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Accelerating disease resistance breeding for diploid potato germplasm improvement (JONESS20CASE)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, November 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

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 novel approaches (https://tinyurl.com/ycn4od6f) to understand and deploy potato diversity for disease resistance using newly-available self-compatible diploid potato lines. Tetraploid potato 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, breed to diploids, 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. We work closely with CIP (Peru) and James Hutton Institute, Dundee on virus and nematode resistance and potato molecular genetics.

This is an iCase partnership with http://www.solynta.com who develop F1 hybrid potato diploid varieties. 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.

This CASE project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRPDTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: https://biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website. Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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

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