Dr Gail Preston MA PhD
Programme Director Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership
Dr GM Preston
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Our research focuses on plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, with a particular emphasis on bacterial diseases of plants and mushrooms. We aim to understand how the microenvironment inside host organisms affects disease development and the evolution of pathogenic microorganisms, and how environmental factors such as soil mineral nutrients and pollutants can tip the balance between disease resistance and susceptibility. We are also studying how the metabolic and regulatory networks and biosynthetic capabilities of plant-associated microorganisms contribute to disease development, and how knowledge of host-microbe interactions can be exploited for biotechnological applications and disease control.
Our interdisciplinary research programme uses a wide variety of techniques ranging from metabolomics, mathematical modelling and molecular genetics to imaging and informatics. We have collaborated with researchers in the departments of Plant Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics and Zoology at Oxford, and with researchers at UWE (Dr. Dawn Arnold), University of Reading (Dr. Robert Jackson), Kingston University (Dr. Ali Ryan and Dr. Edith Sim), Rothamsted Research (Prof. Mike Beale and Dr. Jane Ward), the University of Sheffield (Dr. Wei Huang) and in the USA (Prof. Alan Collmer and Prof. Joyce Loper) to investigate virulence and antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microorganisms; to study disease development and plant health; and to develop novel techniques that can be used to investigate plant-microbe interactions.
Gail Preston studied Natural Sciences at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, followed by a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Cornell University. She was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2001. In 2009 she became a Programme Director at the University of Oxford's Doctoral Training Centre and she is currently the Programme Director of the BBSRC-funded Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership and a fellow of Linacre College.
Preston Group Members
Publications (while at this department)
2014) Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5 causes discoloration and pitting of mushroom caps due to the production of antifungal metabolites Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 27 (7): pp 733-746.
2014) Increased Î²-cyanoalanine nitrilase activity improves cyanide tolerance and assimilation in arabidopsis Molecular Plant. 7 (1): pp 231-243.
2014) Identification of NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase activity in azoreductases from P. aeruginosa: Azoreductases and NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductases belong to the same FMN-dependent superfamily of enzymes PLoS ONE. 9 (6):.
2014) Human oxygen sensing may have origins in prokaryotic elongation factor Tu prolyl-hydroxylation Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111 (37): pp 13331-13336.
2013) Pseudomonas fluorescens NZI7 repels grazing by C. elegans, a natural predator ISME Journal..
2013) Trade-offs between metal hyperaccumulation and induced disease resistance in metal hyperaccumulator plants Plant Pathology. 62: pp 63-71.
2013) Uncoupling of reactive oxygen species accumulation and defence signalling in the metal hyperaccumulator plant Noccaea caerulescens New Phytologist. 199 (4): pp 916-924.
2012) Oxygenase-catalyzed ribosome hydroxylation occurs in prokaryotes and humans Nature Chemical Biology..
2011) Pseudomonas fluorescens BBc6R8 type III secretion mutants no longer promote ectomycorrhizal symbiosis Environmental Microbiology Reports. 3 (2): pp 203-210.
2011) Local biotic environment shapes the spatial scale of bacteriophage adaptation to bacteria American Naturalist. 177 (4): pp 440-451.
2011) Comparative analysis of metabolic networks provides insight into the evolution of plant pathogenic and nonpathogenic lifestyles in Pseudomonas Molecular Biology and Evolution. 28 (1): pp 483-499.
2011) The metabolic interface between Pseudomonas syringae and plant cells Current Opinion in Microbiology. 14 (1): pp 31-38.
2010) A Bayesian approach to the evolution of metabolic networks on a phylogeny PLoS Computational Biology 6(8): e1000868..
2010) Mutations in Î³-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transaminase genes in plants or Pseudomonas syringae reduce bacterial virulence Plant Journal. 64 (2): pp 318-330.
2010) How bacterial plant pathogens escape their fate in disease-resistant plants Microbiology Today. 37 (3): pp 164-169
2010) Karma chameleons: How bacterial plant pathogens escape their fate in disease resistant plants Microbiology Today (www.sgm.ac.uk/pubs/micro_today : Aug2010). pp 164-169
2010) Agroinfiltration reduces ABA levels and suppresses Pseudomonas syringae-elicited salicylic acid production in Nicotiana tabacum. PloS one. 5 (1):.
2010) Agroinfiltration reduces ABA Levels and suppresses Pseudomonas syringae-elicited salicylic acid production in Nicotiana tabacum PLoS ONE. 5 (1): pp 1-12.
2009) Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae B728a hydrolyses indole-3-acetonitrile to the plant hormone indole-3-acetic acid Molecular Plant Pathology. 10 (6): pp 857-865.
