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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Steve Chivasa

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biosciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41275

Contact Dr Steve Chivasa (email at

Research Interests

Cells in multicellular organisms communicate with each other to synchronise their responses to internal and external growth & developmental cues. Cell-to-cell communication is essential in adaptive responses to both biotic and abiotic stress. The Arabidopsis plasma membrane is endowed with numerous receptor-like kinases with a ligand-binding ecto-domain and an intracellular kinase domain. This suggests that cell-cell communications via the apoplastic route could be more widespread than previously thought. The functions of only a handful of these plasma membrane receptors and their cognate ligands have been characterised. We are using proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics to identify genes/proteins/metabolites important in plant stress responses. By focusing on the Extracellular Matrix, we hope to capture signals and signal-regulatory proteins in this sub-cellular compartment with roles in programmed cell death and adaptive responses to drought and pathogen attack. We created an extensive in-house database of plant ECM proteins and we are mining publicly available crop datasets for linking with model plants.

 Current projects in the group focus on identifying new genes/proteins in:

1]. Programmed Cell Death

2]. Adaptation to Drought Stress

3]. Pathogen Defence

Research Groups

Department of Biosciences

  • Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology
  • Molecular Plant Sciences


Journal Article