Staff Profile


Dr Alec Forsyth

Section Director - Natural and Applied Sciences

School: School of Psychology and Life Sciences

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922239

Profile summary

I am a Plant Scientist with broad interests and experience within the field of plant biology.  I am Programme Director for the science programmes and teach on specialist modules covering Plant Microbial Interactions (level 6), Plant Physiology (level 5), and Microbiology (level 4).


My main interest is in understanding the relationship of plants with pathogens, and how basic knowledge of these interactions can be used to improve crop performance and deliver effective control of disease. My current research can be broadly divided into three areas:


1) Genetics underpinning plant pathogen interactions of viral, bacterial and fungal diseases.

2) Plant secondary metabolites and the genetic, biochemical and physical responses of plants to attack by pathogens.

3) Plant tissue culture: the use of this technique for overexpression of compounds and regeneration of disease free material.


Current research projects in the lab include:

Viral diseases of perennial plants:  we are using molecular techniques to identify and investigate viral infections of commercial bulb populations and plant tissue culture to regenerate virus free plants of commercial importance.

Copper tolerance in plants: we are using RILs and NILs of Arabidopsis to map determinants of copper tolerance.

Non-host resistance: we are using an onion based bioassay to investigate triggers of metabolic pathway alterations during non-host responses.

Effector proteins in bacterial pathogenesis: we are using mutant analysis to determine the roles that identified candidate genes play in specific effector mediated infections.

If you are interested in undertaking research in any of these or related areas, please contact me. We have opportunities for undergraduate interns, MRes and PhD projects.


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00