Jiorgos Kourelis

Postdoctoral Scientist
Sophien Kamoun Group

I am interested in the molecular mechanism underlying pathogen recognition by plants, and how these components have co-evolved.

In my current project I focus on how NLR receptors mediate recognition of pathogen effectors. Ultimately, we want to use this information to generate novel disease resistance specificities.


Adachi H, Sakai T, Kourelis J, Maqbool A, Kamoun S (2020)

Jurassic NLR: conserved and dynamic evolutionary features of the atypically ancient immune receptor ZAR1. bioRxiv preprint Oct 12, 2020 doi:

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Kourelis J, Sophien Kamoun S (2020)

RefPlantNLR: a comprehensive collection of experimentally validated plant NLRs. bioRxiv preprint July 09, 2020 doi:

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Paulus JK, Kourelis J, Ramasubramanian S, Homma F, Godson A, Hörger AC, Hong TN, Krahn D, Carballo LO, Wang S, Win J, Smoker M, Kamoun S, Dong S, van der Hoorn RAL (2020)

Extracellular proteolytic cascade in tomato activates immune protease Rcr3. PNAS first published July 2, 2020

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Sterlin Y, Pri-Tal O, Zimran G, Park SY, Ben-Ari J, Kourelis J, Verstraeten I, Gal M, Cutler SR, Mosquna A (2019)

Optimized small molecule pull-downs define MLBP1 as an acyl-lipid binding protein. Plant J. 2019 Feb 8. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14272.

Kourelis, J, Kaschani, F, Grosse-Holz, FM, Homma, F, Kaiser, M, van der Hoorn, RAL (2018)

Re-annotated Nicotiana benthamiana gene models for enhanced proteomics and reverse genetics. bioRxiv 373506; doi:

Grosse-Holz F, Madeira L, Zahid MA, Songer M, Kourelis J, Fesenko M, Ninck S, Kaschani F, Kaiser M, van der Hoorn RAL (2018)

Three unrelated protease inhibitors enhance accumulation of pharmaceutical recombinant proteins in Nicotiana benthamiana. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 16, 1797-1810.

Kourelis J, van der Hoorn RAL (2018)

Defended to the nines: 25 years of resistance gene cloning identifies nine mechanisms for R protein function. The Plant Cell, 30, 285-299.

Paulus JK, Kourelis J, van der Hoorn RAL (2017)

Bodyguards: pathogen-derived decoys that protect virulence factors. Trends in Plant Sciences, 22, 355-357.

Shindo T, Kaschani F, Yang F, Kovács J, Tian F, Kourelis J, Hong TN, Colby T, Shabab M, Chawla R, Kumari S, Ilyas M, Hörger AC, Alfano JR, van der Hoorn RA (2016)

Screen of non-annotated small secreted proteins of Pseudomonas syringae reveals a virulence factor that inhibits tomato immune proteases. PLOS Pathogens, 12, e1005874.

Dejonghe W, Kuenen S, Mylle E, Vasileva M, Keech O, Viotti C, Swerts J, Fendrych M, Ortiz-Morea FA, Mishev K, Delang S, Scholl S, Zarza X, Heilmann M, Kourelis J, Kasprowicz J, Nguyen le SL, Drozdzecki A, Van Houtte I, Szatmári AM, Majda M, Baisa G, Bednarek SY, Robert S, Audenaert D, Testerink C, Munnik T, Van Damme D, Heilmann I, Schumacher K, Winne J, Friml J, Verstreken P, Russinova E (2016)

Mitochondrial uncouplers inhibit clathrin-mediated endocytosis largely through cytoplasmic acidification. Nature Communications, 7, 11710.

Kourelis J, van der Hoorn RAL, Sueldo DJ (2016)

Decoy engineering: the next step in resistance breeding. Trends in Plant Science, 21, 371–373.

Job History

2019 – present Postdoctoral Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK

2014 – 2019 DPhil in Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

2013 – 2014 Research Assistant, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2011 – 2013 MSc in Biological Sciences – Green Life Science, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2008 – 2011 BSc in Biology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands