Dr Ayako Tsushima

Postdoctoral Scientist Designing Future Wheat

Ayako’s long-term research goal is to understand plant-microbe interactions with a particular focus on the evolution of immunity and pathogenicity.

The plant pathogenic fungus Puccinia striiformis which causes yellow rust (YR) disease is a major threat to cereal crops worldwide.

In the Saunders lab, Ayako investigates the fundamental mechanisms underlying P. striiformis host specificity at the genomic level using next-generation sequencing techniques.

She hopes that her research will improve the understanding of adaptation of P. striiformis driven by genomic evolution and provide novel insights into developing better control strategies of this plant pathogen.