Molecular Plant Pathologist Biointeractions and Crop Protection, Rothamsted
Kim has more than 30 years’ experience in molecular plant pathology and molecular genetics, investigating fungal and viral pathogens of wheat, barley, tomato, potato, oilseed rape and arabidopsis. Since 1998, Kim’s research team has been engaged in the global analysis of newly sequenced genomes of plant infecting fungi. Through this growing interest in large data sets, Kim’s team, in collaboration with computational biologists at Rothamsted Research and the ENSEMBL team (EBI, Cambridge), have established the Pathogen-Host Interactions database (PHI-base) and the interconnected PhytoPath database; their aim is to speed up and refine the exploration of the pathogenic process and host defence. The wheat pathogenomics research is focused on understanding how plant disease resistance mechanisms operate, how fungal pathogens cause disease on wheat crops and on developing novel approaches to evaluate gene function in wheat and fungal pathogens. Specific projects are exploring Host Induced Gene Silencing (HIGS) to control Fusarium infections. Kim’s team has further developed two virus vector systems for the transient over-expression of heterologous proteins in cereal plants to rapidly explore protein function. Take-all root disease research, ongoing at Rothamsted Research since the mid-1920s, is also part of Kim’s research portfolio, which aims to improve global food security.