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Peter Cock

Staff picture: Peter Cock
Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Bioinformatician / Computational Biologist
peter.cock@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

I joined the Institute in 2008, where I have been doing comparative genetics and other bioinformatics work. The common theme has been plant pathogens, covering multiple kingdowms of life from viruses to nematodes (for example, a project to sequence the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida, an economically important plant pest here in Scotland).

Current research interests

With high throughput technologies including sequencing and phenotyping, biology is increasingly becoming a big-data science. This gave rise to the interdisciplinary area of bioinformatics, where the day-to-day work requires programming and scripting skills in addition to biological knowledge. My language of choice is Python, and since my PhD I have used and contributed to Biopython and other widely used libraries.

I am an advocate of open source software in science, and release most of my code as open source, mainly on GitHub but I also use Bitbucket. I also serve on the board of the Open Bioinformatics Foundation (OBF) as treasurer, and previously secretary, and have co-chaired the OBF organised Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC)I write an (external) blog Blasted Bioinformatics!? on the hands-on computational side of my work. I am a qualified Software Carpentry instructor, and have taught Python programming on multiple Software Carpentry Workshops or guest lectures at local universities.

Much of my genomics work has been linked to identification of candidate effector proteins, by which we mean proteins a plant pathogen, such as a nematode or aphid, produces and excretes into the host plant to manipulate it to its benefit - for example suppressing immune responses. Another strand of work covers molecular diagnostics, using a marker gene like a barcode to enable large scale surveys - including nematodes and bacteria in soil, or oomycetes in plant or water samples. 

Past research

I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick's MOAC Doctoral Training Centre, titled Two-component regulation: modelling, predicting and identifying protein-protein interactions and assessing signalling networks of bacteria. I have now co-supervised multiple PhD students to completion of their own doctorates.

Bibliography

  • Cock, P.; Pritchard, L. (2014) Galaxy as a platform for identifying candidate pathogen effectors., In: Birch, P.R.J., Jones, J.T. & Bos, J.I.B. (eds.). Plant-Pathogen Interactions: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, Volume 1127. Humana Press, New York, 2nd ed. Chapter 1, 3-15.
  • Whitworth, D.E.; Cock, P.J.A. (2008) Two-component signal transduction systems of the Myxobacteria., In: Whitworth, D.E. (ed.). Myxobacteria: Multicellularity and Differentiation. ASM Press, Washington, D.C., pp169-190.

  • Cooke, D.; Brierley, J.; Toth, I.; Randall, E.; Humphris, S.; Jones, J.; Cock, P. (2022) Applications of DNA metabarcoding for plant pathogen tracking and diagnostics, Applications of DNA metabarcoding for plant pathogen tracking and diagnostics. Crop Production in Northern Britain Conference. Online 1-2 March 2022.
  • Cock, P.; Cooke, D.E.L.; Pritchard, L. (2020) THAPBI PICT - a metabarcoding analysis pipeline developed as a Phytophthora ITS1 classification tool., Presentation at the BOSC track of the Bioinformatics Community Conference (BCC2020), 19 July 2020. (Online)
  • Green, S.; Cooke, D.E.L.; Frederickson-Matika, D.; Clark, B.; Randall, E.; Clark, M.; Pettit, T.; Dunn, M.; Schlenzig, A.; Pritchard, L.; Thorpe, P.; Cock, P.; Barbrook, J. (2019) Phytophthora communities in UK plant nurseries and links to management practice: opportunities for mitigation through accreditation., Presentation at the 9th Meeting of the IUFRO Working Party 7.02.09: Phytophthora in Forests and Natural Ecosystems, Sardinia 17-25 October 2019.
  • Cooke, D.E.L.; Randall, E.; Clark, B.; Thorpe, P.; Cock, P.J.; Pritchard, L.; Pettitt, T.; Frederickson-Matika, D.; Green, K.R. (2019) Phytophthora eDNA barcoding for natural ecosystem surveillance., 20th Oomycete Molecular Genetics Network Annual Meeting, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Oban, 10-12 July 2019. Presentation.
  • Orr, J.; Cock, P.; Davies, K.; Blok, V. (2016) Mapping Pasteuria distribution in Scotland., The Dundee Conference: Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2016, Dundee, 23-24 February 2016, pp 283-285.
  • Harris, N.L.; Cock, P.J.A.; Chapman, B.; Goecks, J.; Hotz, H-R.; Lapp, H. (2015) The Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC) 2013., The 14th Annual Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC 2013), Berlin, Germany, 19-20 July 2013. Bioinformatics, 31, 299-300.
  • Thorpe, P.; Cock, P.J.A.; Mantelin, S.; Reid, a.; Cotton, J.; Lilley, C.J.; Urwin, P.E.; Blok, V.C.; Jones, J.T. (2012) Identification and functional characterisation of effectors from the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida., Association of Applied Biologists Conference, Crop Genomics and Crop Improvement, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 5-6 December 2012.
  • Jones, J.T.; Thorpe, P.; Cock, P.J.A.; Mantelin, S.; Urwin, P.E.; Blok, V.C. (2012) Identification and characterisation of effectors of Globodera pallida., Effectome Meeting V, Lauret, France, 24-26 October 2012.
  • Palomares-Rius, J.E.; Jones, J.T.; Hedley, P.; Cock, P.J.A.; Blok, V.C. (2012) Gene expression of Globodera pallida in different potato genetic backgrounds., Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain, Dundee, 28-29 February, 2012, pp285-289.
  • McNally, R.R.; Sundin, G.W.; Zhao, Y.F.; Toth, I.K.; Cock, P.J.A.; Hedley, P.E. (2010) Microarray characterisation of the HrpL regulon of the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora., 12th International Workshop on Fire Blight, Warsaw, Poland, 16-20 August 2010.
  • Robertson, L.; Radhakrishnan, R.; Cock, P.J.A.; Blok, V.C.; Smith, A.; Grenier, E.; Hunt, M.; Berriman, M.; Jones, J.T. (2010) Functional analysis of pioneer effectors from plant parasitic nematodes., 4th Annual Meeting of COST 872 Nemagenics: Exploiting genomics to understand plant-nematode interactions, Lisbon, Portugal, 24-27 May 2010.

Printed from /staff/peter-cock on 31/01/23 07:37:55 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.