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Ewen Mullins

Head of Crop Science Department

Research Interests

Investigating the efficacy of innovative technologies (e.g. specifically in the area of breeding techniques, disease diagnostics and surveillance) to support sustainable crop management practises, with a particular emphasis on reducing chemical inputs to offset pest/disease incidence.

Current Projects

  • Delivering the potential of EMT - A novel gene transfer platform for crop biotechnology  
  • Breeding of wheat in order to enhance yield and disease resistance – mutation of the BRI1 brassinosteroid receptor gene (WheatENHANCE; DAFM – RSF funded)
  • Assessing and monitoring the impacts of GM crops on agro-ecosystems, (AMIGA; EU 7th Framework)
  • Training in Innovative and Integrative Control of Cereal Diseases (CerealPath; H2020 Marie Curie ITN)
  • Virtual Irish Centre for Crop Improvement (VICCI; DAFM – RSF funded)
  • Development of biosensors for detection of viral and fungal crop pathogens (SCOPE; DAFM – RSF funded)
  • Genetic Resistance Against Septoria (GSAS, H2020 Marie Curie IF)

Education

  • 1992 - 1996, PhD, University College Cork
  • 1986 - 1992, B.Sc, NUI Maynooth

Professional Membership

  • European Association of Potato Research (EAPR)
  • International Association of Plant Biotechnology
  • EUCARPIA
  • Rathore D.S., Zuniga-Soto E., Mullins E. (2018) Ensifer-Mediated Transformation (EMT) of Rice (Monocot) and Oilseed Rape (Dicot). In: Kumar S., Barone P., Smith M. (eds) Transgenic Plants. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1864. Humana Press, New York, NY
  • Thapa, G., Gunupuru, L.R., Hehir, J.G., Kahla, A., Mullins, E. and Doohan, F.M. (2018). A Pathogen-Responsive Leucine Rich Receptor Like Kinase Contributes to Fusarium Resistance in Cereals. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9:867. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00867
  • Kessel, G., Mullins, E., Evenhuis, A., Stellingwerf, J., OrtizCortes, V., Phelan, S., Van Den Bosch, T., Forch, M.G., Goedhard, P., Van Der Voet, H. and Lotz., L.A.P. (2018). Development and validation of IPM strategies for the cultivation of cisgenically modified late blight resistant potato. European Journal of Agronomy, Volume 96, May 2018, Pages 146–155
  • Stellingwerf, J., Phelan, S., Doohan, F., OrtizCortes, V., Griffin, D., Bourke, A., Hutten, R., Cooke, D., Kildea, S. and Mullins, E. (2018). Evidence for selection pressure from resistant potato genotypes but not from fungicide application within a clonal. Plant Pathology, DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12852
  • Rathore, D, Doohan, F. and Mullins, E. (2017). Ensifer-mediated Arabidopsis thaliana Root Transformation (E-ART): A Protocol to Analyse the Factors that Support Ensifer-mediated Transformation (EMT) of Plant Cells. Bio-Protocol, Vol. 7, Issue 19, October 5thhttp://www.bio-protocol.org/e2564
  • Hehir, G., Connolly, C., O’Driscoll, A., Lynch, J., Spink, J., Brown, J.K.M., Doohan, F. and Mullins, E. (2017). Temporal and spatial field evaluations highlight the importance of the pre-symptomatic phase in supporting strong partial resistance in Triticum aestivumagainst Zymoseptoria tritici. Plant Pathology, doi: 10.1111/ppa.12780
  • Young, M. W., Mullins, E. and Squire, R. G. (2017). Environmental risk assessment of blight-resistant potato: use of a crop model to quantify nitrogen cycling at scales of the field and cropping system. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, p1-11, doi:10.1007/s11356-017-9769-8
  • Ortiz, V., Phelan, S. and  Mullins, E. (2016) A temporal assessment of nematode community structure and diversity in the rhizosphere of cisgenic  Phytophthora infestans-resistant potatoes. BMC Ecology,  16:55 DOI: 10.1186/s12898-016-0109-5
  • Thorne, F., Fox, S., Mullins, E. and Wallace, M. (2016). Consumer Willingness-to-Pay for Genetically Modified Potatoes in Ireland: An Experimental Auction Approach. International Journal of Agribusiness, DOI: 10.1002/agr.21477
  • Rathore, D., Doohan, F. and Mullins, E. (2016). Capability of the plant-associated bacterium, Ensifer adhaerens strain OV14, to genetically transform its original host Brassica napus. Journal of Plant Biotechnology – Plant Cell and Tissue Organ Culture, DOI:10.1007/s11240-016-1032-3
  • Ali, S.S., Nugent, B., Mullins, E. and Doohan, F. (2016). Fungal-mediated consolidated bioprocessing: the potential of Fusarium oxysporum for the lignocellulosic ethanol industry. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2016, 6:13.
  • Collinge, D.B., Mullins, E., Jensen, B. and Jorgensen, H.J.L. (2016). The status and prospects for biotechnological approaches for attaining sustainable disease resistance. In: Plant Pathogen Resistance Biotechnology (Collinge, D, Ed.), Wiley Publishers, ISBN: 978-1-118-86776-1.
  • Zuniga-Soto, E., Mullins, E. and Dedicova, B. (2015). Ensifer-mediated transformation: an efficient non-Agrobacterium protocol for the genetic modification of rice. SpringerPlus, Vol. 4, Issue 1.
  • Rathore, D., Lopez-Vernaza, M., Doohan, F., O'Connell, D., Lloyd, A. and Mullins, E. (2015). Profiling antibiotic resistance and electro-transformation potential of Ensifer adhaerens OV14; a non-Agrobacterium species capable of efficient rates of plant transformation. FEMS Microbiology Letters,
  • Vary, Z., Mullins, E., McElwain, J. and Doohan, F. (2015). The severity of wheat diseases increases when plants and
    pathogens are acclimatized to elevated carbon dioxide. Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12899
  • Phelan, S., Fitzgerald, T., Grant, J., Byrne, S., Meade, C. and Mullins, E. (2015). Propensity for seed-mediated gene flow from potato crops and potential consequences for the coexistence of GM and non-GM potato systems. European Journal of Agronomy, Vol. 67, 52-60.
  • O'Driscoll, A., Doohan, F. and Mullins, E. (2015). Exploring the utility of Brachypodium distachyon as a model pathosystem for the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. BMC Research Notes, 8:132.
  • Mullins, E. (2014). Engineering for disease resistance: persistent obstacles clouding tangible opportunities. Pest Management Science, Vol. 71 (5), 645-651.

Equipment/Technologies

 

  • Transgenesis, Cisgenesis, Gene Editing, Mutagenesis
  • Point-of-use nanosensor-based disease diagnostics

Collaborations

University College Dublin

Tyndall Institute, Cork

Institute of Technology Carlow,

National University of Ireland Maynooth,

National University of Ireland, Galway

John Innes Centre and James Hutton Institute (UK)

Purdue University (USA)

INRA (France)

International Wheat Initiative (www.wheatinitiative.org)

European Consortium for Open Field Experimentation (www.ecofe.eu)