Kara’s work focuses on identifying and characterising genetic sources of resistance to the pea downy mildew pathogen Peronospora viciae.
Pea is an important legume crop globally, valued for its ability to biologically fix nitrogen and favourable nutritional composition for human consumption. Downy mildew is one of the most devastating diseases of pea, with yield losses reported to be up to 75%. The recent restriction of seed treatments that used to control the disease have exacerbated the problem, and made the need for genetic sources of resistance urgent.
Kara’s project will use methods such as AgRenSeq and gene cloning to identify pea downy mildew resistance genes from landraces and wild relatives, and transfer these resistances into elite cultivars in collaboration with industrial partners Limagrain and KWS.