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Professor Eric Holub

Job Title
Life Sciences
+44(0)2476 575163
Research Interests

Graduate Field:

Plant Pathology (plant breeding and genetics minor).

Research Summary:
Professor Holub trained in legume pathology and plant breeding in the US, completing research that catalysed a public-commercial partnership with regional seed companies for release of multiple disease resistance in alfalfa forage varieties.

His genetics career began in the UK as a postdoc with Professor Ian Crute. They established experimental models in Arabidopsis thaliana for molecular investigation of resistance to two highly specialised pathogens (Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis and Albugo laibachii). This work led to numerous publications on R-gene mediated resistance, defense-signaling and pathogen avirulence with UK and international collaborators. His transition back to bonafide crop pathogens, began with genetic dissection of non-host resistance in A. thaliana to Albugo candida (brassica white blister rust). This has led to molecular characterisation of a broad-spectrum receptor-like resistance gene WRR4, that has potential use in transgenic brassica crops. A high quality reference genome for A. candida race 2V has also been generated from further collaboration with Canadian partners.

His interests in tackling challenges of food insecurity includes research to improve disease resistance in brassicas (downy mildew, white blister rust and black rot), drawing of advances from A. thaliana research. He has also recently revived elite material from the NVRS-Wellesbourne Phaseolus baked bean breeding programme, which had been working to adapt this crop for UK production. [For more information, go to

Title Funder Award start Award end
Developing genetics and genomics interface to develop strategies for sustainable use of resistance to white rust in oilseed mustard (Brassica juncea) BBSRC 01 Oct 2014 30 Sep 2018
BBSRC GCRF IAA 2017 Establishing an India-Africa-UK innovation hub for seed and root health in brassica and bean crops BBSRC 01 Sep 2017 28 Feb 2018
Establishing an African-UK innovation hub for common bean health and protection. BBSRC GCRF IAA BBSRC 01 Sep 2016 31 Dec 2016
Association genetics to identify conserved virulence effectors and targets for durable host resistance in a globally important bacterial pathogen of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Medical and Life Sciences Research Fund 01 Jun 2015 31 May 2016
BBSRC Industrial CASE studentship (Laura Davies) Glasshouse trials evaluating resistance Dow Agrosciences 03 Oct 2011 02 Oct 2015
Assessing the impact of plant mating systems and ploidy on adaptation to parasitism in changing environments NERC 01 Dec 2009 01 Mar 2014
FCT funding of personal PhD award for student project Vania Isabel Horta de Passo FCT (Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia) 01 Feb 2010 31 Jan 2014
Accelerated breeding of black rot resistant brassicas for the benefit of east African smallholders - subcontract from Harper Adams BBSRC 31 Dec 2008 08 Mar 2013
Accelerated Breeding of Black Rot Resistant Brassicas for the Benefit of East African Smallholders BBSRC 31 Dec 2008 30 Dec 2012
Role of Two Novel Pollen Tube Proteins in Polarised Rho GTPase Signalling BBSRC 20 Oct 2008 19 Oct 2011
IF0174 Identification of candidate genes for resource-use-efficiency by genome-wide association mapping in Arabidopsis thaliana Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Oct 2008 31 Mar 2009
Crop Improvement of Field Vegetables Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Apr 2004 31 Mar 2009
Genetic dissection of receptor - mediated susceptibility and molecular cloning BBSRC 03 Oct 2005 02 Oct 2008