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Plant nematode-interactions: parasitism and defence

Discover how parasitic nematodes affect cereal plant roots and exactly which genes help the plants fight back.

Use robots to analyse plant DNA

In our lab, students can learn to use robots to analyse plant DNA.

Plant parasitic nematodes cause significant yield losses in agriculture.

We have mapped barley and wheat genes for nematode resistance and developed new ways to look inside infected roots. Now we want to discover exactly how the nematodes affect the roots and exactly which genes help the plants fight back.

Depending on your interests (e.g., genetics, biotechnology and/or plant pathology) we can work with you to design a project in which you can help solve some of the remaining mysteries about an important host-parasite system.

You will learn to formulate hypotheses and design experiments to test them and you will gain experience in the research methods used in plant genetics, biotechnology and pathology.


nematode barley root

Key references

Image: Migratory nematodes, like this root lesion nematode, tunnel through cells in the root cortex.


Professor Diane Mather


Professor Diane Mather

Research area: Plant genetics, genomics and breeding

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Plant Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Diane Mather, Honours projects - Agricultural science

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition