Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Our research focuses on plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, with a particular emphasis on bacterial diseases of plants and the mushroom microbiome. We aim to understand how the microenvironment inside host organisms affects disease development, and how environmental factors can alter the balance between disease resistance and susceptibility. We study 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. In recent work we have developed cutting edge techniques to study the role of RNA binding proteins in plant-microbe interactions and to image plant-pathogen 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 Director of the UKRI-BBSRC-funded Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership, the Deputy Director of the MPLS Doctoral Training Centre and a fellow of Linacre College. She is the Vice-President of the British Society for Plant Pathology and a senior editor for Microbiology.