Faculty of Biological Sciences

Prof Howard Atkinson

BSc, PhD 1972, Newcastle.
Professor of Nematology
School of Biology

Contact:  Manton 9.11 | +44(0) 113 34 32900 | email address for  

You can read more about Prof Atkinson's interests here:

Research Interests

Nematode-resistant crops

Further information concerning Prof. Atkinson's research is available at the Plant Nematology Lab web site.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Biosafe, transgenic nematode resistance for developed and developing world crops

See also:

Tripathi L; Babirye A; Roderick H; Tripathi JN; Changa C; Urwin PE; Tushemereirwe WK; Coyne D; Atkinson HJ Field resistance of transgenic plantain to nematodes has potential for future African food security Scientific Reports 5 -, 2015

Atkinson HJ; Roderick H; Tripathi L Africa needs streamlined regulation to support the deployment of GM crops Trends in Biotechnology 33 433-435, 2015
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Vieira P; Wantoch S; Lilley CJ; Chitwood DJ; Atkinson HJ; Kamo K Expression of a cystatin transgene can confer resistance to root lesion nematodes in Lilium longiflorum cv.‘Nellie White’ Transgenic Research 24 421-432, 2014
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Tripathi L; Tripathi JN; Roderick H; Atkinson HJ Engineering nematode resistant plantains for sub-Saharan Africa Acta Horticulturae 974 99-108, 2013
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Roderick H; Tripathi L; Babirye A; Wang D; Tripathi J; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ Generation of transgenic plantain (Musa spp.) with resistance to plant pathogenic nematodes. Mol Plant Pathol 13 842-851, 2012
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Atkinson HJ; Lilley CJ; Urwin PE Strategies for transgenic nematode control in developed and developing world crops. Curr Opin Biotechnol 23 251-256, 2012
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Green J; Wang D; Lilley CJ; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ Transgenic potatoes for potato cyst nematode control can replace pesticide use without impact on soil quality. PLoS One 7 e30973-, 2012
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Roderick H; Mbiru E; Coyne D; Tripathi L; Atkinson HJ Quantitative digital imaging of banana growth suppression by plant parasitic nematodes. PLoS One 7 e53355-, 2012
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Lord JS; Lazzeri L; Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Biofumigation for control of pale potato cyst nematodes: activity of brassica leaf extracts and green manures on Globodera pallida in vitro and in soil. J Agric Food Chem 59 7882-7890, 2011
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Wang D; Jones LM; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ A Synthetic Peptide Shows Retro- and Anterograde Neuronal Transport before Disrupting the Chemosensation of Plant-Pathogenic Nematodes PLOS ONE 6 -, 2011

Fitch MMM; Leong TCW; He XL; McCafferty HRK; Zhu YJ; Moore PH; Gonsalves D; Aldwinckle HS; Atkinson HJ Improved Transformation of Anthurium HORTSCIENCE 46 358-364, 2011

Lilley CJ; Wang D; Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Effective delivery of a nematode-repellent peptide using a root-cap-specific promoter PLANT BIOTECHNOL J 9 151-161, 2011

Charlton WL; Harel HYM; Bakhetia M; Hibbard JK; Atkinson HJ; McPherson MJ Additive effects of plant expressed double-stranded RNAs on root-knot nematode development INT J PARASITOL 40 855-864, 2010

Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE; Hussey RS Plant biotechnology and control, 2009

Costa JC; Lilley CJ; Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Functional characterisation of a cyst nematode acetylcholinesterase gene using Caenorhabditis elegans as a heterologous system INT J PARASITOL 39 849-858, 2009

Wang ML; Uruu G; Xiong L; He X; Nagai C; Cheah KT; Hu JS; Nan GL; Sipes BS; Atkinson HJ Production of transgenic pineapple (Ananas cosmos (L.) Merr.) plants via adventitious bud regeneration IN VITRO CELL DEV-PL 45 112-121, 2009

Bakhetia M; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ Characterisation by RNAi of pioneer genes expressed in the dorsal pharyngeal gland cell of Heterodera glycines and the effects of combinatorial RNAi INT J PARASITOL 38 1589-1597, 2008

Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Europe needs to protect its transgenic crop research NATURE 453 979-979, 2008

Atkinson HJ Purging the plantain pest in Africa Appropriate Technology 35 50-51, 2008
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Fuller VL; Lilley CJ; Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Differential gene expression in Arabidopsis following infection by plant-parasitic nematodes Meloidogyne incognita and Heterodera schachtii MOL PLANT PATHOL 8 595-609, 2007

Bakhetia M; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ qPCR analysis and RNAi define pharyngeal gland cell-expressed genes of Heterodera glycines required for initial interactions with the host MOL PLANT MICROBE IN 20 306-312, 2007

Shingles J; Lilley CJ; Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Meloidogyne incognita: Molecular and biochemical characterisation of a cathepsin L cysteine proteinase and the effect on parasitism following RNAi EXP PARASITOL 115 114-120, 2007

Lilley CJ; Goodchild SA; Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Cloning and characterisation of a Heterodera glycines aminopeptidase cDNA INT J PARASITOL 35 1577-1585, 2005

Lilley CJ; Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE Molecular aspects of cyst nematodes MOL PLANT PATHOL 6 577-588, 2005

Green J; Fearnehough MT; Atkinson HJ Development of biosafe genetically modified Solanum tuberosum (potato) cultivars for growth within a centre of origin of the crop MOL BREEDING 16 285-293, 2005

Bakhetia M; Charlton W; Atkinson HJ; McPherson MJ RNA interference of dual oxidase in the plant nematode Meloidogyne incognita MOL PLANT MICROBE IN 18 1099-1106, 2005

Liu B; Hibbard JK; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ The production of synthetic chemodisruptive peptides in planta disrupts the establishment of cyst nematodes. Plant Biotechnol J 3 487-496, 2005
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Bakhetia M; Charlton WL; Urwin PE; McPherson MJ; Atkinson HJ RNA interference and plant parasitic nematodes TRENDS PLANT SCI 10 362-367, 2005

Celis C; Scurrah M; Cowgill S; Chumbiauca S; Green J; Franco J; Main G; Kiezebrink D; Visser RGF; Atkinson HJ Environmental biosafety and transgenic potato in a centre of diversity for this crop NATURE 432 222-225, 2004

Atkinson HJ; Grimwood S; Johnston K; Green J Prototype demonstration of transgenic resistance to the nematode Radopholus similis conferred on banana by a cystatin. Transgenic Res 13 135-142, 2004
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Cowgill SE; Danks C; Atkinson HJ Multitrophic interactions involving genetically modified potatoes, nontarget aphids, natural enemies and hyperparasitoids Molecular Ecology 13 639-647, 2004
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Atkinson HJ; Johnston KA; Robbins M Prima facie evidence that a phytocystatin for transgenic plant resistance to nematodes is not a toxic risk in the human diet Journal of Nutrition 134 431-434, 2004
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Lilley CJ; Urwin PE; Johnston KA; Atkinson HJ Preferential expression of a plant cystatin at nematode feeding sites confers resistance to Meloidogyne incognita and Globodera pallida. Plant Biotechnol J 2 3-12, 2004
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Urwin PE; Green J; Atkinson HJ Expression of a plant cystatin confers partial resistance to Globodera, full resistance is achieved by pyramiding a cystatin with natural resistance Molecular Breeding 12 263-269, 2003

Cowgill SE; Atkinson HJ A sequential approach to risk assessment of transgenic plants expressing protease inhibitors: effects on nontarget herbivorous insects. Transgenic Res 12 439-449, 2003
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Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE; McPherson MJ Engineering plants for nematode resistance. Annu Rev Phytopathol 41 615-639, 2003
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Atkinson HJ Biosafe, transgenic resistance for plant nematode control, 2003

Cowgill SE; Bardgett RD; Kiezebrink DT; Atkinson HJ The effect of transgenic nematode resistance on non-target organisms in the potato rhizosphere Journal of Applied Ecology 39 915-923, 2002
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Winter MD; McPherson MJ; Atkinson HJ Neuronal uptake of pesticides disrupts chemosensory cells of nematodes. Parasitology 125 561-565, 2002
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Urwin PE; Zubko EI; Atkinson HJ The biotechnological application and limitation of IRES to deliver multiple defence genes to plant pathogens Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 61 103-108, 2002
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Urwin PE; Lilley CJ; Atkinson HJ Ingestion of double-stranded RNA by preparasitic juvenile cyst nematodes leads to RNA interference. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 15 747-752, 2002
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Cowgill SE; Wright C; Atkinson HJ Transgenic potatoes with enhanced levels of nematode resistance do not have altered susceptibility to nontarget aphids. Mol Ecol 11 821-827, 2002
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Green J; Vain P; Fearnehough MT; Worland B; Snape J; Atkinson HJ Analysis of the expression patterns of the Arabidopsis thaliana tubulin-1 and Zea mays ubiquitin-1 promoters in rice plants in association with nematode infection Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 60 197-205, 2002
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Atkinson HJ Molecular Approaches to Novel Crop Resistance Against Nematodes In The Biology of Nematodes , 2002

Urwin PE; Troth KM; Zubko EI; Atkinson HJ Effective transgenic resistance to Globodera pallida in potato field trials MOL BREEDING 8 95-101, 2001

Atkinson HJ; Green J; Cowgill S; Levesley A The case for genetically modified crops with a poverty focus. Trends Biotechnol 19 91-96, 2001
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Atkinson HJ; Holz RA; Riga E; Main G; Oros R; Franco J An algorithm for optimizing rotational control of Globodera rostochiensis on potato crops in Bolivia Journal of Nematology 33 121-125, 2001

