Yields of potato (Solanum tuberosum) are reduced by potato late blight and several viruses, including potato leaf roll virus (PLRV). Solanum species carry genetic variation for Resistance (R) genes to potato diseases. The primary goals of this studentship are to isolate a PLRV-resistance gene from S. andigena, and to clone two late blight resistance genes (Rpi-amr4 and Rpi-amr-10) from Solanum americanum. The student will work alongside experienced postdocs and learn Mendelian genetics, molecular biology, plant/microbe interactions, genomics, including sequence capture (RenSeq), Oxford Nanopore sequencing and genome assembly methods. Goal 1 We collaborate with CIP, Peru to define RIadg for resistance to PLRV, an important potato disease. The student will (i) apply the RenSeq method to the resistant parent (ii) define NLR-encoding alleles that are absent from susceptible segregants, and define which confers resistance (iii) test if transient co-expression of PLRV reading frames with candidate NLRs activates defence. Transgenic plants carrying candidate NLR genes will be tested for PLRV resistance. The student will also use novel potato genetic methods to accelerate back crossing RIadg into elite diploid genetic backgrounds.
Goal 2 S. americanum carries novel Resistance to Phytophthora infestans (Rpi) genes. We have defined Rpi-amr3 and Rpi-amr1e. Rpi-amr4 maps to chromosome 1; Rpi-amr10 is unmapped. Other S. americanum lines carry additional Rpi genes. The student will clone Rpi-amr4, Rpi-amr10 and any additional Rpi genes defined by genetic analysis. If time permits, the student will also seek to identify the recognized effector from the pathogen, working with postdoc Dr Xiao Lin.
This project is awarded with a 4-year The Sainsbury Laboratory PhD studentship. Tuition fees are covered, and a stipend will be provided for each year of the studentship (2018/9 rate is £14,777.00). Research training support funding is available.