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Dr Alex M. Murphy

Senior Research Associate
Dr Alex M. Murphy
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3EA
Office Phone: 01223 330215


2008-present Senior Research Associate with Dr J.P. Carr working on subversion of insect resistance by a viral silencing suppressor. Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge.

2004-2008   Leverhulme Fellowship with Dr David Hanke working on the role of phytic acid in virus resistance.  Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge.

2000-2003 Post-Doctoral Fellow with Dr David Hanke working on the role of phytic acid in potato. Dept of Plant Sciences Cambridge.

2000-2003 Research Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.

1997-2000 Cambridge University Broodbank Independent Research Fellowship investigating the effect of salicylic acid on plant virus movement. Dept of Plant Sciences Cambridge.

1996-1997 Post-Doctoral Fellow with Dr J.P. Carr working on salicylic acid induced resistance to viruses.  Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge.

1993-1995 Post-Doctoral Fellow with Dr A.M. Ashby and Dr Keith Johnstone working on the role of cytokinins in fungal biotrophy.  Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge

1985–1988   B.Sc. 2(i) Botany and Genetics.  University College London.

1989–1992   Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Biology.  University College London.

Key Publications

Groen SC, Jiang S, Murphy AM, Cunniffe NJ, Westwood JH, Davey MP, et al. (2016) Virus Infection of Plants Alters Pollinator Preference: A Payback for Susceptible Hosts? PLoS Pathog 12(8): e1005790. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005790 view online

Hunter, L.J.R., Brockington, S.F. Murphy, A.M., Pate, A.E., Gruden, K., MacFarlane, S.A., Palukaitis, P., and Carr, J.P. (2016). RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1 in potato (Solanum tuberosum) and its relationship to other plant RNA-dependent RNA polymerases.Scientific Reports in press 6: 23082 view online

Lee, W.S., Fu, S.F., Li, Z., Murphy, A.M., Dobson, E.A., Garland, L., Chaluvadi, S.R., Lewsey, M.G., Nelson, R.S., and Carr, J.P. (2016). Salicylic acid treatment and expression of an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1 transgene inhibits lethal symptoms and meristem invasion during tobacco mosaic virus infection in Nicotiana benthamianaBMC Plant Biology 16:15. view online

Zhou, T., Murphy, A.M., Lewsey, M.G., Westwood, J.H., Zhang, H., González, I., Canto, T., and Carr, J.P. (2014). Domains of the cucumber mosaic virus 2b silencing suppressor protein affecting inhibition of salicylic acid-induced resistance and priming of salicylic acid accumulation during infection. Journal of General Virology view online

Westwood, J.H., Lewsey, M.G., Murphy, A.M., Tungadi, T., Bates, A., Gilligan, C.A. and Carr, J.P. (2014) Interference with jasmonic acid- regulated gene expression is a general property of viral suppressors of RNA silencing but only partly explains virus-induced changes in plant-aphid interactions. Journal of General Virology 95: 733–739. OPEN ACCESS view online

Westwood, J.H., Groen, S.C., Du, Z., Murphy, A.M., Tri-Anggoro, D., Tungadi, T., Luang-In, V., Lewsey, M.G., Rossiter, J., Powell, G., Smith, A.G. and Carr, J.P.  (2013). A trio of viral proteins tunes aphid-plant interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana.  PLoS ONE 8(12): e83066. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083066 view online

Mortimer, .JC., Yu, X., Albrecht, S., Sicilia, F., Huichalaf, M., Ampuero, D., Michaelson, L.V., Murphy, A.M., Matsunaga, T., Kurz, S., Stephens, E., Baldwin, T.C., Ishii, T., Napier, J.A., Weber, A.P., Handford, M.G., and Dupree, P. (2013) Abnormal glycosphingolipid mannosylation triggers salicylic acid-mediated responses in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 25(5):1881-94. doi: 10.1105/tpc.113.111500. Epub 2013 May 21.

Westwood, J. H., McCann, L., Naish, M., Dixon, H., Murphy, A. M., Stancombe, M. A., Bennett, M. H., Powell, G., Webb, A. A. R. and Carr, J. P. (2012), A viral RNA silencing suppressor interferes with abscisic acid-mediated signalling and induces drought tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Plant Pathology. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2012.00840.x          

Ziebell, H., Murphy, A.M., et al., (2011) The 2b viral suppressor of RNA silencing modifies plant-aphid interactions Scientific Reports 1, Article number: 187

Lewsey, M.G. Murphy, A.M., MacLean, D., Dalchau, N., Westwood, J.H., Macaulay, K., Bennett, M.H., Moulin, M., Hanke, D.E., Powell, G., Smith, A.G., and Carr, J.P. (2010). Disruption of two defensive signaling pathways by a viral RNA silencing suppressor.  Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 23: 835-845.

Chivasa, S., Simon, W.J., Murphy, A.M., Carr, J.P., and Slabas, A.R. (2010). The effects of extracellular ATP on the tobacco proteome. Proteomics 10: 235-244.

