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Julie Squires

Staff picture: Julie Squires
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Research Scientist
+44 (0)1382 568835

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Current research interests

  • In collaboration with industrial partners I am using technologies developed in the group of Andrew Love to generate novel nanocellulosic material with different functionalities and reactivities.
  • These materials have applications as antibacterial coatings, chemical catalysts, bioreactors

Past research

  • Having completed my PhD in 1995 entitled The influence of monovalent and divalent metal cations on growth and morphology in Candida species at The University of Dundee I joined SCRI in 1998 and was involved in the assessment of field trials for the Integrated Control of Raspberry Root Rot (P. fragariae var rubi) project.
  • I have also developed and applied molecular diagnostics to plant disease using of PCR and TaqMan to detect, identify and quantify fungal and/or bacterial pathogens.
  • For the Scottish Executive Micronet programme I investigated the scale of diversity amongst non-culturable soil bacteria which are capable of nitrite reduction and related these to the rhizosphere/rhizoplane of different grass species, and soil nutritional inputs, that is artificial sheep urine. Development of high throughput molecular methods-sequencing and T-RFLP were undertaken.
  • In the world of plant viruses in the research group of Peter Palukaitis I studied to identify and characterise the potato RdRP-1 and IVR both implicated in potato viral resistance. I also investigated whether the use of the CaMV 35S promoter poses risks to the environment, through a DEFRA funded project examining the integration of viral sequences into plant genomes. The consequences of both viral infection on transgene expression and recombination between viruses and viral-based promoter elements in transgenic plants was also examined.
  • In the laboratory of Steve Whisson and Paul Birch I investigated ‘Temporal Co-regulation of Pathogenesis in Phytophthora’, as part of a BBSRC IPA project involving Syngenta.  This was followed by an analysis of expression of transcription factors involved in pathogenesis.
  • This had followed on from research into Phytophthora effectors with David Cooke, also using SSR markers to examine populations of potato late blight. Detection of Phytophthora species in natural ecosystems with international collaborators, along with soft fruit Phytophthora species detection and control alongside the maintenance of the James Hutton Institute’s Phytophthora species collection.


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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.