Lola works with wheat (Triticum aestivum) and the main objective of her project is to define the position of resistant genes for Fusarium Head Blight (FHB).
FHB is a damaging disease of wheat and other cereals. The disease is of particular concern because the causal fungal pathogens produce mycotoxins that accumulate in grain and pose a risk to animals and humans that feed on contaminated grain. FHB has become a serious concern in many parts of the world as changing conditions lead to warm, wet periods at the time of flowering which provides an ideal environment of the pathogen to infect wheat.
Lola’s PhD project involves defining the position of a small number of potent quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with resistance to FHB. By enhancing FHB resistance, she may also help to reduce mycotoxin levels in grain and contribute to improving food safety.
At the end of her project she hopes to be able to define the position of the genetic sources enabling FHB resistance. This will help plant breeders to develop FHB resistant wheat varieties to reduce yield losses and the contamination of grain with mycotoxins.