Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows


Martin Urban

Senior Research Scientist
Plant Biology & Crop Science
Works With:
+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938149
Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
Past Projects
Project Leader
  • BBSRC Industry CASE Studentship: Comparison of infection biology & transcriptome of wild-type & single gene deletion strains of Fusarium Graminearum
  • Exploitation of natural plant biodiversity for the presticide-free production of food (BIOEXPLOIT)
  • Pathogenicity of non-biotrophic fungi infecting cereals
  • BBSRC Quota Studentship: Functional evaluation of plant defence signalling against Fusarium graminearum and F.culmorum in Arabidopsis floral tissue
  • PhytoPath: an Integrated resource for comparative phytopathogen genomics

1. Rice regulatory sequences for gene expression in defined wheat tissue (M. Urban, R. Kemp, R. Stratford, K. Hammond-Kosack, P. Lecocq), Filing number: ep 01307298.8

2. Nucleic acid molecules and other molecules associated with plants and uses thereof for plant Improvement. (J. Liu, S. A. Anderson, K. Hammond-Kosack, M. Urban), U.S. Patent Serial No. 10/425,114, April 28, 2003


1. M. Bker, M. Urban, S. Lauenstein, R. Lurz and Kahmann, R. (1992). Genetical and functional organization of the mating type locus of Ustilago maydis. In Advances in Molecular Genetics of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Vol. 2, E.W. Nester and D.P.S. Verma eds. ( Dordrecht : Kluwer Acad. Publ.), pp 335-339.

2. M. Bker, M. Urban and R. Kahmann (1992). The mating type locus of U. maydis specifies cell signaling components. Cell, Vol. 68, 441-450.

3. T. Spellig, E. Regenfelder, M. Reichmann, F. Schauwecker, R. Bohlmann, M. Urban, M. Bker, J. Kper & Regine Kahmann (1994). Control of mating and development in Ustilago maydis. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 65, 191-197.

4. M. Urban, R. Kahmann and M. Bker (1996). The biallelic a mating type locus of Ustilago maydis: Remnants of an additional pheromone gene indicate evolution from a multiallelic ancestor. Mol. Gen. Genetics , Vol. 250, 414-420

5. M. Urban, R. Kahmann and M. Bker (1996). Identification of the pheromone responsive element in Ustilago maydis. Mol. Gen. Genetics, Vol. 251, 31 -37

6. J. R. Xu, M. Urban, J. A. Sweigard and J. E. Hamer (1997). The cpkA gene of Magnaporthe grisea is essential for appressorial penetration. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Vol. 10, 187-194

7. J. E. Hamer, J.R. Xu, M. Urban, K. Adachi, G. Lau, F.Tenjo, T. Bhargava (1998). Signal transduction and gene expression during early stages of fungal phytopathogenesis in the rice blast fungus. K. Kohmoto and O.C. Yoder (eds.), Molecular Genetics of Host-Specific Toxins in Plant Disease, 225-244, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

8. M. Urban, T. Bhargava and J. E. Hamer. The ABC1 transporter of M. grisea is a novel pathogenicity factor in rice blast disease. The EMBO Journal, Vol. 18, 512-521, 1999

9. M. Urban, S. Daniels, E. Mott and K. Hammond-Kosack. Arabidopsis is susceptible to the cereal ear blight fungal pathogens Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium culmorum. Plant Journal, 32, 961-973.

10. M. Urban, E. Mott, T. Farley, and K. Hammond-Kosack. The Fusarium graminearum MAP1 gene is essential for pathogenicity and development of perithecia. Molecular Plant Pathology, 4(5): 347-359.

11. Hammond-Kosack K, Urban M, Baldwin T, Daudi A, Rudd J, Keon J, Lucas J, Maguire K, Kornyukhin D, Jing H, Bass C, and Antoniw J. (2004). Plant pathogens: how can molecular genetic information on plant pathogens assist in breeding disease resistant crops. Online at

12. Eckert, M., Maguire, K., Urban, M., Foster, S., Fitt, B., Lucas, J. and Hammond-Kosack, K. (2005). Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of Leptosphaeria spp. and Oculimacula spp. with the reef coral gene DsRed and the jellyfish gene gfp. FEMS Microbiol Lett, 253 (1), 67-74.

13. Winnenburg, R., Baldwin, T.K., Urban, M., Rawlings, C., Kohler, J. and Hammond-Kosack, K. (2006) PHI-base: A new database for Pathogen Host Interactions Nucleic Acids Research, 34 (Database issue): D459-D464.

14. Baldwin TK, Winnenburg R, Urban M, Rawlings C, Koehler J, Hammond-Kosack KE. 2006. The pathogen-host interactions database (phi-base) provides insights into generic and novel themes of pathogenicity. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 19 (12): 1451-1462.

15. Cuomo, C.A., Guldener, U., Xu, J.R., Trail, F., Turgeon, B.G., Di Pietro, A., Walton, J.D., Ma, L.J., Baker, S.E., Rep, M., Adam, G., Antoniw, J., Baldwin, T., Calvo, S., Chang, Y.L., Decaprio, D., Gale, L.R., Gnerre, S., Goswami, R.S., Hammond-Kosack, K., Harris, L.J., Hilburn, K., Kennell, J.C., Kroken, S., Magnuson, J.K., Mannhaupt, G., Mauceli, E., Mewes, H.W., Mitterbauer, R., Muehlbauer, G., Munsterkotter, M., Nelson, D., O'Donnell, K., Ouellet, T., Qi, W., Quesneville, H., Roncero, M.I., Seong, K.Y., Tetko, I.V., Urban, M., Waalwijk, C., Ward, T.J., Yao, J., Birren, B.W., and Kistler, H.C. (2007). The Fusarium graminearum genome reveals a link between localized polymorphism and pathogen specialization. Science 317, 1400-1402.

16. Winnenburg R, Urban M, Beacham A, BaldwinTK, Holland S, Lindeberg M, Hansen H, Rawlings C, Hammond-Kosack, KE, and Kohler J (2008). PHI-base update: additions to the pathogen host interaction database. Nucleic Acids Research 36, D572-576,I F6.32

17. Cuzick A, Urban M, and Hammond-Kosack, K. (2008). Fusarium graminearum gene deletion mutants map1 and tri5 reveal similarities and differences in the pathogenicity requirements to cause disease on Arabidopsis and wheat floral tissue. New Phytologist 177, 990-1000.



PhD in Mating type locus organisation in Ustilago maydis (Free University of Berlin, Germany)