Identification and Validation of Candidate Genes for Aphid Resistance in Wheat

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


The most damaging aphid species on wheat are Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) and Sitobion avenae (F.) causing up to 30% reductions in yield by feeding on phloem sap from their host and reducing photosynthesis. Furthermore, both aphid species transmit viruses including the Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus. Typically aphids are controlled using insecticides, however following the neonicotinoid ban via recent European Union legislation and the development of insecticide resistance chemical control methods are no longer consistent or sustainable. The most useful method for insect control would be using host-resistance, however, currently there are no known aphid resistant wheat varieties that can be made available to growers.
This project will determine the mechanism of novel resistance to aphids recently discovered in a commercial wheat variety by the Ray group at the University of Nottingham. We will use mapping populations and crosses to identify the gene/s associated with the resistance discovered in this wheat variety. The project will involve the characterisation of the resistance mechanism (antibiosis and/or antixenosis) using aphid development and fecundity experiments and behaviour studies. Further elucidation studies for the candidate genes will involve omics approaches (transcriptomics, metabolomics and volatomics). Resistance will be confirmed in field studies with Syngenta as the main objective will be to identify a viable marker/s for the gene/s which will allow the rapid transfer into other commercial varieties in the near future. The student will benefit from the supervision by Dr Ray and Dr Kim at the University of Nottingham and Prof Bruce at the Keele University in the areas of crop science, chemical ecology, entomology, crop improvement and metabolomics. Furthermore, the student will work with UK and Europe-based breeders at Syngenta.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/T008369/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2028
2669973 Studentship BB/T008369/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2025 Ilma Amalya Qonaah