Professor Diane Saunders is the Head of Crop Genetics.
We aim to increase understanding of plant genetics, plant biology and exploit plant biodiversity to enhance crop performance in a sustainable way.
Our focus is currently on wheat and Brassicas, which are of particular importance to agriculture and the global economy.
The projects and groups within the Crop Genetics department span a range of studies, from crop disease and pests, to plant architecture and organ development and reproduction.
Our methods include studies directly on field-grown crops, through to the exploitation of discoveries made in model species in the lab. This knowledge is then translated for use in plant breeding.
The department is at the forefront of generating genetic resources for the plant and crop science communities, for example;
- Transformation of Brassica
- Wheat transformation
- Genetic mapping and resource development for forward and reverse genetics
Crop Genetics Group Leaders are driven to address global issues related to food security and climate change, and have a profound impact on the international plant research community through their engagement in both academic and industrial collaborations around the world.
Members of the department are heavily involved in international scientific networks, hold positions on boards of international resource centres such as CIMMYT in Mexico and participate in multinational consortia to improve crop yield in developing countries.