Dr Marina Pais

Postdoctoral Scientist
Jonathan Jones Group

As postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Jonathan Jones’ group, I work on the development of new UK potato varieties with late blight and potato cyst nematode resistance, reduced bruising and improved processing quality. These have the potential to be better for the environment and for consumers, as well as cheaper to produce. This project has been funded by the BBSRC as part of the Horticulture and Potato Initiative (HAPI) and more information about it can be found here. In addition to leading the experimental work related to the HAPI project, I participate in communication and outreach activities that aim at explaining the scope of our work to the general public. I have a longstanding interest in plant biotechnology and in the study of the interaction between plants and the environment, with a focus on Solanaceous crops. I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), where I studied signal transduction in tomato and potato plants, in relation to abiotic stress responses and tuberization signalling. During my first postdoc in the group of Prof. Sophien Kamoun, I gained a deep understanding of the late blight disease, working on the development of synthetic disease resistance genes with expanded recognition spectrum and participating in pathogenomics projects with a focus on pathogen effector genes. The HAPI project now allows me to further develop my interest in crop-applied research while strengthening the links between science and society.


Weiß CL, Pais M, Cano LM, Kamoun S, Burbano HA (2018)

nQuire: a statistical framework for ploidy estimation using next generation sequencing. BMC Bioinformatics. 2018 Apr 4;19(1):122. doi: 10.1186/s12859-018-2128-z.

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Weiß CL, Pais M, Cano LM, Kamoun S, Burbano HA (2017)

nQuire: A Statistical Framework For Ploidy Estimation Using Next Generation Sequencing. bioRxiv preprint May 29, 2017 doi:

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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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Giannakopoulou A, Steele JF, Segretin ME, Bozkurt T, Zhou J, Robatzek S, Banfield MJ, Pais M, Kamoun S (2015)

Tomato I2 immune receptor can be engineered to confer partial resistance to the oomycete Phytophthora infestans in addition to the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2015 Sep 14.

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Segretin, M.E., Pais, M., Franceschetti, M., Chaparro-Garcia, A., Bos, J.I., Banfield, M.J., and Kamoun, S. (2014)

Single amino acid mutations in the potato immune receptor R3a expand response to Phytophthora effectors. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, in press.

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Pais, M., Win, J., Yoshida, K., Etherington, G.J., Cano, L.M., Raffaele, S., Banfield, M.J., Jones, A., Kamoun, S., and Saunders, D.G.O. 2013.

From pathogen genomes to host plant processes: the power of plant parasitic oomycetes. Genome Biology, 14:211

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Yoshida, K., Schuenemann, V., Cano, L., Pais, M., Mishra, B., Sharma, R., Lanz, C., Martin, F., Kamoun, S., Krause, J., Thines, M., Weigel, D., and Burbano, H. 2013.

The rise and fall of the Phytophthora infestans lineage that triggered the Irish potato famine. eLife, 2:e00731.

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Muñíz García, M.N., Pais, M., Téllez-Iñón, M.T., Capiati, D.A.. 2011.

Characterization of StPPI1, a proton pump interactor from Solanum tuberosum L. that is up-regulated during tuber development and by abiotic stress. Planta 233 (4): 661-674.

Pais, M., Muñiz García, M.N., Téllez-Iñón, M.T., Capiati, D.A. 2010.

Protein phosphatases type 2A mediate tuberization signaling in Solanum tuberosum L. leaves. Planta 232 (1): 37-49.

Pais, M., Téllez-Iñón, M.T., Capiati, D.A. 2009.

Serine/threonine protein phosphatases type 2A and their roles in stress signaling. Plant Signaling & Behavior 4 (11): 1013-1015.

Pais, M., González, M.A., Téllez-Iñón, M.T., Capiati, D.A. 2009.

Characterization of potato (Solanum tuberosum) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) protein phosphatases type 2A catalytic subunits and their involvement in stress responses. Planta 230 (1): 13-25.

Capiati, D.A., Pais, S.M., Téllez-Iñón, M.T. 2006.

Wounding increases salt tolerance in tomato plants: evidence on the participation of calmodulin-like activities in cross-tolerance signalling. Journal of Experimental Botany 57 (10): 2391-2400.