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Professor Murray Grant

Supervisor Details

Professor Murray Grant

Contact Details

Professor Murray Grant

School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick

Research Interests

My group studies pathogenic and beneficial plant microbes interactions. The pathogenic are mainly bacterial pathogens and the beneficial a cool fungus called Trichoderma hamatum.

We undertake very multidisciplinary research using genetics, molecular biology, metabolomics (small molecule profiling), imaging, gene editing/genetic manipulation and bioelectrical signalling approaches for new discovery. In fact, we are interested in far too many things like;

  • Can we identify new novel disease resistance mechanisms that can be deployed to alleviate food security? This means we either need to understand how plant disease resistance proteins function or find a novel resistance mechanism.
  • How does the immediate environment influence plant immunity?
  • What makes a pathogen a pathogen? This includes how a pathogen can suppress plant immunity, which means we need to understand how the pathogen “effectors” (proteins and small molecules) collaborate to cause disease.
  • How does a plant talks to itself (long distance communication)?
  • We do lots of imaging – primarily whole plant but more recently subcellular using a range of reporters to look at spatial temporal dynamics of infection processes.
  • How are plant hormones (yes they have them!) manipulated by pathogens to promote infection?
  • What bioactive molecules do beneficial soil fungus produce to underpin their biocontrol and plant growth promotion activities?
  • Can we use gene editing to improve horticultural crops for enhanced immunity or nutritional value?
  • And last but not least, we also look at diseases of ash trees, banana and – yes false banana!

We are a very diverse group and (at the moment) well-funded, primarily by BBSRC/UKRI, The Royal Society and the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust.

Scientific Inspiration

Sir Edmund Hillary: Showed nothing is impossible with planning and commitment yet happy to give the spotlight to Tenzig Norgay.

Project Details

Professor Murray Grant is supervisor on the below projects:

Professor Grant is also co-supervisor on a project with Professor Alex Jones.