Functional Genomics Scientist

Protecting Crops and the Environment


Kostya is a functional genomics scientist with a keen interest in plant-microbe Interactions. His group employs and develops state-of-the-art functional genomics approaches, such as virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), virus-mediated heterologous protein overexpression (VOX) and host-induced gene silencing (HIGS), as well as classical genetic approaches to identify genes underlying compatible and incompatible interactions between cereal crops and phytopathogenic fungi. The group is also interested in understanding the role of small non-coding RNAs in plant-pathogen interactions, and in developing novel RNA interference-based approaches for improved resistance to fungal pathogens. Recent key scientific achievements include the identification of two wheat immune receptors activating defence in response to fungal cell-wall derived chitin, isolation of the first wheat gene (Stb6) that controls resistance to the fungus Zymoseptoria tritici, and identification of apoplastic fungal effector proteins that are recognised by the cell surface immune receptors and induce cell death in non-host plants.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 232


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ



        Strategic programme

        • Designing Future Wheat (DFW)

        Science projectS

        • Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN)
        • An integrated genomics/genetics approach for development of mungbean varieties with improved disease resistance (BBSRC)

        PhD PROJECTS

        • Understanding the molecular basis of disease resistance against Septoria tritici blotch in wheat (Chis Stephens)
        • Characterisation of major genes (Stb)-mediated resistance to Septoria tritici blotch disease in wheat (Henry Tidd)
        • Understanding the role of photoprotection in disease resistance to Septoria tritici blotch in wheat (Dimitra Angelopoulou, based at the University of Nottingham)
        • Plant-based vaccines for prevention of poultry viral diseases: Newcastle Disease (Ika Nurzijah)
        • Deciphering mechanisms of nonhost resistance in model plant species to an important fungal pathogen of wheat (Alina Igna)


        • 1991 - PhD in Molecular Biology, Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Moscow, Russia
        • 1987 - MSc in Biochemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
        • 1986 - BSc in Biochemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia


        • Present - Member, BBSRC's Pool of Experts, Associate Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science, Board of International Advisors, New Phytologist, Member, IWGSC Coordinating Committee & Lead WAK gene family annotation, Member, EWG on Control of wheat diseases and pests of the Wheat Initiative
        • 2008 -2015 - Editorial Board, Molecular Plant Pathology
        • 2012-2017 - Institute Biological Safety Officer