Postdoctoral Scientist

Xia Yan

A photo of one of our researchers in their office


I completed my PhD at the State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, Zhejiang University, China. A variety of strains of rice sheath blight fungus Rhizoctonia solani were characterized. Genes involved in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae were investigated to optimise the application of fungicide, and novel transcriptional regulators which are essential for pathogenicity of the rice blast fungus were characterized to explore the molecular basis of plant infection.

I joined Professor Nick Talbot’s group as an associate research fellow in 2012. I am very interested in the molecular mechanism of plant-microbe interactions. A battery of fungal proteins are secreted into the plant during the plant infection. I am investigating the full repertoire of rice blast effectors and their interacting partners in rice to elucidate the research questions I am very curious about: Once the rice blast fungus penetrated the plant cell, how does the fungus supress the host defences and promote plant colonisation? How does the plant response to different infections? How can we develop new disease control strategies?

Job history

  • 2018 -

    Postdoctoral Scientist

    The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK
  • 2012 - 2018

    Associate Research Fellow

    University of Exeter, UK
  • 2007 - 2012

    PhD in Plant Pathology

    Zhejiang University, China