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Understanding the genetic basis for Ramularia disease resistance in barley

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 03, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Ramularia leaf spot (RLS), caused by the fungus Ramularia collo-cygni, is a major disease of barley in many temperate countries. The disease has a long latent phase in the plant before symptoms appear, typically after flowering, leading to reduced grain yield and quality. Currently there is limited host resistance to RLS and research at SRUC has shown that genotype rankings for resistance vary across sites and seasons. Dramatic recent reductions in the efficacy of fungicides and the threat of the loss of fungicides through regulatory control makes the development of reliable resistance to RLS an important priority in order to sustain barley production to meet the demands of the distilling and brewing industries. The aims of this project are to i) use genetic analysis to identify potential resistance to RLS in elite barley germplasm and ii) investigate possible causes of genotype x environment interaction in the expression of resistance. The hypothesis to be tested is that the genotype x environment interaction in disease development arises from environmental influences on the development of symptoms rather than the latent growth of the fungus.

The applicant should posses or expect to achieve an Honours degree or Masters in a biological based subject. The applicant should also possess some experience in quantitative/statistical analysis, ideally quantitative genetic analysis. A knowledge of plant pathology, molecular biology and bioinformatics would be desirable.

The expected start date of this project will be the 1st of October, 2019 and the student will be based at the Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, with some time at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee in the first year. The studentship has co-funding from the Scottish Whisky Research Institute.

Funding Notes

The stipend will be set at UKRI recommended levels for a 3.5 year-period and the studentship is funded to pay domestic tuition fee levels for UK/EU students. The student will receive an annual student stipend of £14,777 (£15,009 in 2019/20). This studentship will fund to pay the tuition fees at home fees rate only. International students must provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover the higher international student tuition fee level (approximately £16,740 per year would be required).

How good is research at SRUC - Scotland’s Rural College in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 57.37

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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