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Plant pathology and epidemiology

This theme encompasses investigation of the interactions of plants with microbial pathogens and invertebrate pests at scales ranging from the molecular to landscape level using experimental and mathematical modelling approaches.

Headline research projects for this theme:

Manipulation of host plant metabolism and aphid behaviour by viruses to maximise infection and distribution. Lead: John Carr

Using citrus canker in Florida as a case study, eradication of plant disease can be optimised by risk-based control methods, and simplified for stakeholder uptake. Lead: Nik Cunniffe.

A trade-off between the fitness costs and benefits of disease resistance can be manipulated so that plants are partially resistant to a broad range of pathogens. Lead: David Baulcombe.

Associated research groups:

Contributing research groups from associated institutions:


Some projects will be specifically targeted towards defined UKRI Research Council DTP schemes, as well as being open for applicants applying to the University's Graduate Funding Competition or other sources of funding.

Potential applicants should always approach the potential Supervisor/Group Leader in the first instance to discuss eligibility.

Key to funding opportunities below:

  • GFC = Graduate Funding Competition,
  • NERC = Cambridge NERC C-CLEAR DTP,
  • OTHER = Other sources of funding

 

Title Description
Carr Group: Plant viruses: Effects on drought resilience GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: Plant Virology: Effects on plant-pollinator interactions GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: Plant Virology: Interactions between viral proteins that affect host resistance to insect vectors GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: Plant Virology: Role of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in salicylic acid-induced viruses resistance GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: *Priority CASE Project* Pathogenic viruses of bees and aphids: Are plants a common reservoir? NERC / GFC / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: How can landscape structure be used to control crop disease? GFC / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: Using citrus as a model for scaling control of disease at local scales to strategies for regional control GFC / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: Tainted Love? Modelling the epidemiology, ecology and evolutionary consequences of pollinator-transmitted plant disease NERC / GFC / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Schornack Group: The role of GRAS transcription factors in plant microbe interactions and development of the non-vascular plant Marchantia polymorpha (Full PhD project) GFC / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Schornack Group: Contrasting functionality of a glycerol phosphate acyl transferase in roots and shoots (Rotation project) GFC / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the evolution of plant-parasitism by nematodes GFC / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The plant immunity- and development-altering ‘toolbox’ of parasitic nematodes GFC / OTHER

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.