB
File Diagnostics - improving management decisions 115.05 KB
File The monitoring of GB blight outbreaks: mating type and genetic fingerprint analysis 381.34 KB
File Genetic analysis of Scottish Phytophthora infestans populations with emphasis on within-outbreak diversity in 2004 720.8 KB
File Tracking Late Blight in the Field 118.5 KB
File Using molecular tools to investigate the role of tuber and soil-borne inoculum of Phytophthora infestans 775.52 KB
File Investigating factors affecting infection of potato by Spongospora subterranea 737.38 KB
File Changing GB blight populations: mating type and genotype fingerprint analysis 905.72 KB
File Drivers and possible consequences of a changing population of Phytophthora infestans on the GB potato industry 805.63 KB
File Validating predictive diagnostics for soil-borne potato diseases 403.39 KB
File Mapping resistance to Late Blight in two S.verrucosum populations 290.72 KB
File The changing Phytophthora infestans population: implications for Late Blight epidemics and control 5.1 MB

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.