Professor Julie Scholes
School of Biosciences
Emeritus Professor of Plant and Microbial Sciences
+44 114 222 4780
Full contact details
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
- Emeritus Professor of Plant and Microbial Sciences, University of Sheffield (2020 – present).
- Professor of Plant and Microbial Sciences, University of Sheffield (2003 –
- Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (1995 – 2003).
- Royal Society University Research Fellow, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (1987 – 1995).
- Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow, Department of Botany, University of Sheffield (1986 – 1987).
BSc (1982) PhD (1986) University of Wales.
- Research interests
My research group focuses on understanding the physiological and molecular interactions between plants and their symbionts, including fungal pathogens, mycorrhizal fungi and root parasitic weeds of the Orobanchaceae family. A specific focus of my research is the parasitic witchweed Striga. Striga hermonthica and S.asiatica infect the staple cereal crops of sub-Saharan Africa including maize, sorghum, millet and upland rice, causing devastating losses in yield.
Our work spans from the molecular to the applied and encompasses laboratory studies and field trials, the latter in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We exploit physiological, genomic, comparative genomic, quantitative genetic and molecular approaches to identify genes underlying resistance in cereals to different genetic ecotypes of Striga species and to identify virulence/effector genes in the parasite. We have recently published the first the S. hermonthica genome (Qiu et al., 2022). The ultimate aim of this work is to understand the molecular basis of host-parasite specificity, which is essential for delaying the evolution of virulence in the parasite and to enable predictive breeding of durable defence.
- Genome-enabled discovery of candidate virulence loci in Striga hermonthica, a devastating parasite of African cereal crops. New Phytologist. View this article in WRRO
- Identifying existing management practices in the control of Striga asiatica within rice–maize systems in mid‐west Madagascar. Ecology and Evolution, 11(19), 13579-13592.
- Parasitic plants: physiology, development, signaling, and ecosystem interactions. Plant Physiology, 185(4), 1267-1269.
- Mapping the drivers of parasitic weed abundance at a national scale : a new approach applied to Striga asiatica in the mid‐west of Madagascar. Weed Research. View this article in WRRO
- SMAX1-dependent seed germination bypasses GA signalling in Arabidopsis and Striga. Nature Plants. View this article in WRRO
- Tissue culture protocols for the obligate parasitic plant Striga hermonthica and implications for host-parasite co-cultivation. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC), 138(2), 247-256. View this article in WRRO
- Publisher Correction: Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security. Nature Plants, 4(6), 392-392.
- Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security. Nature Plants, 4, 138-147. View this article in WRRO
- Genetic variation and host–parasite specificity of Striga resistance and tolerance in rice: the need for predictive breeding. New Phytologist, 214(3), 1267-1280. View this article in WRRO
- Climate change mitigation : potential benefits and pitfalls of enhanced rock weathering in tropical agriculture.. Biology Letters, 13(4). View this article in WRRO
- Testing the importance of a common ectomycorrhizal network for dipterocarp seedling growth and survival in tropical forests of Borneo. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 9(5-6), 563-576. View this article in WRRO
- Optimizing Chemically Induced Resistance in Tomato Against Botrytis cinerea. PLANT DISEASE, 100(4), 704-710.
- Do NERICA rice cultivars express resistance to Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. and Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze under field conditions?. Field Crops Res, 170, 83-94. View this article in WRRO
- Diversity of Planktonic and Attached Bacterial Communities in a Phenol-Contaminated Sandstone Aquifer. Microbial Ecology, 66(1), 84-95.
- Striga parasitizes transgenic hairy roots of Zea mays and provides a tool for studying plant-plant interactions.. Plant Methods, 8(1), 20. View this article in WRRO
- Gall formation in clubroot-infected Arabidopsis results from an increase in existing meristematic activities of the host but is not essential for the completion of the pathogen life cycle. Plant Journal, 71(2), 226-238.
- Variation for host range within and among populations of the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica.. Heredity (Edinb), 108(2), 96-104.
- Impacts of logging on density-dependent predation of dipterocarp seeds in a South East Asian rainforest.. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 366(1582), 3246-3255.
