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:

Doheny-Adams T, Lilley CJ, Barker A, Ellis S, Wade R, Atkinson HJ, Urwin PE, Redeker K, Hartley SE Constant Isothiocyanate-Release Potentials across Biofumigant Seeding Rates Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 66 5108-5116, 2018
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Bell CA, Atkinson HJ, Andrade AC, Nguyen HX, Swibawa IG, Lilley CJ, McCarthy J, Urwin PE A high-throughput molecular pipeline reveals the diversity in prevalence and abundance of Pratylenchus and Meloidogyne species in coffee plantations Phytopathology 108 641-650, 2018
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Roderick H, Urwin PE, Atkinson HJ Rational design of biosafe crop resistance to a range of nematodes using RNA interference Plant Biotechnology Journal 16 520-529, 2018
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Jones LM, Koehler AK, Trnka M, Balek J, Challinor AJ, Atkinson HJ, Urwin PE Climate change is predicted to alter the current pest status of Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis in the United Kingdom Global Change Biology 23 4497-4507, 2017
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Onyango SO, Roderick H, Tripathi JN, Collins R, Atkinson HJ, Oduor RO, Tripathi L The ZmRCP-1 promoter of maize provides root tip specific expression of transgenes in plantain Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki 23, 2016
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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, 2015

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
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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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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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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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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, Moore PH, Rohrbach KG, Paull RE 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

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

Lilley CJ, Atkinson HJ, Urwin PE Molecular aspects of cyst nematodes MOL PLANT PATHOL 6 577-588, 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 Biosafe, transgenic resistance for plant nematode control, 2003

Atkinson HJ, Urwin PE, McPherson MJ Engineering plants for nematode resistance. Annu Rev Phytopathol 41 615-639, 2003
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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, 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

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

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

Lilley CJ, Devlin P, Urwin PE, Atkinson HJ Parasitic nematodes, Proteinases and transgenic plants Parasitology Today 15 414-417, 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, Atkinson HJ 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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Atkinson HJ Transgenic crops for protection from nematodes, 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 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

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

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

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

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, 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

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

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

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

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 Resistance to Plant Parasitic Nematodes Trends in Biotechnology 13 369-374., 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 Oryzacystatin-I expressed in transgenic hairy roots confers resistance to Globodera pallida. The Plant Journal 8 121-131., 1995

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