Chivasa S, Murphy AM, Hamilton JM, Lindsey K, Carr JP, Slabas AR. (2009) Extracellular ATP is a regulator of pathogen defence in plants. Plant Journal 60:436-448..

Murphy, A.M., Otto, B., Brearley, C.A., Carr, J.P. and Hanke, D.E. (2008) A role for inositol hexakisphosphate in the maintenance of basal resistance to plant pathogens. Plant Journal 56: 638–652

Silvestri, S., Murphy, A.M., Buonaurio, R. and Carr, J.P. (2008) Allopurinol, an inhibitor of purine catabolism, enhances susceptibility of tobacco to Tobacco mosaic virus. Virus Research 137: 257-260.

Murphy, A.M, Gilliland A., York, C.,Hyman, B., and D.P., Carr, J.P.(2004)  High level expression of alternative oxidase protein sequences enhances the spread of viral vectors in resistant and susceptible plants.  Journal of General Virology 85: 3777-3786

Gilliland A., Singh, D.P. 1, Hayward, J.M., Moore, C.A., Murphy, A.M., York, C.J., Slator, J. and Carr, J.P. (2003) Genetic Modification of Alternative Respiration has Differential Effects on Antimycin A- versus Salicylic Acid-Induced Resistance to Tobacco mosaic virus. Plant Physiology 132: 1518-1528

Murphy, A.M. and Carr, J.P. (2002)  Salicylic Acid Has Cell-Specific Effects on Tobacco mosaic virus Replication and Cell-to-Cell Movement.  Plant Physiology  128: 552-563.

Soards, A.J., Murphy, A.M., Palukaitis, P. and John P. Carr (2002)  Virulence and Differential Local and Systemic Spread of Cucumber mosaic virus in Tobacco are Affected by the CMV 2b Protein.  Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 15: 647-653

Murphy, A.M, Gilliland, A., Wong, C.E., West, J., Singh, D.P. and Carr, J.P. (2001)  Signal transduction in resistance to plant viruses.  European Journal of Plant Pathology  107: 121-128.

Murphy, A.M., Holcombe, L. and Carr, J.P. (2000) Characteristics of salicylic acid-induced delay in disease caused by a necrotrophic fungal pathogen in tobacco.  Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 57: 47-54.

Morris, K., A.H.-Mackerness, S., Page, T., John, F., Murphy, A.M., Carr, J.P. and Buchanan-Wollaston, V.  (2000) Salicylic acid has a role in regulating gene expression during leaf senescence. Plant Journal  23: 677-686.

Naylor, M., Murphy, A.M., Berry J.O. and Carr, J.P. (1998).  Salicylic acid can induce resistance to plant virus movement.  Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 11: 860-868.

Surplus, S.L., Jordan, B.R., Murphy, A.M., Carr, J.P. and S.A.-H.-Mackerness (1998).  Ultraviolet-B-induced responses in Arabidopsis thaliana: Role of salicylic acid and reactive oxygen species in the regulation of transcripts encoding photosynthetic and acidic pathogenesis-related proteins.  Plant, Cell and Environment  21: 685-694

Chivasa, S., Murphy, A.M., Naylor, M. and Carr, J.P. (1997). Salicylic acid interferes with tobacco mosaic virus replication via a novel, salicylhydroxamic acid-sensitive mechanism.  The Plant Cell 9: 547-557.

Murphy, A.M., Pryce-Jones, E., Johnstone, K. and Ashby, A.M. (1997).  Comparison of cytokinin production in vitro by Pyrenopeziza brassicae with other plant pathogens.  Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 50: 53–66.

Stranger , A., Murphy, A.M., Corbett. J.M., Dunn, M.J., Bolwell, G.P. and Stewart, G.R. (1995). Changes in Patterns of Protein Synthesis During Haustorial Development of Striga hermonthica  (Del.) Benth Seedlings. Journal of Experimental Botany  45: 277–283



Other Publications

Gilliland, A., Murphy, A.M. and Carr, J.P. (2006)  “Induced resistance Mechanisms.”  In Natural Resistance Mechanisms of Plants to Viruses.  Eds Carr, J.P. and Loebenstein, G.  Springer, Dordrecht

Gilliland, A., Murphy, A.M. and Carr, J.P. (2005)  “Mechanisms involved in Plant Resistance to Viruses.”  In Induced Resistance to Plant Pathogens. Eds Tuzun, S. and Bent, E.  Kluwer, Amsterdam

Carr, J.P. and Murphy A.M. (2002) Cadmium blocks viral invasion in plants.  Nature Cell Biology 4: E167 - E168 News and Views

Murphy, A.M., Chivasa, S., Singh, D.P. and Carr, J.P. (1999).  Salicylic acid-induced resistance to viruses and other pathogens: a parting of the ways.  Trends in Plant Sciences 4: 155-160

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