The University of Sheffield
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Professor Julie Scholes

Prof Julie Scholes

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 4780
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 0002

email :


BSc (1982) PhD (1986) University of Wales
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow, University of Sheffield (1986-1987)
Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Sheffield (1987-1995)
Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, University of Sheffield (1995-2003)
Professor of Plant and Microbial Sciences (2003 – present)

Key Research Interests

Striga hermonthica parasitising sorghum in Ethiopia

My research interests fall into four inter-related areas:

* Molecular plant-symbiont interactions including angiosperm parasites (Striga and Orobanche), fungal pathogens and mycorrhizas.

* Molecular microbial ecology of polluted aquifers

*The development of imaging systems to quantitatively analyse with high spatial resolution, photosynthesis in plants and gene expression in plants, fungi and bacteria.

* Tropical ecophysiology; in particular the role of biotic (mycorrhizas, fungal pathogens and insects) and abiotic (light and nutrients) factors in the survival and regeneration of tropical rainforest tree seedlings.

Professional Activities (2000 onwards)

Member of the International Parasitic Plant Society committee (2008-present)

Member of the Plant and Microbial Metabolomics Committee, BBSRC (2005)

Member of the Plant and Microbial Sciences Committee, BBSRC (2001 - 2004)

Member of the Royal Society Environmental Advisory Network (2000-present)

Member of the Biology Committee of the Society for Experimental Biology (2000-2006)

Current Research Grants

BBSRC-DFID (2008 – 2012) Unravelling the molecular genetic basis of resistance to Striga; integrating QTL and transcriptomic analyses (in collaboration with Dr Jonne Rodenburg WARDA, Senegal, Dr Tom Hash and Dr Dan Kiambi, ICRISAT India/Africa, Professor Andy Greenland, NIAB, UK).

BBSRC (2007 – 2010) The mechanism of suppression by the legume Desmodium uncinatum of the parasitic weed Striga. (in collaboration with Prof John Pickett and Dr Tony Hooper, Rothamsted Research).

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (2005 – 2008) Mapping genes for resistance to S. hermonthica in rice.

Leverhulme Trust (2005 – 2008) The role of flavohaemoglobins in fungal pathogenicity.

EPSRC (2004 -2008) Nanometer scale observations of biodegradation in soil and groundwater (with the Depts. Of Civil and Structural Engineering, Chemistry and Physics) (see

Postdoctoral Associates

Dr Arnaud Boisnard
Unravelling the molecular genetic basis of resistance to Striga; integrating QTL and transcriptomic analyses.

Dr Kay Tittcomb
The mechanism of suppression by the legume Desmodium uncinatum of the parasitic weed Striga.

Dr Bleddyn Hughes
The role of flavohaemoglobins in fungal pathogenicity

Dr Joh Andrews
Nanometer scale observations of biodegradation in soil and groundwater

Current Research Students

Mamadou Cissoko
The genetic basis of resistance in wild and cultivated rice to Striga. Funding: BBSRC-DFID

Minesh Tailor
Molecular genetic diversity of Striga species in Africa. Funding: University of Sheffield Scholarship

Oliver Pescott
Molecular genetic diversity of Striga species:host parasite specificity. Funding: BBSRC

Rodrigo Echegoyen
Comparative genomics of resistance in rice and sorghum to Striga species. Funding: CONACYT

Thanos Rizouliz
Bioremediation and the Molecular Microbiology of Aquifers. Funding: Greek scholarship.

Kieran Baker
Impact of the cell-mineral inferface on the anaerobic degradation of phenolic Funding: EPSRC

Ammar Razak
The effect of environmental variables on phenol degradation pathways in planktoonic and attached Psuedomonas putida. Funding: EPSRC

Megan Lewis
Biochemical analysis of fungal flavohaemoglobins (Funding: Leverhulme Trust).

Anne-Laure Hepp
Understanding the metabolic basis of resistance in sunflower to the parasitic weed Orobanche cumana. Funding: Syngenta

Research technicians

Maggie Killion
Senior laboratory technician

Selected Publications

Scholes JD, Press MC (2008) Striga infestation of cereal crops- an unsolved problem in resource limited agriculture. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 11: 1-7.

Swarbrick PJ, Huang K, Liu G, Slate J, Press MC, Scholes JD (2008) Global patterns of gene expression in rice cultivars undergoing a susceptible or resistant interaction with the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica. New Phytologist 179: 515-529.

Scholes JD, Swarbrick PJ, Slate J, Press MC (2007) The molecular genetic basis of host resistance to Striga species; a weay forward. In: Ejeta G, Gressel J, eds. Integrating New Technologies for Striga Control. World Scientific, 173-184.

Gurney AL, Slate J, Press MC, Scholes JD (2006) A novel form of resistance in rice to the angiosperm parasite Striga hermonthica. New Phytologist 169: 199-208.