- New Rice for Africa (NERICA) cultivars exhibit different levels of post-attachment resistance against the parasitic weeds Striga hermonthica and Striga asiatica.. New Phytol, 192(4), 952-963.
- Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging of plant-pathogen interactions.. Protoplasma, 247(3-4), 163-175.
- Biofilm formation in environmental bacteria is influenced by different macromolecules depending on genus and species.. Environ Microbiol, 12(9), 2496-2507.
- Host plant resistance to parasitic weeds; recent progress and bottlenecks.. Curr Opin Plant Biol, 13(4), 478-484.
- Isoschaftoside, a C-glycosylflavonoid from Desmodium uncinatum root exudate, is an allelochemical against the development of Striga.. Phytochemistry, 71(8-9), 904-908.
- Evolutionary history and distance dependence control survival of dipterocarp seedlings.. Ecol Lett, 13(1), 51-59.
- Dynamic changes in microbial community structure and function in phenol-degrading microcosms inoculated with cells from a contaminated aquifer.. FEMS Microbiol Ecol, 71(2), 247-259.
- Metabolism and Plant Hormone Action During Clubroot Disease. J PLANT GROWTH REGUL, 28(3), 229-244.
- A major QTL for resistance of rice to the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica is not dependent on genetic background.. Pest Manag Sci, 65(5), 528-532.
- Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging as tool for understanding the impact of fungal diseases on plant performance: a phenomics perspective. FUNCT PLANT BIOL, 36(10-11), 880-892.
- Global patterns of gene expression in rice cultivars undergoing a susceptible or resistant interaction with the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica.. New Phytol, 179(2), 515-529.
- Striga infestation of cereal crops - an unsolved problem in resource limited agriculture.. Curr Opin Plant Biol, 11(2), 180-186.
- The polymer physics and chemistry of microbial cell attachment and adhesion. Faraday Discussions, 139, 85-103.
- How does light and phosphorus fertilisation affect the growth and ectomycorrhizal community of two contrasting dipterocarp species?. PLANT ECOL, 192(2), 237-249.
- Metabolic consequences of susceptibility and resistance (race-specific and broad-spectrum) in barley leaves challenged with powdery mildew.. Plant Cell Environ, 29(6), 1061-1076.
- Imaging photosynthesis in wounded leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana.. J Exp Bot, 57(1), 55-69.
- A novel form of resistance in rice to the angiosperm parasite Striga hermonthica.. New Phytol, 169(1), 199-208.
- Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Is Susceptible to the Parasitic Angiosperm Striga hermonthica, a Major Cereal Pathogen in Africa.. Phytopathology, 95(11), 1294-1300.
- European and African maize cultivars differ in their physiological and molecular responses to mycorrhizal infection.. New Phytol, 167(3), 881-896.
- Interaction between Orobanche crenata and its Host Legumes: Unsuccessful Haustorial Penetration and Necrosis of the Developing Parasite. Annals of Botany, 95(6), 935-942.
- Nitrogen nutrition and isotopic discrimination in tropical ectomycorrhizal fungi.. Res Microbiol, 156(2), 184-190.
- Physiological and ecological significance of sunflecks for dipterocarp seedlings.. J Exp Bot, 56(411), 469-482.
- Cytotoxic constituents of Alectra and Striga species. WEED RES, 44(4), 265-270.
- Novel sources of resistance to Striga hermonthica in Tripsacum dactyloides, a wild relative of maize. NEW PHYTOL, 160(3), 557-568.
- High-temperature inhibition of photosynthesis is greater under sunflecks than uniform irradiance in a tropical rain forest tree seedling. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 26(10), 1681-1690.
- Nutrients obtained from leaf litter can improve the growth of dipterocarp seedlings. NEW PHYTOL, 160(1), 101-110.
- Xenognosin production and tolerance to Striga asiatica infection of high-yielding maize cultivars. WEED RES, 43(2), 139-145.
- Patterns of dynamic irradiance affect the photosynthetic capacity and growth of dipterocarp tree seedlings.. Oecologia, 135(2), 184-193.
