Prof Xiangming Xu

Head of Science
Area of Work: Plant Disease Epidemiology, Population Genetics, Microbial Ecology,  Disease Management
Tel:+44 (0)1732 843833
DD:+44 (0)1732 523753
Fax:+44 (0)1732 849067


2020 – Present:   Head of Science, NIAB EMR
2016 – 2020:   Head of Pest & Pathogen Ecology Department, NIAB EMR
2013 – 2016:   Head of Genetics and Crop Improvement Programme, EMR
2002 – 2013:   Group leader of epidemiology, HRI-EM, and East Malling Research  (EMR) from April 2004
1992 – 2002:   Research leader of epidemiology, HRI-EM, and East Malling Research from April 2004
1991 – 1992:   Quantitative epidemiologist at Horticulture Research International (HRI) – East Malling (EM), UK
1989 – 1991:   Cauliflower breeder with Trinity Growers Ltd at Broadstairs, Kent, UK.

1980-1984:   BSc in Agronomy, Agricultural College, Yangzhou University, P.R. China.
1985-1989:   PhD in quantitative genetics and crop breeding, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.

Research Interests

My research interests are in Plant Disease Epidemiology, Population Genetics, Microbial Ecology, Disease Management. Current research activities centres on microbial ecology (rhizosphere microbiome and endophytes), spatio-temporal dynamics of plant diseases, and developing strategies for sustainable disease management.

