Clare is interested in the host specificity of the graminaceous rusts (mainly but not exclusively yellow rust).
Currently nine genetically distinguishable ‘races’ (formae specialis) of yellow rust are recognised which primarily infect either wheat, barley, rye or specific wild grasses.
Clare is using the field pathogenomics method developed in the Saunders lab to sequence and characterise recent yellow rust populations which prevail on the gramineae in the UK and Europe.
She is also assessing the specificity of these yellow rust isolates on a panel of cereals and grasses.
Clare ultimately aims to elucidate the mechanisms that underly host specificity within UK and European yellow rust populations and likewise investigate the host specificity of other graminaceous rusts.