Faculty of Biological Sciences

Prof Paul Knox

BSc, Newcastle; PhD 1982, Wales.
Professor of Plant Cell Biology
School of Biology

Background: Postdoctoral work in Bath, Cambridge and John Innes Centre, Norwich. Appointed Lecturer 1990, Senior Lecturer 1997, Reader 2000.

Contact:  Manton 9.06 | +44(0) 113 34 33169 | email address for  

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

Research Interests

Plant cell biology

We are interested in cell walls, cell surfaces, cell expansion and cell adhesion. The construction and retention of rigid, polysaccharide-based cell walls by plant cells has significant implications for the mechanisms of cell proliferation, cell adhesion, cell development and growth. Multifunctional primary and secondary cell walls are important determinants of the mechanical properties of plant cells and organs. This makes cell walls of considerable interest and importance for fundamental plant biology. In addition cell walls are important materials in relation to the exploitation of plants for foods, textile fibres, polymers and increasingly as sustainable resources for bioenergy.

Cell walls are fibrous composites consisting of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of other polysaccharides and proteins. At Leeds we are generating and using sets of molecular probes for cell wall imaging to explore all aspects of plant cell wall biology. Our cell biological work involving the preparation and use of monoclonal antibody and carbohydrate-binding module probes is integrated with microscopy procedures and directed at a range of plant systems. Understanding how specific configurations of cell wall polysaccharides function in relation to developmental processes and the generation of mechanical properties are our major aims.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • We are interested in developing projects in any area of plant cell wall research.

See also:

Modules managed

BIOL5272M - Advanced Biomolecular Technologies
BLGY1124 - The Diversity of Life

Modules taught

BIOL1112 - The Molecules of Life
BIOL5251M - Plant Biotechnology
BIOL5252M - Topics in Plant Science
BIOL5272M - Advanced Biomolecular Technologies
BIOL5292M - Bioscience MSc Research Proj
BIOL5294M - MSc Bioscience Res Project Pro
BLGY1115 - Introduction to Cell Biology
BLGY1124 - The Diversity of Life
BLGY1125 - Biology Practicals and Data Analysis
BLGY1303 - Tutorials: Biology & Genetics
BLGY2100 - Enhanced Study Skills for Biologists
BLGY2163 - How Plants Work
BLGY3021 - Research Project
BLGY3340 - Biology Research Projects