Projects

We are currently advertising DTP and CASE studentships for October 2019 start. The deadline for applications is the 26th November 2018.

27 / 09 / 2018

Defining and exploiting potato diversity for pest and disease resistance using diploid genetics (JONES_S19DTP)

how to apply

Pests and diseases reduce crop yields, requiring agrichemical sprays. We aim to replace agrichemicals with genetic resistance for pest and disease control. This project involves a novel approach to understand and use potato diversity for disease resistance using newly-available self-compatible diploid potato lines. Tetraploid lines carry useful variation for pest and disease resistance, but genetic analysis in tetraploids is difficult. Using appropriate crosses, the student will use diploid genetics to define and clone potato leaf roll virus (PLRV) and nematode resistance genes, and will use genome editing to accelerate breeding such genes into useful diploids and improve potato traits. We will also use CRISPR/Cas9 editing for diploid potato improvement and test gene "knock-ins" via homologous recombination. We work closely with CIP (Peru) and James Hutton Institute, Dundee on virus and nematode resistance and potato molecular genetics, and with www.solynta.com who develop potato diploid lines.

The student will learn skills in genetics, molecular biology, disease resistance, tissue culture, DNA sequence capture and assembly (RenSeq) and associated bioinformatics, GoldenGate cloning, and genome editing using CrispR/Cas9. Applicants should have a strong interest in plant genetics and genetic diversity, in plant disease resistance and in modern crop improvement. 

References

Velasquez (2007) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17394033

Witek (2016) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27111721

Chen (2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29560514

Tomlinson (2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29797460

Taylor (2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30104652

Cermak (2015) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26541286

Lindhout (2016) https://tinyurl.com/yblqvrbo