Dr Kamil Witek

Postdoctoral Scientist
Jonathan Jones Group

In my research I am fascinated by genomics and applications of the high-throughput technologies to study how plants detect various pathogens through NB-LRR immune receptors.

During my PhD I’ve been mostly working with resistance against viruses in Solanum species, utilizing microarrays to understand molecular basics of the plant response to viral infections. I’ve been involved in mapping several resistance genes against different viruses, and marker development for breeding purposes.

Currently, as a postdoctoral scientist, I’m working on a resistance against Phytophthora species, where my main goal is to clone and characterize the functional NB-LRR genes from various wild Solanum plants. To achieve this goal, together with my colleagues I have developed a new technique, RenSeq, where we use capture techniques coupled with MiSeq and PacBio sequencing platforms to study whole NB-LRR complements in various Solanum species. I am also using effectoromics approach to screen for the durable resistance genes.


Van de Weyer AL, Monteiro F, Furzer OJ, Nishimura MT, Cevik V, Witek K, Jones JDG, Dangl JL, Weigel D, Bemm F (2019)

The Arabidopsis thaliana pan-NLRome. bioRxiv preprint Jan 31, 2019 doi:

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International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (2018)

Shifting the limits in wheat research and breeding using a fully annotated reference genome. Science. 2018 Aug 17;361(6403). pii: eaar7191. doi: 10.1126/science.aar7191.

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Pais M, Yoshida K, Giannakopoulou A, Pel MA, Cano LM, Oliva RF, Witek K, Lindqvist-Kreuze H, Vleeshouwers VGAA, Kamoun S (2018)

Gene expression polymorphism underpins evasion of host immunity in an asexual lineage of the Irish potato famine pathogen. BMC Evol Biol. 2018 Jul 5;18(1):93. doi: 10.1186/s12862-018-1201-6.

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Steuernagel B, Witek K, Krattinger SG, Ramirez-Gonzalez RH, Schoonbeek HJ, Guotai G, Baggs E, Witek A, Yadav I, Krasileva KV, Jones JDG, Uauy C, Keller B, Ridout CJ, The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, Wulff B (2018)

Physical and transcriptional organisation of the bread wheat intracellular immune receptor repertoire. bioRxiv preprint Jun 05, 2018 doi: doi:

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Xing L, Hu P, Liu J, Witek K, Zhou S, Xu J, Zhou W, Gao L, Huang Z, Zhang R, Wang X, Chen P, Wang H, Jones JDG, Karafiátová M, Vrána J, Bartoš J, Doležel J, Tian Y, Wu Y, Cao A (2018)

Pm21 from Haynaldia villosa Encodes a CC-NBS-LRR that Confers Powdery Mildew Resistance in Wheat. Mol Plant. 2018 Mar 19. pii: S1674-2052(18)30085-6. doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2018.02.013.

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Chen X, Lewandowska D, Armstrong MR, Baker K, Lim TY, Bayer M, Harrower B, McLean K, Jupe F, Witek K, Lees AK, Jones JD, Bryan GJ, Hein I (2018)

Identification and rapid mapping of a gene conferring broad-spectrum late blight resistance in the diploid potato species Solanum verrucosum through DNA capture technologies. Theor Appl Genet. 2018 Mar 20. doi: 10.1007/s00122-018-3078-6.

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Steuernagel B, Witek K, Jones JDG, Wulff BBH (2017)

MutRenSeq: A Method for Rapid Cloning of Plant Disease Resistance Genes. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1659:215-229. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7249-4_19.

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Giolai M, Paajanen P, Verweij W, Witek K, Jones JDG, Clark M (2017)

Comparative analysis of targeted long read sequencing approaches for characterization of a plant’s immune receptor repertoire. BMC Genomics. 2017 Jul 26;18(1):564. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3936-7.

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Pais M, Yoshida K, Giannakopoulou A, Pel MA, Cano LM, Oliva RF, Witek K, Lindqvist-Kreuze H, Vleeshouwers VGAA, Kamoun S (2017)

Gene expression polymorphism underpins evasion of host immunity in an asexual lineage of the Irish potato famine pathogen. bioRxiv preprint March 11, 2017 doi:

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Giolai M, Paajanen P, Verweij W, Percival-Alwyn L, Baker D, Witek K, Jupe F, Bryan G, Hein I, Jones JD, Clark MD (2016)

Targeted capture and sequencing of gene-sized DNA molecules. BioTechniques, Vol. 61, No. 6, December 2016, pp. 315–322