- Relative enhancement of photosynthesis and growth at elevated CO2 is greater under sunflecks than uniform irradiance in a tropical rain forest tree seedling. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 25(12), 1701-1714.
- Can wild relatives of sorghum provide new sources of resistance or tolerance against Striga species?. WEED RES, 42(4), 317-324.
- Do maize cultivars demonstrate tolerance to the parasitic weed Striga asiatica ?. WEED RES, 42(4), 299-306.
- The influence of nutrients on growth and photosynthesis of seedlings of two rainforest dipterocarp species. FUNCT PLANT BIOL, 29(4), 505-515.
- Extended depth-of-focus imaging of chlorophyll fluorescence from intact leaves.. Photosynth Res, 72(1), 107-115.
- The influence of nitrogen on rain forest dipterocarp seedlings exposed to a large increase in irradiance. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 23(11), 1183-1194.
- Infection of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves with Albugo candida (white blister rust) causes a reprogramming of host metabolism.. Mol Plant Pathol, 1(2), 99-113.
- Changes in carbon allocation and expression of carbon transporter genes in Betula pendula Roth. colonized by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus (Batsch) Fr.. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 23(1), 39-49.
- Infection time and density influence the response of sorghum to the parasitic angiosperm Striga hermonthica. NEW PHYTOL, 143(3), 573-580.
- Solute fluxes from tobacco to the parasitic angiosperm Orobanche cernua and the influence of infection on host carbon and nitrogen relations. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 22(8), 937-947.
- Ammonium can stimulate nitrate and nitrite reductase in the absence of nitrate in Clematis vitalba. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 22(7), 859-866.
- Unusual carotenoid composition and a new type of xanthophyll cycle in plants.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 96(3), 1135-1139.
- Mycorrhizal sink strength influences whole plant carbon balance of Trifolium repens L. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 21(9), 881-891.
- Localization of photosynthetic metabolism in the parasitic angiosperm Cuscuta reflexa. PLANTA, 205(4), 506-513.
- Can source-sink relations explain responses of tobacco to infection by the root holoparasitic angiosperm Orobanche cernua?. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 21(3), 333-340.
- Effects of VA mycorrhizal colonization on photosynthesis and biomass production of Trifolium repens L.. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 21(2), 209-216.
- Striga hermonthica reduces photosynthesis in sorghum: The importance of stomatal limitations and a potential role for ABA?. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 20(4), 483-492.
- Differences in light energy utilisation and dissipation between dipterocarp rain forest tree seedlings. OECOLOGIA, 109(1), 41-48.
- The impact of reduced vacuolar invertase activity on the photosynthetic and carbohydrate metabolism of tomato. Planta, 200(2).
- The effect of Albugo candida (white blister rust) on the photosynthetic and carbohydrate metabolism of leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 19(8), 967-975.
- Interactions between the parasitic angiosperm Orobanche aegyptiaca and its tomato host: Growth and biomass allocation. NEW PHYTOL, 133(4), 637-642.
- Photosynthesis in localised regions of oat leaves infected with crown rust (Puccinia coronata): Quantitative imaging of chlorophyll fluorescence. PLANTA, 199(4), 573-582.
- The influence of the parasitic angiosperm Striga gesnerioides on the growth and photosynthesis of its host, Vigna unguiculata. J EXP BOT, 47(297), 507-512.
- Purification and characterisation of soluble invertases from leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana.. Planta, 198(1), 17-23.
- SOURCE-SINK RELATIONSHIPS IN WHEAT LEAVES INFECTED WITH POWDERY MILDEW .1. ALTERATIONS IN CARBOHYDRATE-METABOLISM. PHYSIOL MOL PLANT P, 47(4), 237-253.
- SOURCE-SINK RELATIONSHIPS IN WHEAT LEAVES INFECTED WITH POWDERY MILDEW .2. CHANGES IN THE REGULATION OF THE CALVIN CYCLE. PHYSIOL MOL PLANT P, 47(4), 255-267.
- QUANTITATIVE IMAGING OF CHLOROPHYLL FLUORESCENCE. NEW PHYTOL, 131(1), 69-79.
- INVERTASE - UNDERSTANDING CHANGES IN THE PHOTOSYNTHETIC AND CARBOHYDRATE-METABOLISM OF BARLEY LEAVES INFECTED WITH POWDERY MILDEW. NEW PHYTOL, 126(2), 213-222.
- Effect of a methoxyacrylate inhibitor on photosynthesis.. Biochem Soc Trans, 22(1), 69S.
- RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CAROTENOID COMPOSITION AND GROWTH HABIT IN BRITISH PLANT-SPECIES. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 16(6), 681-686.
- THE DISSIPATION OF EXCESS EXCITATION-ENERGY IN BRITISH PLANT-SPECIES. PLANT CELL ENVIRON, 16(6), 673-679.
- Brian Blundell Boycott. Visual Neuroscience, 7(1-2), v-vi.
- Renal failure in patients with aids-related complex. Urology, 37(6), 523-527.
- Eosinophil-induced chronic active hepatitis in the idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome. Hepatology, 13(6), 1090-1094.
- REGULATION OF PHOTOSYSTEM-II BY METABOLIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL-FACTORS. PHILOS T ROY SOC B, 323(1216), 269-279.
- REGULATION OF THE PHOTOCHEMICAL EFFICIENCY OF PHOTOSYSTEM-II - CONSEQUENCES FOR THE LIGHT RESPONSE OF FIELD PHOTOSYNTHESIS. PLANT PHYSIOL BIOCH, 26(4), 453-460.
- DEVELOPMENT OF SYMPTOMS OF BROWN RUST OF BARLEY IN RELATION TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF FUNGAL MYCELIUM, STARCH ACCUMULATION AND LOCALIZED CHANGES IN THE CONCENTRATION OF CHLOROPHYLL. NEW PHYTOL, 107(1), 103-117.
- INCREASED RATES OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN LOCALIZED REGIONS OF A BARLEY LEAF INFECTED WITH BROWN RUST. NEW PHYTOL, 104(4), 601-612.
- PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND CHLOROPLAST FUNCTIONING WITHIN INDIVIDUAL PUSTULES OF UROMYCES-MUSCARI ON BLUEBELL LEAVES. PHYSIOL PLANT PATHOL, 27(3), 387-400.
- OBSERVATIONS ON DRECHSLERA LEAF-SPOT ON LOLIUM-PERENNE AFFECTED BY CADMIUM. NEW PHYTOL, 98(2), 377-386.
- Host Reaction to Attack by Root Parasitic Plants, Parasitic Orobanchaceae (pp. 115-141). Springer Berlin Heidelberg
- THE MOLECULAR GENETIC BASIS OF HOST RESISTANCE TO STRIGA SPECIES: A WAY FORWARD, Integrating New Technologies for Striga Control (pp. 173-184). WORLD SCIENTIFIC
- Methods of Comparative Study, Methods in Comparative Plant Ecology (pp. 29-222). Springer Netherlands
- Fluorescence Responses on Step Changes in Irradiance by Plants from Different Light Habitats, Current Research in Photosynthesis (pp. 3155-3158). Springer Netherlands
- The Relationship between the Development of Haustoria of Erysiphe graminis and the Energy Status of Leaves, Current Research in Photosynthesis (pp. 3017-3020). Springer Netherlands
- Photosynthetic Metabolism in Barley Leaves Infected with Powdery Mildew, Current Research in Photosynthesis (pp. 3013-3016). Springer Netherlands
- How do Beneficial Microbes Induce Systemic Resistance?, Induced Resistance for Plant Defense (pp. 232-248). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Conference proceedings papers
- Farmers, farms and physiology: an integrated approach to Striga research. BCPC INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS CROP SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 2003, VOL 1 AND 2, CONGRESS PROCEEDINGS (pp 1017-1022)
- Current status and future prospects for management of parasitic weeds (Striga and Orobanche). WORLD'S WORST WEEDS, PROCEEDINGS(77) (pp 71-88)
- Parasitic plants: physiological and ecological interactions with their hosts. PHYSIOLOGICAL PLANT ECOLOGY (pp 175-197)
- PHOTOSYNTHESIS - CELLULAR AND TISSUE ASPECTS IN DISEASED LEAVES. PESTS AND PATHOGENS (pp 85-106)
- THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DEVELOPMENT OF HAUSTORIA OF ERYSIPHE-GRAMINIS AND THE ENERGY STATUS OF LEAVES. CURRENT RESEARCH IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS, VOLS 1-4 (pp D223-D226)
- HTL/KAI2 signalling substitutes for light to control plant germination, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
- Identifying cultural, climatic and temporal factors influencing Striga asiatica abundance within rice--maize systems in mid-west Madagascar, Authorea, Inc..
