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Jorunn Bos

Staff picture: Jorunn Bos
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Royal Society Fellow
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Current research interests

My research is aimed at understanding how aphids modify their host plants at the molecular level to enable successful infestations. Aphids are devastating plant sap-feeding insects. These insects cause direct feeding damage and transmit the majority of plant viruses, resulting in significant yield losses, particularly in staple food crops.

Aphid control relies on insecticides that are damaging to the environment and to which aphids can become resistant. To develop new control strategies we need to understand how these insects interact with plants at the cellular and molecular level.

Key questions herein are: Which plant cellular processes are perturbed by aphids and how does that enable infestation? What do aphids “inject” into host plants to establish successful infestations? Can we generate crops with durable aphid resistance while reducing insecticide usage?

Recent work suggests that aphids, like plant pathogens, secrete effectors into their host plants to manipulate host cell processes and impact the ability to infest plants. These effectors are produced in the aphid salivary glands and secreted into the host during aphid feeding.

My lab aims to identify and characterise these effectors from the aphid species Myzus persicae (green peach aphid) to understand how they perturb plant cellular processes and promote host plant infestation.

Past research

October 2010 - Present: Independent Research Fellow, The James Hutton Institute - Royal Society of Edinburgh/Scottish Government Marie Curie Personal Research Fellowship 2010-2015.
Manipulation of plant host cell processes by aphid saliva proteins.

November 2008 - October 2010: Post-doc, The John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK
Supervisor: Dr S. Hogenhout
Functional genomics and proteomics approaches to identify candidate effectors from the aphid species Myzus persicae.

October 2007 - November 2008: Post-doc, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK
Supervisor: Dr S. Kamoun
Investigation of the molecular basis of INF1 cell death suppression by Phytophthora infestans RXLR effector AVR3a

September 2003 - August 2007: PhD, The Ohio State University, Wooster OH, USA
Supervisor: Dr S. Kamoun
Function, structure and evolution of the RXLR effector AVR3a of Phytophthora infestans.


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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.