Dr Matevz Papp-Rupar, Molecular Plant Pathology PhD, Biotechnology MSc, is a research leader in the Pest and Pathogen Ecology Department in East Malling with over 10 years' experience in plant pathology. His early research at National Institute for Biology, Slovenia included detection and characterisation of Potato virus Y and grapevine yellows phytoplasma (Ca. Phytoplasma vitis) in pathogen hosts, wild plant species and insect vectors.
During the post-doctoral research at University of Nottingham he led InnovateUK funded research on UV-induced plant defences to control grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) in tomato and cut rose pre- and post-harvest production environments in collaboration with APS Ltd and Flamingo Flowers.
He joined NIAB EMR in 2018, where he focuses on development of sustainable, ecological approaches for control of plant pathogens and improving resource use efficiency in horticulture. His main research areas are biocontrol potential of apple endophytic communities for control of apple canker (Neonectria ditissima), bacteriophage control of bacterial canker (Pseudomonas syringae) on cherry, natural resistance of UK ash trees to ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus), microbiome interventions for control of crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum) in strawberry and the use of biostimulants in strawberry and raspberry production to reduce water and fertiliser use.~
He is a member of British Society for Plant pathology (BSPP), International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) and American Phytopathology Society (APS) and International Society for Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions (IS-MPMI).
He communicates research to growers and presents papers at national and international conferences and has over 15 peer reviewed articles with 288 citations and a h-index of 10 (Google Scholar). He regularly engages with growers and other industry stakeholders on events including AHDB, BIFGA, Fruit Focus, NIAB Open days and NIAB EMR Webinars.
He currently manages commercial projects funded by the industry, applied research projects funded by EU Interreg and AHDB SCEPTREplus and fundamental science projects funded by BBSRC with and without industry co-funding (Worldwide Fruit, Avalon, Scripps). He is a reviewer for journal including Plant Pathology, BioControl, MDPI Agronomy and Frontiers in Plant Science.
Current research projects
The role of endophytes in affecting symptom development of European apple canker caused by Neonectria ditissima; Duration: 2017-2022; Partners: NIAB EMR, Adrian Scripps Ltd, AHDB, Avalon Produce Limited, ENZA/T&G Global Lt, Frank P Matthews Ltd, Worldwide Fruit Limited; Funding: BBSRC-LINK
Retaining the Ashes: The potential for ash populations to be restored durin gthe dieback epidemic; Duration: 2018-2022; Partners: NIAB EMR, John Innes Centre, University of Warwick; Partners: BBSRC
Bio4safe: An innovative approach to enhance resource efficiency and safeguarding by using biostimulants and innovative sensors in horticulture; Duration: 2017-2022; Partners; NIAB EMR (UK), PCS Ornamental Plant Research (BEL), Ghent University (BEL), Pôle Légumes Région Nord (FR), Yncréa Hauts de France, establishment ISA Lille (FR), NorthSeaFarmers (NED), Research station Proeftuin Zwaagdijk (NED); Funding: EU: Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeën; @Bio4safe1
Horti-blueC: Sustainable up-cycling of agro-, agrofood and fisheries residues in horticulture and agriculture as bioenergy, biochar and chitin-rich products; Duration: 2018-2022; Partners: NIAB EMR, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO/EV-ILVO) (BEL), Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) (NED), University of Lille – Sciences and Technologies (FR), RSK ADAS UK Ltd (UK), Agaris (BEL), Cato Engineering (NL), University of Portsmouth (UK), Research Centre Hoogstraten; Funding: EU: Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeën; @HortiBlueC
SP68: Testing efficacy of new plant protection products against apple canker pathogen Neonectria ditissima; Duration: 2021-2022; Partners: NIAB EMR; Funding: AHDB SCEPRTREplus
CTP PhD: Investigating the physical, environmental and biological conditions impacting apple canker (Neonectria ditissima) symptom development of nursery plants with latent infection; Duration: 2021-2025; Partners: NIAB EMR, University of Reading; Funding: Fruit Crop Research Collaborative Training Partnerships (FRR-CTP): BBSRC, Berry Gardens Growers, Marks and Spencer Plc, The National Association of Cider Makers, Worldwide Fruit Ltd, AHDB Horticulture, The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers, Mid Kent Growers
Mansfield, J. , Brown, I. and Papp‐Rupar, M. (2019) Life at the edge – the cytology and physiology of the biotroph to necrotroph transition in Hymenoscyphus fraxineus during lesion formation in ash. Plant Pathology 68 (5), 908-920
Scott, G. , Almasrahi, A. , Malekpoor Mansoorkhani, F. , Rupar, M. , Dickinson, M. and Shama, G. (2019) Hormetic UV‐C seed treatments for the control of tomato diseases. Plant Pathology 68 (4), 700-707
Scott, G., Dickinson, M., Shama, G., and Rupar, M. (2018) A comparison of the molecular mechanisms underpinning high-intensity, pulsed polychromatic light and low-intensity UV-C hormesis in tomato fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology 137, 46–55
Kutnjak, D., Rupar, M., Gutierrez-Aguirre, I., Curk T., Kreuze, J. F., Ravnikar, M. (2015) Deep Sequencing of Virus-Derived Small Interfering RNAs and RNA from Viral Particles Shows Highly Similar Mutational Landscapes of a Plant Virus Population. Journal of Virology 89 (9), 4760-4769
Rupar, M., Faurez, F., Tribodet, M., Gutierrez-Aguirre, I., Delaunay, A., Glais, L., Kriznik, M., Dobnik, D., Gruden, K., Jacquot, E., Ravnikar, M. (2015) Fluorescently tagged Potato virus Y: a versatile tool for functional analysis of plant-virus interactions. Molecular plant-microbe interactions. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 28 (7), 739-750