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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Steven Bates

Dr Steven Bates

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology


 +44 (0) 1392 725174

 Geoffrey Pope 320


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


I have been active in the area of Medical Mycology for a number of years working on the Molecular and Cellular Biology of the common human fungal pathogen Candida albicans.  More recently I have also started working on Zymoseptoria tritici, the main fungal pathogen of wheat in the EU.  I am also the local programme director for the BBSRC South West Doctoral Training Programme, and a member of the Microbes and Disease research group.


2006-2007 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Exeter
1993-1997 PhD Molecular Microbiology, University of Leicester
1990-1993 BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Leicester


2012-present Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology, University of Exeter
2006-2012 Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology, University of Exeter
2003-2006 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen
2001-2003 Senior Scientist, Oxford GlycoSciences UK Ltd
2000-2001 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield
1998-2000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen
1997-1998 Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Leicester

Research group links

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Research interests

My research interests are in the molecular and cellular biology of fungal pathogens, with the main focus on the human pathogen C. albicans and plant pathogen Z. tritici, as model organisms to identify and study fungal virulence factors.

A striking feature of Candida albicans is its ability to grow in a variety of morphological forms, ranging from budding yeast to true hyphae with parallel-sided walls. The ability to switch between morphological forms is linked to virulence. My work concentrates on understanding the mechanisms that establish and regulate polarised growth in the different morphological forms, and the interplay of such processes with the cell cycle.  My other main research interest in C. albicans is in identifying the cell surface and secreted epitopes that contribute to the host-fungal interaction and virulence. This currently includes the dissection of a family of secreted proteins that could potentially be targeted to enhance the host defeence response against the pathogen.

In addition to working on human fungal pathogens I also now work on Zymoseptoria tritici, the main fungal pathogen of wheat in the EU.   This work focuses on the role of cell wall and secreted factors in the host-pathogen interaction, plus how the pathogen acquires nutrients from the host during the early symptomless phase on the infection proces.

Research grants

  • 2011 Biomedical iNET
    Industrial collaboration with Darr House Molecular Innovations
  • 2008 Society for General Microbiology
    Vacation Studentship "Development of new molecular tools for antifungal target validation in Candida albicans"
  • 2008 British Mycological Society
    Vacation Studentship "Role of galactomannan in the cell wall structure of Aspergillus fumigatus"
  • 2007 BBSRC
    Role of the mitotic exit network in the morphological development of Candida albicans