2009) Rahnuma: Hypergraph-based tool for metabolic pathway prediction and network comparison Bioinformatics. 25 (14): pp 1831-1832.
2009) A stochastic model for the evolution of metabolic networks with neighbor dependence Bioinformatics. 25 (12): pp 1528-1535.
2009) Genomic and genetic analyses of diversity and plant interactions of Pseudomonas fluorescens Genome Biology. 10 (5):.
2008) Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 uses constitutive and apoplast-induced nutrient assimilation pathways to catabolize nutrients that are abundant in the tomato apoplast Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 21 (2): pp 269-282.
2008) Adaptation to the plant apoplast by plant pathogenic bacteria Plant Pathogenic Bacteria: Genomics and Molecular Biology. Eds. R. W. Jackson. Horizon Scientific Press, Norwich, UK. ISBN: 9781904455370.
2007) Integrated bioinformatic and phenotypic analysis of RpoN-dependent traits in the plant growth-promoting bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 Environmental Microbiology. 9 (12): pp 3046-3046.
2007) Bacterial Pathogenomics . ASM Press. ISBN: 1555814514.
2007) Post-genomic analysis of plant pathogenic bacteria Bacterial Pathogenomics. Eds. M. J. Pallen, K. Nelson, and G. M. Preston. ASM Press. ISBN: 1555814514. pp 392-418
2007) Ultrasound-mediated DNA transfer for bacteria Nucleic Acids Research. 35 (19):.
2006) Quantitative in situ assay of salicylic acid in tobacco leaves using a genetically modified biosensor strain of Acinetobacter sp. ADP1 Plant Journal. 46 (6): pp 1073-1083.
2005) Genetic characterization of Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 rsp gene expression in the phytosphere and in vitro Journal of Bacteriology. 187 (24): pp 8477-8488.
2005) Protein domains and architectural innovation in plant-associated proteobacteria BMC Genomics. 6:.
2004) Eukaryotic and prokaryotic stomatins: The proteolytic link Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases. 32 (3): pp 411-422.
2004) The type III secretion systems of plant-associated pseudomonads: Genes and proteins on the move Pseudomonas. Eds. J. L. Ramos. Plenum Press. ISBN: 0306483769. pp 181-219
2004) Plant perceptions of plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences. 359 (1446): pp 907-918
2003) Genes encoding a cellulosic polymer contribute toward the ecological success of Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 on plant surfaces Molecular Ecology. 12 (11): pp 3109-3121
2000) Regulatory interactions between the Hrp type III protein secretion system and coronatine biosynthesis in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 Microbiology. 146 (10): pp 2447-2456
2000) Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato: the right pathogen, of the right plant, at the right time Molecular Plant Pathology. 1 (5): pp 263-275.
2000) In vivo expression technology strategies: Valuable tools for biotechnology Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 11 (5): pp 440-444.
1998) The Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato HrpW protein has domains similar to harpins and pectate lyases and can elicit the plant hypersensitive response and bind to pectate Journal of Bacteriology. 180 (19): pp 5211-5217
1998) Characterization of the hrpC and hrpRS operons of Pseudomonas syringae pathovars syringae, tomato, and glycinea and analysis of the ability of hrpF, hrpG, hrcC, hrpT, and hrpV mutants to elicit the hypersensitive response and disease in plants Journal of Bacteriology. 180 (17): pp 4523-4531
1998) Bacterial genomics and adaptation to life on plants: Implications for the evolution of pathogenicity and symbiosis Current Opinion in Microbiology. 1 (5): pp 589-597
1998) Negative regulation of hrp genes in Pseudomonas syringae by hrpV Journal of Bacteriology. 180 (17): pp 4532-4537
Our research is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the European Commission, the Leverhulme Trust and the John Fell Fund.
Current job opportunities
Applications will soon be accepted for graduate study within the Department of Plant Sciences and the Doctoral Training Centre commencing in 2015. To find out more information about the programmes held at the Doctoral Training Centre please visit: http://www.dtc.ox.ac.uk/
David Studholme, University of Exeter, UK
Dawn Arnold, University of the West of England, UK
Jane Ward and Mike Beale, Rothamsted Research, UK
Robert Jackson, University of Reading, UK
Sarah Gurr, University of Exeter, UK
Wei Huang, University of Sheffield, UK
Steve Woodward, University of Aberdeen, UK
Ali Ryan and Edith Sim, Kingston University, UK
Alan Collmer, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Carol Bender, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
Johan Leveau, UC-Davis, Davis, CA, USA
Pascale Frey-Klett, INRA-Nancy, France
David Guttman, University of Toronto, Canada
Joyce Loper, USDA, Oregon State University, USA
Michael Spiteller, TU Dortmund, Germany