Prof Paul Knox


PhD in hormonal physiology at University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Postdoctoral work in Bath, Cambridge and John Innes Centre, Norwich. Appointed Lecturer 1990, Senior Lecturer 1997, Reader 2000. Professor of Plant Cell Biology 2005. Emeritus Professor 2021.

Research interests

Plant cell wall biology

The construction and retention of rigid, polysaccharide-based cell walls by plant cells has significant implications for the mechanisms of cell proliferation, cell adhesion, cell development and growth. Multifunctional primary and secondary cell walls are important determinants of the mechanical properties of plant cells and organs. This makes cell walls of considerable interest and importance for fundamental plant biology. In addition cell walls are important materials in relation to the exploitation of plants for foods, textile fibres, industrial polymers and increasingly as sustainable resources for bioenergy. 

Cell walls are carbohydrate-based, structurally complex fibrous composites consisting of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of other polysaccharides and proteins. At Leeds we have generated sets of molecular probes including monoclonal antibodies for cell wall imaging and quantitative assays to explore all aspects of plant cell wall biology and polysaccharide functions. Our cell biological work involving the preparation and use of monoclonal antibody and carbohydrate-binding module probes is integrated with microscopy procedures and directed at a range of plant systems. Recent work has focused on the study of the polysaccharides secreted by plant roots and their roles in plant-soil interactions. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc Newcastle
  • PhD Wales (Aberystwyth)

Research groups and institutes

  • Plant Science
  • Crop science, genetics and physiology
  • Plant molecular genetics and developmental/cell biology