Gail Preston

Department of Plant Sciences
University of Oxford
South Parks Road

Departmental Lecturer; Life Science Interface DTC Programme Director & Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP Programme Director

Gail’s research focuses on the plant disease-causing bacteria belonging to the genus Pseudomonas.

These bacteria cause diseases of a wide variety of organisms, including economically important food crops such as tomato, wheat, bean and cultivated mushrooms. Her research aims to understand the evolution of pathogenic (disease causing) lifestyles in Pseudomonas and the molecular mechanisms used by pathogenic pseudomonads to colonise plant and fungal tissues.

She is particularly interested in understanding how successful plant pathogens, such as P. syringae, manipulate plant metabolism to create a favourable environment for pathogen growth, and how knowledge of metabolic interactions between plants and pathogens can be used to improve disease resistance. A second research theme in her group is the role of environmental factors, such as nitrogenous fertilisers and zinc, in modifying the virulence and evolution of plant pathogens and plant disease resistance. She is also studying the regulation and role of toxins, biosurfactants and secreted proteins in bacterial diseases of cultivated mushrooms.


Recent Relevant Publications: 

Cusano, A.M, Burlinson, P, Deveau, A, Vion, P, Uroz, S, Preston, G.M, Frey-Klett, P. (2011) Pseudomonas fluorescens BBc6R8 type III secretion mutants no longer promote ectomycorrhizal symbiosis Environmental Microbiology Reports. 3 (2): pp 203-210.

Fones, H, Preston, G.M. (2011) Reactive oxygen and oxidative stress tolerance in plant pathogenic Pseudomonas FEMS Microbiology Letters..

Fones, H, Davis, C.A.R, Rico, A, Fang, F, Smith, J.A.C, Preston, G.M. (2010) Metal hyperaccumulation armors plants against disease PLoS Pathogens. 6 (9): doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001093.

Mithani, A, Hein, J, Preston, G.M. (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.

Rico, A, McCraw, S.L, Preston, G.M. (2011) The metabolic interface between Pseudomonas syringae and plant cells Current Opinion in Microbiology. 14 (1): pp 31-38.