Industry Representative: Tony Harding, World Wide Fruit
AHDB Cost: £68,577.00
Total Project Cost: £78,577.00
Summary: This work will provide fundamental insights into the molecular basis of pathogenicity in N. ditissima, the causative agent of apple canker. The student will first extend and deploy an accurate and quantifiable automated pathogenicity test (and image analysis method) to measure differences in pathogenicity of isolates and resistance to different pathogen isolates. They will then conduct a gene expression analysis to identify similarities and differences in infection of isolates of differing virulence on susceptible and resistant hosts. Through bioinformatic comparison of isolates of N. ditissima gathered worldwide a set of candidate genes important in virulence will be established and gene disruption techniques will be used in order to determine the role of these genes in infection. This is important, as downstream application of resistance genes depends upon an accurate assessment of their durability (and hence targets). WFL and EMS, the industry contacts for this PhD are operating a new generation of breeding programme, that directly translates basic science into the applied sector and requires students with more basic skill sets to move into this industry.