We study fundamental principles of disease resistance in plants and the use of genomics in basic and translational research. We focus on wheat, a grass highly amenable to laboratory research and of immense importance in food security and human health.
The main scientific questions in the group are “How do plants outrace rapidly evolving pathogens” and “Which genomic and molecular changes allow for rapid diversification of genes and pathways”, such as of plant immune receptors. In other words, we are interested to know how plants are capable to stay healthy and what can we learn from the genomes of currently cultivated wheat and its wild relatives to improve plant health.
Our focus on wheat is motivated by our goal to contribute to sustainable agriculture in our future and the pressing need for new genetic sources of disease resistance in face of wheat disease epidemics. Draft sequence of wheat genome, availability of TILLING populations and CRISPR technologies allow us to ask ambitious scientific questions and perform analyses and engineering of favourable traits in short time span.
This group is formed by partnership of the Earlham Institute (Triticeae Genomics) and The Sainsbury Laboratory.
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