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Journal articles

Child HT, Deeks MJ, Rudd JJ, Bates S (2023). Comparison of the impact of two key fungal signalling pathways on <i>Zymoseptoria tritici</i> infection reveals divergent contribution to invasive growth through distinct regulation of infection‐associated genes. Molecular Plant Pathology, 24(10), 1220-1237. Abstract.
Child HT, Deeks MJ, Haynes K, Rudd JJ, Bates S (2022). Distinct roles for different autophagy-associated genes in the virulence of the fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 163, 103748-103748.
Duxbury SJN, Bates S, Beardmore RE, Gudelj I (2020). Evolution of drug-resistant and virulent small colonies in phenotypically diverse populations of the human fungal pathogen. <i>Candida glabrata</i>. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287(1931), 20200761-20200761. Abstract.
Bieger BD, Rogers AM, Bates S, Egan MJ (2020). Long-distance early endosome motility in Aspergillus fumigatus promotes normal hyphal growth behaviors in controlled microenvironments but is dispensable for virulence. Traffic, 21(7), 479-487. Abstract.  Author URL.
Schaefer K, Wagener J, Ames RM, Christou S, MacCallum DM, Bates S, Gow NAR (2020). Three Related Enzymes in Candida albicans Achieve Arginine- and Agmatine-Dependent Metabolism That is Essential for Growth and Fungal Virulence. mBio, 11(4). Abstract.
Schaefer K, Bates S, Ames R, Christou S, Gow N (2019). The Candida albicans arginase family encodes enzymes with diverse catabolic activities that differentially influence host–fungus interactions. Access Microbiology, 1(1A).
Bates S (2018). Candida albicans Cdc15 is essential for mitotic exit and cytokinesis. Sci Rep, 8(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Champion OL, Titball RW, Bates S (2018). Standardization of G. mellonella Larvae to Provide Reliable and Reproducible Results in the Study of Fungal Pathogens. J Fungi (Basel), 4(3). Abstract.  Author URL.
Ames L, Duxbury S, Pawlowska B, Ho H-L, Haynes K, Bates S (2017). <i>Galleria mellonella</i> as a host model to study <i>Candida glabrata</i> virulence and antifungal efficacy. Virulence, 8(8), 1909-1917.
Bates S (2014). Pathogenic Fungi: Insights in Molecular Biology. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, 6(5), 591-592.
Milne SW, Cheetham J, Lloyd D, Shaw S, Moore K, Paszkiewicz KH, Aves SJ, Bates S (2014). Role of Candida albicans Tem1 in mitotic exit and cytokinesis. Fungal Genet Biol, 69, 84-95. Abstract.  Author URL.
Parham H, Bates S, Xia Y, Zhu Y (2013). A highly efficient and versatile carbon nanotube/ceramic composite filter. Carbon, 54, 215-223. Abstract.
Islahudin F, Khozoie C, Bates S, Ting K-N, Pleass RJ, Avery SV (2013). Cell wall perturbation sensitizes fungi to the antimalarial drug chloroquine. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 57(8), 3889-3896. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bates S, Hall RA, Cheetham J, Netea MG, MacCallum DM, Brown AJP, Odds FC, Gow NAR (2013). Role of the Candida albicans MNN1 gene family in cell wall structure and virulence. BMC Res Notes, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.
Hall RA, Bates S, Lenardon MD, Maccallum DM, Wagener J, Lowman DW, Kruppa MD, Williams DL, Odds FC, Brown AJP, et al (2013). The Mnn2 mannosyltransferase family modulates mannoprotein fibril length, immune recognition and virulence of Candida albicans. PLoS Pathog, 9(4). Abstract.  Author URL.
Hall RA, Bates S, Wagener J, Odds FC, Alvarez FJ, Brown AJP, Gow NAR (2012). Mannosylation of <i>Candida albicans</i> and its importance for immune recognition. MYCOSES, 55, 67-67.  Author URL.
Milne SW, Cheetham J, Lloyd D, Aves S, Bates S (2011). Cassettes for PCR-mediated gene tagging in Candida albicans utilizing nourseothricin resistance. Yeast, 28(12), 833-841. Abstract.  Author URL.
Mora-Montes HM, Bates S, Netea MG, Castillo L, Brand A, Buurman ET, Díaz-Jiménez DF, Jan Kullberg B, Brown AJP, Odds FC, et al (2010). A multifunctional mannosyltransferase family in Candida albicans determines cell wall mannan structure and host-fungus interactions. J Biol Chem, 285(16), 12087-12095. Abstract.  Author URL.
Mora-Montes HM, Netea MG, Sheth CC, Brown GD, Bates S, Kullberg BJ, Brown AJP, Odds FC, Gow NAR (2009). <i>Candida albicans</i> cell wall glycobiology: biosynthesis of <i>N</i>-linked mannans and interaction with the host innate immune system. MYCOSES, 52, 24-24.  Author URL.
Butler G, Rasmussen MD, Lin MF, Santos MAS, Sakthikumar S, Munro CA, Rheinbay E, Grabherr M, Forche A, Reedy JL, et al (2009). Evolution of pathogenicity and sexual reproduction in eight Candida genomes. Nature, 459(7247), 657-662. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chaves GM, Bates S, Maccallum DM, Odds FC (2007). Candida albicans GRX2, encoding a putative glutaredoxin, is required for virulence in a murine model. Genet Mol Res, 6(4), 1051-1063. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bates S, de la Rosa JM, MacCallum DM, Brown AJP, Gow NAR, Odds FC (2007). Candida albicans Iff11, a secreted protein required for cell wall structure and virulence. Infect Immun, 75(6), 2922-2928. Abstract.  Author URL.
Mora-Montes HM, Bates S, Netea MG, Díaz-Jiménez DF, López-Romero E, Zinker S, Ponce-Noyola P, Kullberg BJ, Brown AJP, Odds FC, et al (2007). Endoplasmic reticulum α-glycosidases of Candida albicans are required for N glycosylation, cell wall integrity, and normal host-fungus interaction. Eukaryotic Cell, 6(12), 2184-2193. Abstract.
Gow NAR, Netea MG, Munro CA, Ferwerda G, Bates S, Mora-Montes HM, Walker L, Jansen T, Jacobs L, Tsoni V, et al (2007). Immune recognition of Candida albicans beta-glucan by dectin-1. J Infect Dis, 196(10), 1565-1571. Abstract.  Author URL.
Netea MG, Gow NAR, Munro CA, Bates S, Collins C, Ferwerda G, Hobson RP, Bertram G, Hughes HB, Jansen T, et al (2006). Immune sensing of Candida albicans requires cooperative recognition of mannans and glucans by lectin and Toll-like receptors. J Clin Invest, 116(6), 1642-1650. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bates S, Hughes HB, Munro CA, Thomas WPH, MacCallum DM, Bertram G, Atrih A, Ferguson MAJ, Brown AJP, Odds FC, et al (2006). Outer chain N-glycans are required for cell wall integrity and virulence of Candida albicans. J Biol Chem, 281(1), 90-98. Abstract.  Author URL.
Braun BR, Hoog MV, d'Enfert C, Martchenko M, Dungan J, Kuo A, Inglis DO, Uhl MA, Hogues H, Berriman M, et al (2005). A human-curated annotation of the <i>Candida albicans</i> genome. PLOS GENETICS, 1(1), 36-57.  Author URL.
Bates S, MacCallum DM, Bertram G, Munro CA, Hughes HB, Buurman ET, Brown AJP, Odds FC, Gow NAR (2005). Candida albicans Pmr1p, a secretory pathway P-type Ca2+/Mn2+-ATPase, is required for glycosylation and virulence. J Biol Chem, 280(24), 23408-23415. Abstract.  Author URL.
Munro CA, Bates S, Buurman ET, Hughes HB, Maccallum DM, Bertram G, Atrih A, Ferguson MAJ, Bain JM, Brand A, et al (2005). Mnt1p and Mnt2p of Candida albicans are partially redundant alpha-1,2-mannosyltransferases that participate in O-linked mannosylation and are required for adhesion and virulence. J Biol Chem, 280(2), 1051-1060. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chapa y Lazo B, Bates S, Sudbery P (2005). The G1 cyclin Cln3 regulates morphogenesis in Candida albicans. Eukaryot Cell, 4(1), 90-94. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wightman R, Bates S, Amornrrattanapan P, Sudbery P (2004). In Candida albicans, the Nim1 kinases Gin4 and Hsl1 negatively regulate pseudohypha formation and Gin4 also controls septin organization. J Cell Biol, 164(4), 581-591. Abstract.  Author URL.
Hobson RP, Munro CA, Bates S, MacCallum DM, Cutler JE, Heinsbroek SEM, Brown GD, Odds FC, Gow NAR (2004). Loss of cell wall mannosylphosphate in Candida albicans does not influence macrophage recognition. J Biol Chem, 279(38), 39628-39635. Abstract.  Author URL.
Thomson LM, Bates S, Yamazaki S, Arisawa M, Aoki Y, Gow NA (2000). Functional characterization of the Candida albicans MNT1 mannosyltransferase expressed heterologously in Pichia pastoris. J Biol Chem, 275(25), 18933-18938. Abstract.  Author URL.
Gow NAR, Bates S, Brown AJP, Buurman ET, Thomson LM, Westwater C (1999). Candida cell wall mannosylation: importance in host-fungus interaction and potential as a target for the development of antifungal drugs. Biochemical Society Transactions, 27(3), a86-a86.
Gow NA, Bates S, Brown AJ, Buurman ET, Thomson LM, Westwater C (1999). Candida cell wall mannosylation: importance in host-fungus interaction and potential as a target for the development of antifungal drugs. Biochem Soc Trans, 27(4), 512-516.  Author URL.
Bates S, Roscoe RA, Althorpe NJ, Brammar WJ, Wilkins BM (1999). Expression of leading region genes on IncI1 plasmid ColIb-P9: genetic evidence for single-stranded DNA transcription. Microbiology (Reading), 145 ( Pt 10), 2655-2662. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bates S, Cashmore AM, Wilkins BM (1998). IncP plasmids are unusually effective in mediating conjugation of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae: involvement of the tra2 mating system. J Bacteriol, 180(24), 6538-6543. Abstract.  Author URL.


