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Disease phenomics - quantifying the development of disease symptoms in infected plants

  • Full or part time
    Dr S A Rolfe
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Biology is undergoing a revolution as ‘omic technologies allow us to make hundreds or thousands of measurements on large populations of plants. The newly established field of ‘disease phenomics’ uses high-throughput imaging techniques to quantify disease development on populations of crop plants. This allows us to develop disease resistant crops in an entirely new way by selecting those that show quantitative resistance to pathogens. Each individual gene has a small, additive impact on the disease but together they provide effective and durable disease resistance. The student will use state-of-the-art facilities in Wolfson Centre for Disease Phenomics to quantify how disease symptoms develop in infected plants and relate this to the underlying genetics of the host or pathogen. They will gain experience in multispectral and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging techniques and associated methods for handling large quantities of data. These studies will be complemented with molecular, biochemical and microscopic analyses of disease development to build a comprehensive picture of the mechanisms that protect plants against disease.

Science Graduate School
As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you’ll be part of the Science Graduate School. You’ll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You’ll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

Funding Notes

The applicant will need to find funding to cover tuition fees and living expenses

The applicant should have, or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject

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