Andy Foster

Research Fellow
Nick Talbot Group

In 1996 I started my PhD in the group of Prof. Talbot working on the role of trehalose metabolism in the pathogenic lifestyle of the rice blast fungus.  I was awarded my PhD in 2000 and following almost two years as a senior postdoctoral fellow at TSL, in 2002 I moved to the Institute for Biotechnology and Drug Research in Kaiserslautern Germany where I led a group of researchers investigating the genetic basis of the pathogenicity of Magnaporthe oryzae and Zymoseptoria tritici. In 2015 I returned to Exeter to take on the role of managing a large research laboratory. In 2016 I took on the position of post-doctoral researcher within the group of Prof. Talbot investigating the role of septins in the M. oryzae infection process. I recently developed a Crispr-based gene editing procedure for M. oryzae.  I am a regular reviewer for several key journals in my field.
+44 (0) 1603 450414


Foster AJ, Talbot NJ (2020)

News & Views: Getting a grip on blast. Nat Microbiol. 2020 Dec;5(12):1457-1458. doi: 10.1038/s41564-020-00821-8.

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Foster AJ, Martin-Urdiroz M, Yan X, Wright HS, Soanes DM, Talbot NJ (2018)

CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein-mediated co-editing and counterselection in the rice blast fungus. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 25;8(1):14355. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32702-w.

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Foster AJ (2018)

Identification of Fungicide Targets in Pathogenic Fungi. In: Anke T., Schüffler A. (eds) Physiology and Genetics. The Mycota (A Comprehensive Treatise on Fungi as Experimental Systems for Basic and Applied Research), vol 15. Springer, Cham

Yemelin A, Brauchler A, Jacob S, Laufer J, Heck L, Foster AJ, Antelo L, Andresen K, Thines E (2017)

Identification of factors involved in dimorphism and pathogenicity of Zymoseptoria tritici. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 22;12(8):e0183065. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183065.

Jacob S, Grötsch T, Foster AJ, Schüffler A, Rieger PH, Sandjo LP, Liermann JC, Opatz T, Thines E (2017)

Unravelling the biosynthesis of pyriculol in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Microbiology. 2017 Apr;163(4):541-553. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000396

Matheis S, Yemelin A, Scheps D, Andresen K, Jacob S, Thines E, Foster AJ (2017)

Functions of the Magnaporthe oryzae Flb3p and Flb4p transcription factors in the regulation of conidiation. Microbiol Res. 2017 Mar;196:106-117. doi: 10.1016/j.micres.2016.12.010.

Foster AJ, Ryder L, Kershaw MJ, Talbot NJ (2017)

The role of glycerol in the pathogenic lifestyle of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Environ Microbiol. 2017 Mar;19(3):1008-1016. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13688.

Jacob S, Foster AJ, Yemelin A, Thines E (2015)

High osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signalling in Magnaporthe oryzae: Identification of MoYPD1 and its role in osmoregulation, fungicide action, and pathogenicity. Fungal Biol. 2015 Jul;119(7):580-94. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2015.03.003.

Jacob S, Foster AJ, Yemelin A, Thines E (2014)

Histidine kinases mediate differentiation, stress response, and pathogenicity in Magnaporthe oryzae. Microbiologyopen. 2014 Oct;3(5):668-87. doi: 10.1002/mbo3.197.

Breth B, Odenbach D, Yemelin A, Schlinck N, Schröder M, Bode M, Antelo L, Andresen K, Thines E, Foster AJ (2013)

The role of the Tra1p transcription factor of Magnaporthe oryzae in spore adhesion and pathogenic development. Fungal Genet Biol. 2013 Aug;57:11-22. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2013.05.008.

Sandjo LP, Foster AJ, Rheinheimer J, Ankeb H, Opatz T, Thines E (2012)

Coumarin derivatives from Pedilanthus tithymaloides as inhibitors of conidial germination in Magnaporthe oryzae. Tetrahedron Letters 53(17):2153–2156.

Goodwin SB, M'barek SB, Dhillon B, Wittenberg AH, Crane CF, Hane JK, Foster AJ, Van der Lee TA, Grimwood J, Aerts A, Antoniw J, Bailey A, Bluhm B, Bowler J, Bristow J, van der Burgt A, Canto-Canché B, Churchill AC, Conde-Ferràez L, Cools HJ, Coutinho PM, Csukai M, Dehal P, De Wit P, Donzelli B, van de Geest HC, van Ham RC, Hammond-Kosack KE, Henrissat B, Kilian A, Kobayashi AK, Koopmann E, Kourmpetis Y, Kuzniar A, Lindquist E, Lombard V, Maliepaard C, Martins N, Mehrabi R, Nap JP, Ponomarenko A, Rudd JJ, Salamov A, Schmutz J, Schouten HJ, Shapiro H, Stergiopoulos I, Torriani SF, Tu H, de Vries RP, Waalwijk C, Ware SB, Wiebenga A, Zwiers LH, Oliver RP, Grigoriev IV, Kema GH (2011)

Finished genome of the fungal wheat pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola reveals dispensome structure, chromosome plasticity, and stealth pathogenesis. PLoS Genet. 2011 Jun;7(6):e1002070. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002070.

Kramer B, Thines E, Foster AJ (2009)

MAP kinase signalling pathway components and targets conserved between the distantly related plant pathogenic fungi Mycosphaerella graminicola and Magnaporthe grisea. Fungal Genet Biol. 2009 Sep;46(9):667-81. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2009.06.001.

Foster AJ, Thines E (2009)

Identification of Fungicide Targets in Pathogenic Fungi. In: The Mycota: Physiology and Genetics XV Selected Basic and Applied Aspects. pp 233-245. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-00286-1_11.

Hof C, Eisfeld K, Antelo L, Foster AJ, Anke H (2009)

Siderophore synthesis in Magnaporthe grisea is essential for vegetative growth, conidiation and resistance to oxidative stress. Fungal Genet Biol. 2009 Apr;46(4):321-32. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2008.12.004.

Odenbach D, Thines E, Anke H, Foster AJ (2009)

The Magnaporthe grisea class VII chitin synthase is required for normal appressorial development and function. Mol Plant Pathol. 2009 Jan;10(1):81-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2008.00515.x.

Odenbach D, Breth B, Thines E, Weber RW, Anke H, Foster AJ (2007)

The transcription factor Con7p is a central regulator of infection-related morphogenesis in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. Mol Microbiol. 2007 Apr;64(2):293-307.

Hof C, Eisfeld K, Welzel K, Antelo L, Foster AJ, Anke H (2007)

Ferricrocin synthesis in Magnaporthe grisea and its role in pathogenicity in rice. Mol Plant Pathol. 2007 Mar;8(2):163-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2007.00380.x

Thines E, Aguirre J, Foster AJ, Deising HB (2006)

Genetics of phytopathology: Secondary metabolites as virulence determinants of fungal plant pathogens. In: Progress in Botany (K Esser, U Lüttge, W Beyschlag, J Murata eds). pp 134-161.

Foster AJ, Jenkinson JM, Talbot NJ (2003)

Trehalose synthesis and metabolism are required at different stages of plant infection by Magnaporthe grisea. EMBO J. 2003 Jan 15;22(2):225-35.

Job History

2018 – present Research Fellow, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK

2016 – 2018 Research Fellow, University of Exeter

2014 – 2016 Lab Manager, University of Exeter, UK

2012 – 2013 Teacher, Bilbao

2002 – 2012 Research Fellow then Group Leader, IBWF, Kaiserslautern

2001 – 2002 Research Fellow, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK

1995 – 2000 PhD student/Postdoc, University of Exeter, UK