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Ingo Hein

Staff picture: Ingo Hein
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Senior Research Scientist
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Current research interests

My research aims to identify and clone more durable resistances towards major potato pathogen.

All microbes trigger immune responses in plants via host receptor-mediated recognition of PAMPs. Adapted pathogens suppress or otherwise manipulate PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). They do this by secretion of virulence factors, called effectors, which re-programme host metabolism to the benefit of the pathogen.

Effector-triggered suppression of PTI is the pathogen’s front-line of attack in overcoming plant defences. When a successful pathogen has suppressed PTI, plants possess a second layer of inducible defence in the form of resistance (R) genes, the products of which typically encode NB-LRR proteins that detect effectors (termed avirulence proteins; AVRs).

In a “paradigm-shift” from conventional disease resistance breeding we exploit our knowledge of recent dramatic changes in the pathogen population to unravel the underlying variation in pathogen effectors, using this to drive the search for durable resistance.

A central component of our research is the exploitation of the recently sequenced potato genome and use of second generation sequencing and novel DNA capture technology to greatly accelerate discovery and isolation of functional resistance genes.

Current projects include:

  • Identification and cloning of new genetic variations in Solanum species for resistance to Phytophthora infestans.
  • Identification of the Phytophthora infestans effectors underpinning Ph2 and Ph3 resistance in tomato.Identification of potato NB-LRR genes and development of a second generation sequencing approach to clone functional R genes more rapidly
  • Phytophthora infestans effector Avr3a diversity and function.
  • Enhancing the recognitions specificity of known Solanum resistance genes in vitro.

Past research

  • 2010 – present: Principal Investigator potato disease resistance group.  
  • 2006 – 2010: Senior Postdoctoral Researcher (Band 5 since 2008;  SCRI)
    Studying potato disease resistance to Phytophthora infestans.
  • 2003 – 2006: Postdoctoral Researcher (Band 6; SCRI)
    Elucidating disease resistance pathways in potato and barley. Generation of genomic tools for studying root rot resistance in raspberry.
  • March 2003: Doctor of Philosophy
    Thesis title: Discovering Resistance Pathways in Response to Elicitors and Powdery Mildew Attack in Barley; University of Dundee, Department of Life Science, Dundee, United Kingdom
  • October 1999: Diplom Biologe (Master in Biology)
    Thesis title: Functional characterisation of a Homeobox family in Flaveria
    Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Institut für Entwicklungs- & Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen, Düsseldorf, Germany


Printed from /staff/ingo-hein on 03/02/23 08:02:32 PM

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.