Parasites and pathogens
Plant parasites and pathogens cause major losses in crop yield, threatening food security worldwide. Research in this area is focused on understanding the physiological, metabolic, and mol adidas sale ecular interactions between crop plants and their parasites during susceptible and resistant interactions with the aim of improving yield and devising novel strategies for durable control of parasites.
Unravelling the molecular genetic basis of Striga resistance in cereals and other crop species.
The parasitic weed Striga is the major constraint to cereal production in sub Saharan Africa reducing the yield of maize, sorghum, millet and rice by at least 40% (although total crop failure is common). The loss in yield attributed to this parasite is estimated to be 7 billion US$ annually thus impacting food security worldwide. Professor Julie Scholes (Department of Animal and Plant Sciences) leads a consortium to investigate the molecular genetic basis of resistance adidas sale to Striga in both rice and maize, and a joint US/UK initiative with the University of Virginia aimed at understanding the mechanisms of virulence in Striga. One project involves both laboratory based studies and field trials of novel germplasm in Africa, and is funded by the BBSRC DfID Sustainable Agriculture for International Development (SARID) initiative. In conjunction with scientists at Rothamsted Research, Professor Scholes is also investigating the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying suppression of Striga by root exudates from the legume Desmodium uncinatum. Desmodium uncinatum is a forage legume that is used as an intercrop in East Africa and reduces the infection of crop roots by Striga.
Molecu adidas sale lar mechanisms underlying disease development in Brassicas infected by clubroot
Clubroot disease caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae is an important pathogen of Brassica crops both in the UK and worldwide. The pathogen infects the roots causing large galls that restrict water movement and lower yield. Dr Steve Rolfe together with Professor Scholes and Professor Andy Fleming (all in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences) are seeking to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying clubroot induced gall formation in Brassicas using Arabidopsis as a model system with the ultimate aim of devising novel con adidas sale trol strategies for this pathogen.