Staff Profile

Dr Erik Rikkerink
Science Group Leader, Bioprotection Technologies

More information about our Bioprotection research

Dr Erik Rikkerink


BSc (Hons), Biochemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand
PhD, Genetics, University of Otago, New Zealand

Research Interests & Activities

Molecular genetics of host-pathogen interactions, including mapping, positional cloning of disease resistance genes, bioinformatics, analysing fungal and bacterial effectors and their plant host targets and linking this information to breeding strategies. Key areas of focus are understanding the virulence of a new outbreak of Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae, responsible for worldwide devastation of kiwifruit orchards; developing strategies for breeding durable Psa resistance into kiwifruit cultivars; and understanding the role of intrinsic disorder in signalling pathways in the plant defense response.

International Collaboration

Prof. Vladimir N Uversky, College of Molecular Medicine, University of South Florida (Tampa)
Prof. Paul B Rainey, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology (Plön) & Massey University (Albany)
Prof David S Guttman, Canada Research Chair in Comparative Genomics, University of Toronto
Prof. Andrew F Bent, Dept Plant Pathology, Univ. Wisconsin (Madison)

Honours & Awards

1983 Otago University Post-graduate Scholar, Medical Research Council of New Zealand

Professional Memberships

Member, New Zealand Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Member, MapNet

Key Publications

McCann,H.C. Rikkerink, EHA, Bertels, F, Fiers, M, Lu, A, Rees-George, J, Andersen, MT, Gleave, AP, Haubold, B, Wohlers, MW, Guttman, DS, Wang, PW, Straub, C, Vanneste, J, Rainey, PB &Templeton, MD (2013) Genomic Analysis of the Kiwifruit Pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae Provides Insight into the Origins of an Emergent Plant Disease. PLoS Pathogens 9:e1003503
Sun, X, Rikkerink, EHA, Jones, WT, & Uversky VN (2013) Multifarious Roles of Intrinsic Disorder in Proteins Illustrate Its Broad Impact on Plant Biology. Plant Cell 25:38-55
Sun, X, Xue, B, Jones, W T, Rikkerink, E, Dunker, A K and Uversky, V N (2011) A functionally required unfoldome from the plant kingdom: intrinsically disordered N-terminal domains of GRAS proteins are involved in molecular recognition during plant development. Plant Mol.Biol., 773: 205-223
Sun X, Jones WT & Rikkerink EHA (2012). GRAS proteins: The versatile roles of intrinsically disordered proteins in plant signalling. Biochemical Journal. 442: 1-12
Bus VGM, Rikkerink EHA, Caffier V, Durel CE & Plummer KM (2011). Revision of Nomenclature of the Differential Host-Pathogen Interactions of Venturia inaequalis and Malus. Annual Review of Phytopathology 49:391-413.
Templeton, MD Rikkerink, EHA & Beever RE 1994. Small, cysteine-rich proteins and recognition in fungal-plant interactions. Molec. Plant-Microbe Interact. 7: 320-325.
Association mapping in Plants Oraguzie NC, Rikkerink EHA et al. (2007), Editors, Springer
Newcomb RD, Crowhurst RN, Gleave AP, Rikkerink EHA et al. (2006). Analyses of Expressed Sequence Tags from Apple. Plant Physiology. 141:1-20

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