Prof Lesley Torrance:

Prof Lesley Torrance

Prof Lesley Torrance
Biomolecular Sciences Building
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

tel: 01334 463415
fax: 01334 462595
room: 2.18

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School of Biology
Biomedical Sciences Research Complex

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Plant viruses cause major disease epidemics in important food crops and are a major threat to food security in many countries particularly in the developing world.  The predicted warming of the climate caused by environmental change is expected to increase the abundance and geographic range of many insects that spread viruses which in turn may increase the occurrence of virus diseases. Potato is the third largest food crop in the world.  In Scotland, last year, around about 1.3 million tonnes were produced with 76,000 tonnes of seed potatoes exported to over 30 countries (not including to EU countries).  Pests and diseases cause major economic losses by decreased tuber yield and quality, and rejection of exports. 

Viruses are parasites that must take over the host cell’s functions to replicate and produce more virus particles.  My research focuses on potato viruses and the role and function of virus coded proteins in disease processes, investigating mechanisms of host susceptibility and resistance. A particular focus is the durability of host resistance under abiotic stresses and developmental stage.  This work will identify essential host molecules needed for replication and spread and a better understanding of defence processes. The practical outputs of this work will be to inform more effective methods of disease control.   Other research in the lab concerns working with collaborators in Kenya and Malawi to improve seed potato production systems and on virus-host interactions with Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hanghzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China.


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source: symbiosis

Recent Publications:

Recent publications

5  (of 94 published available) for lt27. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details.

2018 (1)
Plant Biotechnology Journal
vol.16 pp.197-207
Engineering heat tolerance in potato by temperature-dependent expression of a specific allele of HEAT SHOCK COGNATE 70
Almudena Trapero Mozos, Wayne L. Morris, Laurence J. M. Ducreux, Karen McLean, Jennifer Stephens, Lesley Torrance, Glenn J. Bryan, Robert D. Hancock, Mark Taylor 
Keywords: HEAT SHOCK COGNATE 70, Heat tolerance, Potato, Promoter, Quantitative trait locus, YieldQH301 BiologyNDAS
2018 (2/8)

Potato mop-top virus TGB1 co-opts HIPP26 to activate abiotic stress signalling for long distance movement
Lesley Torrance, Graham Cowan, Alison Gwen Roberts, Susan Jones, Pankaj Kumar, Piers Hemsley, Eugene Savenkov 
2018 (3)
Plant Physiology
vol.176 pp.2052-2070
Potato mop-top virus co-opts the stress sensor HIPP26 for long-distance movement
Graham H. Cowan, Alison Gwen Roberts, Susan Jones, Pankaj Kumar, Pruthvi B. Kalyandurg, Jose F. Gil, Eugene I. Savenkov, Piers A. Hemsley, Lesley Torrance 
Keywords: NAC transcription factors, Nicotiana-benthamiana, Nucleolar localization, Plant transformation, Functional-analysis, Brassica-napus, Small RNAs, Protein, Phloem, ArabidopsisQH301 Biology, QR355 VirologyNDAS
2017 (7)
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
vol.30 pp.515-516
Foundational and translational research opportunities to improve plant health
Richard Michelmore, Gitta Coaker, Rebecca Bart, Gwyn Beattie, Andrew Bent, Toby Bruce, Duncan Cameron, Jeff Dangi, Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar, Rob Edwards, Sebastian Eves-van den Akker, Walter Gassmann, Jean Greenberg, Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, Richard Harrison, Ping He, Jagger Harvey, Alisa Huffaker, Scot Hulbert, Roger Innes, Jonathan Jones, Isghouhi Kaloshian, Sophien Kamoun, Fumiaki Katagiri, Jan Leach, Wenbo Ma, John McDowell, June Medford, Blake Meyers, Rebecca Nelson, Richard Oliver, Yiping Qi, Diane Saunders, Michael Shaw, Christine Smart, Prasanta Subudhi, Lesley Torrance, Brett Tyler, Barbara Valent, John Walsh 
Keywords: QH301 Biology, SB Plant cultureT-NDAS