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Witek K, Jupe F, Witek AI, Baker D, Clark MD, Jones JDG (2016)

Accelerated cloning of a potato late blight–resistance gene using RenSeq and SMRT sequencing. Nature Biotechnology (2016) doi:10.1038/nbt.3540

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Steuernagel B, Periyannan SK, Hernández-Pinzón I, Witek K, Rouse MN, Yu G, Hatta A, Ayliffe M, Bariana H, Jones JD, Lagudah ES, Wulff BB (2016)

Rapid cloning of disease-resistance genes in plants using mutagenesis and sequence capture. Nature Biotechnology (2016) doi:10.1038/nbt.3543

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Trantas EA, Licciardello G, Almeida NF, Witek K, Strano CP, Duxbury Z, Ververidis F, Goumas DE, Jones JD, Guttman DS, Catara V, Sarris PF (2015)

Comparative genomic analysis of multiple strains of two unusual plant pathogens: Pseudomonas corrugata and Pseudomonas mediterranea. Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00811

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Steuernagel B, Jupe F, Witek K, Jones JD, Wulff BB (2015)

NLR-parser: Rapid annotation of plant NLR complements. Bioinformatics. 2015 Jan 12. pii: btv005. [Epub ahead of print]

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Andolfo G, Jupe F, Witek K, Etherington GJ, Ercolano MR and Jones JDG (2014)

Defining the full tomato NB-LRR resistance gene repertoire using genomic and cDNA RenSeq. BMC Plant Biology 2014, 14:120 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-120

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Jupe F, Chen X, Verweij W, Witek K, Jones JDG and Hein I. (2014)

Genomic DNA Library Preparation for Resistance Gene Enrichment and Sequencing (RenSeq) in Plants. Methods in Molecular Biology. (Clifton, N.J.) 1127:291-303.

Jones JD, Witek K, Verweij W, Jupe F, Cooke D, Dorling S, Tomlinson L, Smoker M, Perkins S, Foster S (2014)

Elevating crop disease resistance with cloned genes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 369 20130087

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Baebler Š, Witek K, Petek M, Stare K, Tušek-Žnidarič M, Pompe-Novak M, Renaut J, Szajko K, Strzelczyk-Żyta D, Marczewski W, Morgiewicz K, Gruden K, Hennig J. (2014)

Salicylic acid is an indispensable component of the Ny-1 resistance-gene-mediated response against Potato virus Y infection in potato. J Exp Bot.

Jupe F, Witek K, Verweij W, Sliwka J, Pritchard L, Etherington GJ, Maclean D, Cock PJ, Leggett RM, Bryan GJ, Cardle L, Hein I, Jones JD. (2013)

Resistance gene enrichment sequencing (renseq) enables reannotation of the nb-lrr gene family from sequenced plant genomes and rapid mapping of resistance loci in segregating populations. The Plant Journal, 76(3):530–544

Wojtkowiak A, Witek K, Hennig J, Jaskolski M. (2013)

Structures of an active-site mutant of a plant 1,3-β-glucanase in complex with oligosaccharide products of hydrolysis. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr.

Witek AI, Witek K, Hennig J. (2008)

Conserved Cys residue influences catalytic properties of potato endo-1,3-beta-glucanase GLUB20-2. Acta Biochim Pol. 2008; 55(4):791-7.

Szajko K, Chrzanowska M, Witek K, Strzelczyk- Żyta D, Zagórska H, Gebhardt C, Hennig J, Marczewski W. (2008)

The novel gene Ny-1 on potato chromosome IX confers hypersensitive resistance to Potato virus Y and is an alternative to Ry genes in potato breeding for PVY resistance. Theor Appl Genet.

Witek K, Strzelczyk-Żyta D, Hennig J, Marczewski W. (2006)

A multiplex PCR approach to simultaneously genotype potato towards the resistance alleles Ry-fsto and Ns Mol Breeding

Marczewski W, Strzelczyk-Żyta D, Hennig J, Witek K, Gebhardt C. (2006)

Potato chromosomes IX and XI carry genes for resistance to Potato virus M Theor Appl Genet.

Job History

2010 – present Postdoctoral Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK.

2009 – 2010 Research Assistant, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics PAS, Warsaw, Poland.

2008 – 2009 Visiting Scientist, National Institute of Biology, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

2003 – 2008 PhD Student, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics PAS, Warsaw, Poland.

2002 Visiting Student, University of Liege, Belgium.

1998 – 2003 Student, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.