Improving pathogen resistance in barley plants


Investigate grain and leaf resistance to pathogen attacks in barley using chromatography and genomic techniques

Barley is the fifth largest crop in the world. It is used for human food, animal feed and malting and brewing. Numerous genes are involved in plant growth and development, from the initial stages of grain germination through to the senescence of the plant prior to harvest.

This project will focus on grain and leaf resistance to pathogen attacks, specifically investigating:

  • The location and amounts of anti-microbial hordatines in grain tissues during germination using a newly developed chromatographic technique
  • The timing and roles of jasmonate hormones in directing plant resistance
  • Possibly, the effect of foliar application of hordatines on barley leaf resistance to Blumeria graminis infection
  • Genes that drive barley resistance, with the overall aim to find breeding targets using existing RNAseq datasets developed from barley grain tissues during development and germination.

You will develop skills in:

  • Fungal pathology
  • Transcriptome analysis
  • High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Key References:
Gorzolka, K., Kölling, J., Nattkemper, T.W. and Niehaus, K., 2016. Spatio-temporal metabolite profiling of the barley germination process by MALDI MS imaging. PLoS One, 11(3), p.e0150208.


Tagged in Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Alan Little, Honours projects - Helen Collins, Honours projects - Natalie Betts, Honours projects - Vincent Bulone, Honours projects - Agricultural science