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PRESTA - Plant Responses to Environmental STress in Arabidopsis

Sustainable food production and food security are being threatened by our ever-expanding world population and the effects of climate change. To help address this problem we have brought together leading plant biologists, theoreticians and bioinformaticians from the Universities of Essex, Exeter and Warwick to understand how plants modulate their response to environmental challenges such as drought and pathogen attack.

This is a 5 year project funded by the BBSRC/EPSRC SABR (Systems Approaches to Biological Research) initiative.

The Presta team
 Meet the PRESTA Group

 Researcher with students




  • Krzysztof Polański, Johanna Rhodes, Claire Hill, Peijun Zhang, Dafyd J. Jenkins, Steven J. Kiddle, Aleksey Jironkin, Jim Beynon, Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, Sascha Ott and Katherine J. Denby (2014). Wigwams: identifying gene modules co-regulated across multiple biological conditions. Bioinformatics: 30(7):962-70


  • Ulrike Bechtold, Waleed S. Albihlal, Tracy Lawson, Michael J. Fryer, Penelope A.C. Sparrow, François Richard, Ramona Persad, Laura Bowden, Richard Hickman, Cathie Martin, Jim L. Beynon, Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, Neil R. Baker, James I.L. Morison, Friedrich Schöffl, Sascha Ott, and Philip M. Mullineaux (2013).
    Arabidopsis HEAT SHOCK TRANSCRIPTION FACTORA1b overexpression enhances water productivity, resistance to drought, and infection. Journal of Experimental Botany: doi:10.1093/jxb/ert185
  • Paul Brown, Laura Baxter, Richard Hickman, Jim Beynon, Jonathan D. Moore and Sascha Ott (2013). MEME-LaB: motif analysis in clusters. Bioinformatics 29(13):1696-1697.
  • Richard Hickman, Claire Hill, Christopher A. Penfold, Emily Breeze, Laura Bowden, Jonathan D. Moore, Peijun Zhang, Alison Jackson, Emma Cooke, Findlay Bewicke-Copley, Andrew Mead, Jim Beynon, David L. Wild, Katherine J. Denby, Sascha Ott and Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston (2013). A Local Regulatory Network Around Three NAC Transcription Factors in Arabidopsis Stress Responses and Senescence in Arabisopsis leaves. Plant Journal 75(1):26-39.
  • Dafyd J. Jenkins, Bärbel Finkenstädt, and David A. Rand (2013). 'A temporal switch model for estimating transcriptional activity in gene expression'. Bioinformatics 29(9):1158-1165.


  • Laura Baxter, Aleksey Jironkin, Richard Hickman, Jay Moore, Christopher Barrington, Peter Krusche, Nigel P. Dyer, Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, Alexander Tiskin, Jim Beynon, Katherine Denby, Sascha Ott. ‘Conserved Noncoding Sequences Highlight Shared Components of Regulatory Networks in Dicotyledonous Plants’. Plant Cell 24(10): 3949-3965.
  • Oliver Windram, Priyadharshini Madhou, Stuart McHattie, Claire Hill, Richard Hickman, Emma Cooke, Dafyd J. Jenkins, Christopher A. Penfold, Laura Baxter, Emily Breeze, Steven Kiddle, Johanna Rhodes, Susanna Atwell, Daniel J. Kliebenstein, Youn-sung Kim, Oliver Stegle, Karsten Borgwardt, Cunjin Zhang, Alex Tabrett, Roxane Legaie, Jonathan Moore, Bärbel Finkenstadt, David L. Wild, Andrew Mead, David Rand, Jim Beynon, Sascha Ott, Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, Katherine J. Denby. Arabidopsis defence against Botrytis cinerea: chronology and regulation deciphered by high-resolution temporal transcriptomic analysis. Plant Cell 24(9):3530-57.
  • Penfold CA, Buchanan-Wollaston V, Denby KJ, Wild DL (2012) Nonparametric bayesian inference for perturbed and orthologous gene regulatory networks. Bioinformatics 28(12): i233-i241.


  • Penfold CA, Wild DL (2011) How to infer gene networks from expression profiles, revisited. Interface Focus 6(1): 857–870.
  • Breeze, E., Harrison, E., McHattie, S., Hughes, L., Hickman, R., Hill, C., Kiddle, S., Kim, Y-S., Penfold, C.A., Jenkins, D., Zhang, C., Morris, K., Jenner, C., Jackson, S., Thomas, B., Tabrett, A., Legaie, R., Moore, J.D., Wild, D.L., Ott, S., Rand, D., Beynon, J., Denby, K., Mead, A. and Buchanan-Wollaston, V. (2011) High-Resolution temporal profiling of transcripts during Arabidopsis leaf senescence reveals a distinct chronology of processes and regulation. The Plant Cell 23(3): 873-894.


  • Hassani-Pak, K., Legaie, R., Canevet, C., van den Berg, H.A., Moore, J.D. and Rawlings, C. (2010) Enhancing data integration with text analysis to find proteins implicated in plant stress response. Journal of Integrative Bioinformatics 7(3):121.
  • Steven J. Kiddle; Oliver P. F. Windram; Stuart McHattie; Andrew Mead; Jim Beynon; Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston; Katherine J. Denby; Sach Mukherjee (2010). Temporal clustering by affinity propagation reveals transcriptional modules in Arabidopsis thaliana. Bioinformatics 26(3):355-362.


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