Wilkins BM, Bates S (1997). Gene transfer by bacterial conjugation: Establishment of the immigrant plasmid in the recipient cell. In Burby SJW (Ed) Molecular Microbiology, Springer-Verlag, 43-64.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards/Honorary fellowships

Berkeley Award of the British Mycological Society for "outstanding original contributions in fungal biology" (2009)

Committee/panel activities

BBSRC SWDTP Management Committee (2012-present)

Executive committee: British Society for Medical Mycology (2008 -2010)

Editorial responsibilities

Journal of Medical Microbiology (2008-2014)

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology (2006-2017)

Fungal Biology (2009-present)

PLoS One (2010 -2015)

Invited lectures

University of Aberdeen, 2012

British Mycological Society, University of Exeter, 2011

British Society for Medical Mycology, University of Exeter, 2010

British Mycological Society, University of Dundee, 2009

British Mycological Society, University of Birmingham, 2006

International Society for Human and Animal Mycology Congress, Paris, 2006

Workshops/Conferences organised

British Mycological Society "Dynamic Fungus" (University of Exeter, 2016)

British Mycological Society (University of Exeter, 2011)

British Society for Medical Mycology (University of Exeter, 2010)

South West Microbiology Forum (University of Exeter, 2009)

Society for the Chemical Industry. Antifungals (Cambridge, 2005)

British Yeast Group Meeting (University of Aberdeen, 2000)

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Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Programme Director for the BBSRC SWBio Doctoral Training Programme

Module Co-ordinator:

BIO2089 Molecular Biology of the Gene

Module Contributor:

BIO2078 Medical and General Microbiology

BIO3079 Molecular Basis of Infection

BIOM509 Professional Skills



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Supervision / Group

Postdoctoral researchers

Postgraduate researchers

Research Technicians

  • Nicolas Helmstetter


  • Sarah Duxbury Second supervisor
  • Stephen Milne

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