Dr Ulrike Bechtold

School of Biological Sciences
Dr Ulrike Bechtold
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872244

  • Location

    3SW.5.43, Colchester Campus



2010- present : Lecturer 2004 - 2010: Senior Research Officer, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, UK 2002 - 2004: Research Scientist, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK 1998 - 2002: PhD in plant molecular biology, Department of Disease & Stress Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK 1992 - 1998: Diploma (equivalent to M.Sc.) in Biology, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany Lab: 5.36 Research Students Ms Wardah Alhoqail, PhD student Ms Maria Michailid, MsD student Mr Alexander Bowles, shared PhD student Google Scholar: Orcid ID:


  • PhD John Innes Centre (BBSRC) (2002)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Natural variation of water productivity

Transcriptional networks of drought stress responses

Current research

Protein glycation during plant stress

lycation is the non-enzymatic reaction of sugars with proteins to form advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). AGEs cross-link and inhibit proteins, and in humans, is one of the major causes for diabetes-associated complications. Due to their stable n. While glycation is known to trigger defense mechanisms in animals, little is known about the role of glycation in the regulation of defense responses in plants. My lab has shown the presence of specific early and advanced glycation products in response to stress and diurnal variation in Arabidopsis leaf extracts, linking carbohydrate associated protein modifications to underlying physiological processes (Bechtold et al 2009).

Teaching and supervision

  • Biomedical Science: Practice and Employability (Assessed in Following Year) (BS414)

  • Genomics (BS982)

  • Research Project in Biomolecular Science (BS831)


Journals (16)

Ferguson, JN., Humphry, M., Lawson, T., Brendel, O. and Bechtold, U., (2018). Natural variation of life-history traits, water use, and drought responses in Arabidopsis. Plant Direct. 2 (1)

Bechtold, U., Penfold, CA., Jenkins, DJ., Legaie, R., Moore, JD., Lawson, T., Matthews, JSA., Vialet-Chabrand, SRM., Baxter, L., Subramaniam, S., Hickman, R., Florance, H., Sambles, C., Salmon, DL., Feil, R., Bowden, L., Hill, C., Baker, NR., Lunn, JE., Finkenstädt, B., Mead, A., Buchanan-Wollaston, V., Beynon, J., Rand, DA., Wild, DL., Denby, KJ., Ott, S., Smirnoff, N. and Mullineaux, PM., (2016). Time-series transcriptomics reveals that AGAMOUS-LIKE22 affects primary metabolism and developmental processes in drought-stressed arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 28 (2)

Yates, SA., Chernukhin, I., Alvarez-Fernandez, R., Bechtold, U., Baeshen, M., Baeshen, N., Mutwakil, MZ., Sabir, J., Lawson, T. and Mullineaux, PM., (2014). The temporal foliar transcriptome of the perennial C3 desert plant Rhazya stricta in its natural environment. BMC Plant Biology. 14 (1)

Lawson, T., Davey, PA., Yates, SA., Bechtold, U., Baeshen, M., Baeshen, N., Mutwakil, MZ., Sabir, J., Baker, NR. and Mullineaux, PM., (2014). C₃ photosynthesis in the desert plant Rhazya stricta is fully functional at high temperatures and light intensities. New Phytologist. 201 (3)

Bechtold, U., Albihlal, WS., Lawson, T., Fryer, MJ., Sparrow, PA., Richard, F., Persad, R., Bowden, L., Hickman, R., Martin, C., Beynon, JL., Buchanan-Wollaston, V., Baker, NR., Morison, JI., Schöffl, F., Ott, S. and Mullineaux, PM., (2013). Arabidopsis HEAT SHOCK TRANSCRIPTION FACTORA1b overexpression enhances water productivity, resistance to drought, and infection. Journal of Experimental Botany. 64 (11)

Lapin, D., Meyer, RC., Takahashi, H., Bechtold, U. and Van den Ackerveken, G., (2012). Broad-spectrum resistance of Arabidopsis C24 to downy mildew is mediated by different combinations of isolate-specific loci. New Phytologist. 196 (4)

BECHTOLD, U., LAWSON, T., MEJIA-CARRANZA, J., MEYER, RC., BROWN, IR., ALTMANN, T., TON, J. and MULLINEAUX, PM., (2010). Constitutive salicylic acid defences do not compromise seed yield, drought tolerance and water productivity in the Arabidopsis accession C24. Plant, Cell & Environment. 33 (11)


Bechtold, U., Rabbani, N., Mullineaux, PM. and Thornalley, PJ., (2009). Quantitative measurement of specific biomarkers for protein oxidation, nitration and glycation in Arabidopsis leaves. The Plant Journal. 59 (4)

Bechtold, U., Richard, O., Zamboni, A., Gapper, C., Geisler, M., Pogson, B., Karpinski, S. and Mullineaux, PM., (2008). Impact of chloroplastic- and extracellular-sourced ROS on high light-responsive gene expression in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany. 59 (2)

Flors, C., (2006). Imaging the production of singlet oxygen in vivo using a new fluorescent sensor, Singlet Oxygen Sensor Green(R). Journal of Experimental Botany. 57 (8)

BECHTOLD, U., KARPINSKI, S. and MULLINEAUX, PM., (2005). The influence of the light environment and photosynthesis on oxidative signalling responses in plant-biotrophic pathogen interactions. Plant, Cell and Environment. 28 (8)

Bechtold, U., (2004). Arabidopsis Peptide Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase2 Prevents Cellular Oxidative Damage in Long Nights. THE PLANT CELL ONLINE. 16 (4)

Ball, L., (2004). Evidence for a Direct Link between Glutathione Biosynthesis and Stress Defense Gene Expression in Arabidopsis. THE PLANT CELL ONLINE. 16 (9)

Gustavsson, N., Kokke, BP., Harndahl, U., Silow, M., Bechtold, U., Poghosyan, Z., Murphy, D., Boelens, WC. and Sundby, C., (2002). A peptide methionine sulfoxide reductase highly expressed in photosynthetic tissue in Arabidopsis thaliana can protect the chaperone-like activity of a chloroplast-localized small heat shock protein. The Plant Journal. 29 (5)

Bechtold, U., Pahlich, E. and Lea, PJ., (1998). Methionine sulphoximine does not inhibit pea and wheat glutamate dehydrogenase. Phytochemistry. 49 (2)

Conferences (3)

Bechtold, U. and Rabbani, N., (2007). Evidence of advanced glycation endproducts, oxidation and nitrosation damage in Arabidopsis leaves

Mullineaux, P., Baker, N., Bechtold, U., Fryer, M. and Davies, W., (2007). Spatial dependence for H2O2-directed signalling in Arabidopsis leaves

Bechtold, U., Leyland, NR. and Mullineaux, PM., (2003). Does elevated foliar glutathione alter responses to biotic and abiotic stress?

Grants and funding


PHOTOWHEAT: Exploiting variation in stomatal dynamics and ear photosynthesis to optimise wheat productivity.

Biotechnology & Biology Science Res.Council

Identifying the mechanisms and resource use implications of acclimation to high-temperature in marine cyanobacteria

Natural Environment Research Council


Sugar signalling during drought stress: do plants suffer diabetes when stressed

Leverhulme Trust


Dissecting the Heat Shock Transcription A1b (HSFA1b) network

Society of Biology


India - Transfer of Regulatory Genes from Arabidopsis to Indian Mustard

Biotechnology & Biology Science Res.Council


Environmental meta-genomics and biotechnology of Rhazya

King Abdulaziz University

Metabolic engineering to enhance photosynthesis based on empirical data and in silico modelling

Biotechnology & Biology Science Res.Council


European Commission