Javier Palma-Guerrero



Molecular Plant Pathologist

Protecting Crops and the Environment


Javier is a molecular plant pathologist with expertise in fungal molecular biology, fungal cell biology, and the molecular interactions between fungi and plants. He is currently the leader of the take-all group at Rothamsted Research. Take-all disease, caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces tritici, is the most important disease of wheat roots, and it also affects other cereals and bentgrass. Control methods are currently limited, and the disease produces significant yield loses worldwide. Javier’s research aims to find sustainable ways to control the disease.

During his PhD work he studied the mode of action of natural antifungal compounds (University of Alicante), and he also contributed to the development of fungal biological control products. During his postdoctoral work on the model fungus Neurospora crassa, he studied the molecular mechanisms involved on fungal cell-to-cell communication, plasma membrane fusion and plasma membrane damage repair (University of California Berkeley).

Before coming to Rothamsted he was a junior group leader at the ETH of Zurich studying the molecular interactions between the fungal foliar pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici and wheat. Javier’s current research focus on the identification of genes involved in pathogen virulence and plant resistance, as well as on the development of natural antifungal products. 


+44(0) 1582 938591


    Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


      Co-founder of the company Glen Biotech S.L., spin-off of the University of Alicante

      Supervised multiple PhD and Master students