Swarbrick PJ, Schulze-Lefert P, Scholes JD (2006) The metabolic cost of activating race-specific or broad-spectrum defence pathways in barley leaves challenged with the powdery mildew fungus, Blumeria graminis. Plant Cell & Environment 29: 1061-1076.

Quilliam RS, Swarbrick PJ, Scholes JD, Rolfe SA (2006) Imaging photosynthesis in wounded leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany 57: 55-69.

Perez-De-Luque A, Rubiales D, Cubero JI, Press MC, Scholes J, Yoneyama K, Takeuchi Y, Plakhine D, Joel DM (2005) Interaction between Orobanche crenata and its host legumes: unsuccessful haustorial penetration and necrosis of the developing parasite. Annals of Botany 95: 935-942.

Vasey RA, Scholes JD, Press MC (2005) Wheat is susceptible to the parasitic angiosperm Striga hermonthica, a major cereal pathogen in Africa. Phytopathology 95: 1294-1300.

Wright DP, Scholes JD, Read DJ, Rolfe SA (2005) European and African maize cultivars differ in their physiological and molecular responses to mycorrhizal infection. New Phytologist 167: 881-896.

Leakey ADB, Scholes JD & Press MC (2005) Physiological and ecological significance of sunflecks for dipterocarp seedlings. Journal of Experimental Botany: 56: 469-482.

Brearley FQ, Scholes JD, See LS (2005) Nitrogen nutrition and isotopic discrimination in tropical ectomycorrhizal fungi. Res Microbiol. 156 : 184-190.

Rank C, Rasmussen LS, Jensen SR, Pierce S, Press MC, Scholes JD (2004) Cytotoxic constituents of Alectra and Striga species. Weed Research 44: 265-270.

Gurney AL, Grimanelli D, Kanampiu F, Hoisington D, Scholes JD & Press MC (2003) Novel sources of resistance to Striga hermonthica in Trisacum dactyloides, a wild relative of maize. New Phytologist 160: 557-568.

Pierce S, Mbwaga AM, Press MC & Scholes JD. (2003) Xenognosin production and tolerance to Striga asiatica infection of high-yielding maize cultivars. Weed Research 43, 139-145.

Leakey ADB, Press MC & Scholes JD (2003) Patterns of dynamic irradiance affect the photosynthetic capacity and growth of dipterocarp tree seedlings. Oecologia 135, 184-193.

Leakey ADB, Press MC & Scholes JD (2003) High temperature inhibition of photosynthesis is greater under sunflecks than uniform radiation in a tropical rain forest tree seedling. Plant, Cell and Environment 26: 1681-1690.

Brearley FQ, Press MC, and Scholes JD (2003) Nutrients obtained from leaf litter can improve the growth of dipterocarp seedlings. New Phytologist 160: 101-110.

Gurney AL, Press MC & Scholes JD (2002) Can wild relatives of sorghum provide new sources of resistance or tolerance against Striga species? Weed Research 42: 299-306.

Rolfe SA & Scholes JD (2002) Extended depth-of-focus imaging of chlorophyll fluorescence from intact leaves. Photosynthesis Research 72, 107-115.

Bungard RA, Press MC & Scholes JD (2000) The influence of nitrogen on rain forest dipterocarp seedlings exposed to a large increase in irradiance. Plant Cell and Environment 23: 1183-1194.

Chou, H-M, Bundock, N., Rolfe, S.A., Scholes, JD, (2000) Infection of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves with Albugo candida causes a reprogramming of host metabolism. Molecular Plant Pathology 2, 99-113.

Wright DP, Scholes JD, Read DJ & Rolfe SA (2000) Changes in carbon allocation and expression of carbon transporter genes in Betula pendula Roth. colonised by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus (Batsch) Fr. Plant Cell and Environment 23, 39-49.

Bungard RA, Ruban AV, Hibberd JM, Press MC, Horton P & Scholes JD (1999) Novel carotenoid composition and a new type of xanthophyll cycle in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 96, 1135-1139.

Bungard RA, Wingler A, Morton JD, Andrews M, Press MC & Scholes JD (1999) Ammonium can stimulate nitrate and nitrite reductase in the absence of nitrate in Clematis vitalba. Plant, Cell and Environment 22: 859-866.

Hibberd JM, Press MC, Jeschke JD, Quick WP, & Scholes JD (1999) Solute fluxes from tobacco to the parasitic angiosperm Orobanche cernua and the influence of infection on host carbon and nitrogen relations. Plant Cell and Environment 22, 937-947.

Hibberd JM, Bungard RA, Press MC, Jeschke JD, Scholes JD & Quick WP (1998) Localisation of photosynthetic metabolism in the parasitic angiosperm Cuscuta reflexa. Planta , 205, 506-513.

Hibberd, JM, Quick WP, Press MC & Scholes JD (1998) Can source-sink relations explain responses of tobacco to infection by the root holoparasite Orobanche cernua? Plant Cell and Environment 21, 333-340.


APS 306 Tropical Biology Rain Forest Field Course

Top of page