Urwin PE; Yi L; Martin H; Atkinson HJ; Gilmartin PM Functional characterization of the EMCV IRES in plants The Plant Journal 24 583-589, 2000
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Urwin PE; Green J; Atkinson HJ Resistance to Globodera spp. in transgenic Solanum tuberosum cv. Desiree that express proteinase inhibitors. In Aspects of Applied Biology , 2000

Urwin PE; Levesley A; McPherson MJ; Atkinson HJ Transgenic resistance to the nematode Rotylenchulus reniformis conferred by A. thaliana plants expressing proteinase inhibitors Molecular Breeding 6 257-264, 2000

Lilley CJ; Devlin P; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ Parasitic nematodes, Proteinases and transgenic plants Parasitology Today 15 414-417, 1999

Atkinson HJ Continual Green Fluorescent Protein Monitoring of Promoter Activity in Plants Methods in Enzymology 302 316-328, 1999

Urwin PE; Moller SG; Blumsom JK; Atkinson HJ Continual monitoring of promoter activity in plants Methods in Enzymology 302 316-328, 1999

Roman R; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ; Gilmartin PM Hgm1, a novel male-specific gene from Heterodera glycines identified by differential mRNA display Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 95 45-52, 1998
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Vain P; Worland B; Clarke MC; Richard GJD; Beavis M; Liu B; Kohli A; Leech M; Snape J; Christou P Expression of an engineered cysteine proteinase inhibitor (Oryzacystatin-I delta 86) for nematode resistance in transgenic rice plants Theoretical and Applied Genetics 96 266-271, 1998
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Moller SG; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ; McPherson MJ Nematode-induced expression of atao1, a gene encoding an extracellular diamine oxidase associated with developing vascular tissue Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 53 73-79, 1998

Atkinson HJ Nematode control by Genetically Modified Crops Aspects of Applied Biology 52 255-262, 1998

Atkinson HJ The Robin Hood approach to plant biotechnology Science and Public Affairs 27-29, 1998

Atkinson HJ Seasonal Changes in the Dorsal Pharyngeal Gland Nucleolus of Unhatched Second-Stage Juveniles of Globodera spp. in Bolivia Journal of Nematology 30 291-298, 1998

Atkinson HJ The analysis of growth curves for root-knot nematodes as an aid to defining their pathogenicity Unknown Journal - Requested journal to be added to ULPD 2 1-25, 1998

Urwin PE; McPherson MJ; Atkinson HJ Enhanced transgenic plant resistance to nematodes by dual proteinase inhibitor constructs Planta 204 472-479, 1998

Atkinson HJ Transgenic crops for protection from nematodes, 1998

Lilley CJ; Urwin PE; Atkinson HJ; McPherson MJ Characterisation of cDNAs encoding serine proteinases from the soybean cyst nematode Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 89 195-207, 1997
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Urwin PE; Lilley CJ; McPherson MJ; Atkinson HJ Characterisation of two cDNAs encoding cysteine proteinases from the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines Parasitology 114 605-613, 1997
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Urwin PE; Lilley CJ; McPherson MJ; Atkinson HJ Resistance to both cyst and root-knot nematodes conferred by transgenic Arabidopsis expressing a modified cystatin. The Plant Journal 12 455-461, 1997

Atkinson HJ Promoters for control of root-feeding nematodes, 1997

Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE; Lilley CJ; McPherson MJ Engineering transgenic resistance to potato cyst nematodes In Potato Cyst Nematodes , 1997

Urwin PE; Moller SG; Lilley CJ; Atkinson HJ; McPherson MJ Continual GFP monitoring of CaMV35S promoter activity in nematode induced feeding cells in Arabidopsis thaliana Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 10 394-400, 1997

Lilley CJ; Urwin PE; McPherson MJ; Atkinson HJ Characterisation of intestinally active proteinases of cyst-nematodes Parasitology 113 415-424, 1996
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Atkinson HJ; Urwin PE; Clarke MC; McPherson MJ Image analysis of the growth of Globodera pallida and Meloidogyne incognita on transgenic tomato roots expressing cystatins Journal of Nematology 28 209-215, 1996
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Atkinson HJ Modified Proteinase Inhibitors, 1996

Atkinson HJ Engineered Oryzacystatin-I expressed in transgenic hairy roots confers resistance to Globodera pallida. The Plant Journal 8 121-131., 1995

Atkinson HJ The involvement of the NH2-terminus of Oryzacystatin-I in the inhibition of papain. Protein Engineering 8 1303-1307, 1995

Atkinson HJ Engineered Resistance to Plant Parasitic Nematodes Trends in Biotechnology 13 369-374., 1995

Atkinson HJ Parasitic strategies of root nematodes and associated host cell responses Annual Review of Phytopathology 32 235-259., 1994