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Department of Plant Sciences


Research group


Research overview

Crop breeding relies on selecting new combinations of traits that result from crossovers, reciprocal exchange between parental chromosomes during meiosis, a specialized cell division to produce gametes. Crossovers are few in numbers (1-3 per chromosome) and are non-randomly distributed along chromosomes, therefore, not all traits are equally amenable for meiotic recombination and breeding. Building on the fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms of crossover control, our group aims to develop novel breeding technologies in legume crops to enable faster and more economical ways to breed new cultivars with agronomically valuable traits, for example, adapted to changing climate conditions and producing robust high yields when farmed sustainably.

School of Biological Sciences theme affiliations


Previous positions

2021-present Head of Group, Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge
2015-2020 Broodbank Postdoctoral Fellow, Senior Research Associate, Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge
2009-2015 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge
2008-2009 Career Development Fellow, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, London
2004-2007 Royal Society/NATO and EMBO Postdoctoral Fellow, Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich


1999-2003 PhD in Plant Virology, Moscow State University, Russia
1994-1999 BSc and MSc Biochemistry, Moscow State University, Russia



Key publications


All publications

Head of Crop Breeding Technologies Group
Cawthorn Senior Researcher of Crop Science
Natashe Yelina

Contact Details

Email address: 
Crop Science Centre,
Lawrence Weaver Road,
01223 342200