- HTL/KAI2 Signalling Substitutes for Light to Control Plant Germination.
- Research group
- David Rapley - Understanding resistance in rice to the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica in sub-Saharan Africa. Grantham PhD Scholarship (2017 –2022).
- Rachel Greenhill – Population genomics and virulence of Striga asiatica in Madagascar. BBSRC-DTP PhD (2018 – 2023). (With Prof Roger Butlin; Dr Roy Chaudhuri).
GCRF-BBSRC Foundation Award (2017 – 2019) Facilitating smart crop breeding through understanding the genetics of resistance and virulence in the Striga-rice interaction. Lead PI: Julie Scholes; Co-PIs: Mathias Lorieux (IRD Montpellier/CIAT Colombia); Roger Butlin.
CIMMYT maize CRP programme (2017 – 2019) Characterising resistance mechanisms in maize for targeted breeding of durable defence against Striga hermonthica ($300k). Lead PI: Julie Scholes; Co-PI Abebe Menkir (IITA, Nigeria).
HEFCE-ODA Quality Research allocation (2017-18) Understanding the genetics of resistance in maize for breeding durable defence to both to the insect pest Fall Armyworm and the parasitic witchweed S. hermonthica. Lead PI: Julie Scholes; Co-PIs: Jurriaan Ton, Abebe Menkir (IITA, Nigeria); Georg Goergen (IITA, Benin).
BBSRC SCPRID initiative (2013-2017) Genomic approaches to understanding resistance and virulence in the cereal Striga interaction for targeted breeding of durable defence (£1.3M). Lead PI: Julie Scholes; Co-PIs: Roger Butlin (Sheffield); Jonne Rodenburg (Africa Rice Centre); Steven Runo (Kenyatta University, Kenya); Mathias Lorieux (CIAT, Columbia/ IRD France); Jenipher Bisikwa (Makerere University, Uganda).
Leverhulme Trust (2014-2017) Exploiting Next Generation Sequencing to find virulence genes in Striga, a major parasite of African crops (£249k). Lead PI: Julie Scholes; Co-PIs: Roger Butlin (Sheffield).
- Professional activities and memberships
- Special Editor for Plant Physiology (2019 - present)
- Member of the Scientific Advisory panel for the PROMISE project (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) (2016 – present)
- Member of the Executive Committee of the International Parasitic Plant Society (2020– present).
- President of the International Parasitic Plant Society (2016 – 2020).
- Vice President of the International Parasitic Plant Society (2012 – 2016).
- Panel member, UKRI GCRF Grant Assessment Panel (2016 - 2020).
- Panel member, Royal Society International Capacity Building Advisory Network (2012 – present).
- Panel member, Royal Society Environmental Advisory Network (EAN) (2000 –present).
- Panel member, Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Award Grant Panel (2009- 2018).
- Panel member, DfID-Royal Society Pan Africa Capacity Building Initiative Panel (2012-2016).
- Panel member, BBSRC pool of grant panel members (Committee B) (2012-2016).
- Panel member, the BBSRC-DfID-GATES Grant panel for Sustainable Crop Production Research for
- International Development (SCPRID) (2011-2012).
- Panel member, BBSRC-DfID Grant Panel for the Sustainable Agriculture Research for International Development (SARID) initiative (2006 -2007).
- External examiner at the University of Exeter (2010 -2014) and University of Leeds (2002 – 2006).