Selected Publications

  • Cao X-R, Yao D-M, Zhou Y-L, West JS, Xu X-M, Luo Y, Ding K-J, Fan J-R, Duan X-Y. . (2016). Detection and quantification of airborne inoculum of Blumeria graminis f. sp. Tritici using quantitative PCR European Journal of Plant Pathology. 10.1007/s10658-016-0908-8.
  • Rong Fang, Feng Wei, Thomas Passey, X-M. Xu. (2016). Identification of candidate soil microbes responsible for small-scale heterogeneity in strawberry vigour Journal of Integrative Agriculture (In press).
  • Ma L-J, Qiao J-X, Kong X-Y, Wang J-J, Xu X.-M, Hu X-P . (2016). An improved method for RNA extraction from urediniospores of and wheat leaves infected by an obligate fungal pathogen, Puccinia striiformis f. sp. Tritici. Journal of Integrative Agriculture . DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61250-3.
  • Feng Wei, Xiaoping Hu & X-M. Xu . (2016). Dispersal of Bacillus subtilis and its effect on strawberry phyllosphere microbiota under open field and protection conditions. Scientific Report 6, Article number: 22611 . doi:10.1038/srep22611.
  • F. Wei, T. Passey, X-M Xu . (2016). Effects of individual and combined use of bio-fumigation-derived products on the viability of Verticillium dahliae microsclerotia in soil Crop Protection, 79. 170-176;
  • F. Wei, T.A.J. Passey, X.-M. Xu . (2016). Amplicon-based metabarcoding reveals temporal response of soil microbial community to fumigation-derived products Applied Soil Ecology. doi: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2016.03.009.
  • Robinson Boyer, Louisa, Wei Feng, Natallia Gulbis, Klara Hajdu, Richard J Harrison, Peter Jeffries, Xiangming Xu. (2016). The Use of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi to Improve Strawberry Production in Coir Substrate. Frontiers in Plant Science. 7:1237.
  • L-J Ma, X-Yu Kong, J-X Qiao, F An, X-P Hu, X-M Xu. (2015). Overwintering of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici on winter wheat plants at sites of varying altitudes in Gansu and Qinghai provinces Plant Disease .
  • T. A. J. Passey, M. W. Shaw, X.-M. Xu . (2015). Differentiation in populations of the apple scab fungus Venturia inaequalis on cultivars in a mixed orchard remain over time Plant Pathology . DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12492.
  • N. Brown, M. Jeger, S. Kirk, X-M Xu and S. Denman. (2015). Spatial and temporal patterns in symptom expression within woodland affected by Acute Oak Decline Forestry Ecology and Management . doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.10.026.
  • L.J. Ma, J.X. Qiao, X.Y. Kong, Y.P. Zou, X-M Xu, X-M Chen, X-P Hu. (2015). Effect of low temperature and wheat winter-hardiness on survival of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici under controlled conditions PLOS One 10(6): e0130691. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130691.
  • Feng Wei, Wenjing Shang, Jiarong Yang, Xiaoping Hu, X.-M. Xu . (2015). Spatial Pattern of Verticillium dahliae Microsclerotia and Cotton Wilt in Commercial Fields PLoS ONE 10(7): e0132812. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132812.
  • X-M Xu, T Passey, F Wei, R Saville, RJ. Harrison . (2015). Amplicon-based metagenomics identified candidate organisms in soils that caused yield decline in strawberry Hort Res (Nature) 2, 15022. doi:10.1038/hortres.2015.22.
  • M. J. Jeger and X.-M. Xu . (2015). Modelling biological control of a fungal plant pathogen which affects both leaves and flowers: implications for biocontrol strategies Ecological Modelling. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.06.015.
  • X-P Hu, LV Madden, S Edwards, X-M Xu . (2015). Combining models is more likely to give better predictions Phytopathology 105. 1174-82.
  • X.R. Cao, Y. Luo, Y.L .Zhou, J.R. Fan, X.-M. Xu, J.S. West, X.Y. Duan, D.F. Cheng . (2015). Detection of powdery mildew in two winter wheat plant densities and prediction of grain yield using canopy hyperspectral reflectance PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121462.
  • 10. X.-M. Xu and X.-P. Hu. (2015). Statistical analysis of data commonly occurred in plant pathology Acta Phytopathologica Sinica, 45. 1-6.
  • Cao X–R, Yao D-M, Zhou Y-L, Ding K-J, Duan X-Y, Fan J-R, Luo Y & Xu X.-M . (2015). Development of weather- and airborne inoculum-based models to describe disease severity of wheat powdery mildew Plant Disease, 99. 395-400.
  • F Wei, R. Fan, H.-T. Dong, W.J. Shang, X.-M. Xu, H.-Q Zhu, J.-R. Yang, and X.-P. Hu . (2015). Threshold microsclerotial inoculum for cotton Verticillium wilt determined through wet-sieving and real-time quantitative PCR Phytopathology, 105. 220-229.
  • J. Debode, W. Van Hemelrijck, X.-M. Xu, M. Maes, P. Creemers and K. Heungens. (2015). Latent introduction and spread of Colletotrichum acutatum in strawberry fields Plant Pathology, 64. 385–395, DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12247.
  • L. Robinson-Bower, P. Brain, P. Jeffries, X.-M. Xu. (2015). Effect of inoculation of drought-stressed strawberry with a mixed inoculum of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: qPCR studies of population dynamics of inoculum in roots Mycorrhizae, 25. 215-27. DOI 10.1007/s00572-014-0603-6.
  • L. Robinson Boyer, P. Brain, X. Xu, P. Jeffries. (2015). Inoculation of drought-stressed strawberry with a mixed inoculum of two arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: effects on population dynamics of fungal species in roots and consequential plant tolerance to water deficiency Mycorrhiza, 25:3. 215-227 DOI 10.1007/s00572-014-0603-6.
  • Xiang-Ming Xu*, Chantelle N. Jay, Michelle T. Fountain, Judit Linka, Jean D. Fitzgerald. (2014). Development and validation of a model forecasting the phenology of European tarnished plant bug Lygus rugulipennis in the U.K. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 16(3). 265-272. DOI: 10.1111/afe.12054.
  • Robert Saville, Angela Berrie, Jean Fitzgerald, Chantelle Jay, Harriet Roberts, Erika Wedgwood, Xiangming Xu, Jerry Cross. (2013). Minimising pesticide residues in strawberry through integrated pest, disease and environmental crop management. IOBC-WPRS Bulletin 91. 431-438 .
  • Xu, X-M., Robinson, J.D., Else, M.A. (2013). Effects of nitrogen input and deficit irrigation within the commercial acceptable range on susceptibility of strawberry leaves to powdery mildew.  European Journal of Plant Pathology. DOI: 10.1007/s10658-012-0106-2.
  • XU, X.-M. & JEGER, M. (2013). Synergy may result from combined use of two biocontrol agents for controlling foliar pathogens under spatial heterogeneous conditions: a simulation study. Phytopathology 103. 768-775.
  • XU, X.-M., HARVEY, N., ROBERTS, A. & BARBARA, D.J. (2013). Population variation of apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) isolates within mixed orchards in the UK. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 135. 97-104.
  • Fountain MT, Harris AL, Xu X, Cross JV. (2012). Timing and efficacy of insecticides for control of mussel scale, Lepidosaphes ulmi, on apple using predictive models. Crop Protection, 31. 58-66.
  • 11. X.-M. Xu . (2012). Super-races are not likely to dominate a fungal population within a life time of a perennial crop plantation of cultivar mixtures: a simulation study.  BMC Ecology, 12. 16 (doi 10.1186/1472-6785-12-16).
  • XU, X.-M., WEDGWOOD, E., BERRIE, A.M., ALLEN, J. and O’NEILL, T.M. (2012). Epidemiology of strawberry and raspberry grey mould in open field and under protection. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 32. 531-543.
  • XU, X.-M., JEFFRIES, P., PAUTASSO, M. and JEGER, M. (2011). Combined use of biocontrol agents to manage plant diseases in theory and practice: a review.  Phytopathology 101. 1024-1031.
  • BERRIE, A., XU, X-M. and JOHNSON, D. (2010). Lower temperatures more effective than atmosphere modification in controlling botrytis and nectria rots in stored apples. Journal of Phytopathology 159. 73-79.
  • XU, X.-M., SALAMA, N., JEFFRIES, P. and JEGER, M. (2010). Numerical studies of biocontrol efficacies of foliar plant pathogens in relation to the characteristics of a biocontrol agent. Phytopathology 100. 814-821.
  • XU, X.-M., ROBINSON, J.D., JEGER, M. & JEFFRIES, P. (2010). Using combinations of biocontrol agents to control Botrytis cinerea on strawberry leaves under fluctuating temperatures. Biocontrol Science and Technology 20. 359-373.
  • X.-M. Xu and P. Nicholson . (2009). Community ecology of fungal pathogens causing wheat head blight. Annual Review of Phytopathology 47. 83-103 .
  • Robinson Boyer, L., Jeger, M.J., Xu, X. and Jeffries, P. (2009). Management of strawberry grey mould using mixtures of biocontrol agents with different mechanisms of action Biocontrol Science and Technology 19:10. 1051-1065.