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Professor Eric Holub



Phone: 024 765 75163

Office (W): PPB1.27

Office (GH): B009 

Research Clusters

Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

Environment & Ecology

Warwick Centres and GRPs

Food GRP

Warwick Institute of Engagement

Vacancies and Opportunities

For PhD and postdoctoral opportunities, and interest in potential collaborations, please contact me at the above email address.

Research Interests

Professor Holub is a geneticist with expertise in plant health, culinary breeding and food systems development. He has been selecting Meso-american food crops for UK production from British sunshine including haricot beans, tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos. The aim is to work with UK consumers to establish new heirloom varieties for healthier diets that combine our favourite pulse with other home-grown ingredients. Provenance, convenience and versatility are key. Thus, National Listing was obtained for three fast-cooking bean varieties: Capulet (a conventional white navy bean), Godiva (a blonde kidney bean) and Olivia (an oval black bean). Participatory research with consumers was launched in Coventry for the 2019 British Science Festival [For more information see:]. In earlier genetics research, Prof Holub developed tetraploid alfalfa with multi-genic resistance to a root-rotting complex of oomycete pathogens, which has since had major impact in the US dairy industry by improving resilience under harsh winter and wet soil conditions of a high protein perennial forage legume. He moved to the UK and quickly established Arabidopsis thaliana as an experimental system to investigate the molecular basis of resistance to natural parasites. This work generated seminal publications with international collaborators on R-gene mediated resistance, defense signaling and pathogen avirulence. He shifted research to a crop pathogen (Albugo candida causing brassica white rust) for genetic dissection of non-host resistance in A. thaliana. This revealed multiple defense layers, including a receptor-like gene WRR4 with potential use for broad-spectrum resistance in transgenic brassica crops. Parallel research on white rust in brassicas was advanced with DEFRA and BBSRC funding (BB/L011646/1). The later linked collaborative research with scientists in India on oilseed mustard (B. juncea) to UK production of English mustard, in which white rust is an emerging climate related disease.

Research: Technical Summary

A research image


For a full list of publications, see WRAP

  • 2005-date: Professor of translational plant genetics, University of Warwick
  • 2021-date: Associate Fellow, Warwick Institute of Engagement
  • 2013-2021: Director of undergraduate biochemistry programme, Life Sciences
  • 2002-2004: Research unit leader, Horticulture Research International- Wellesbourne
  • 1998-2001: Group leader, HRI-Wellesbourne.
  • 1994-1997: Higher scientific officer, HRI-East Malling & Wellesbourne
  • 1990-1993: AFRC-PMB1 postdoctoral researcher, HRI-East Malling
  • 1988-1989: Pathology consultant for alfalfa breeding companies
  • 1988: PhD (Plant pathology and plant breeding), University of Wisconsin-Madison