Nicolas is working on his PhD project “Identifying and exploiting the novel sources of genetic resistance for root diseases of pea”.
Pea is a globally important legume crop valued for its role in soil nitrogen fixation and sustainable agriculture. Root rot is a soil-borne disease caused by a complex of several pathogens. In England, the annual value of the pea industry is approximately £90M and about 38% is lost each year to root rots. With no chemical controls available for disease management, there is an urgent need to find novel genetic sources of resistance to control the spread of this disease.
This project will utilise gene cloning methods in pea to identify resistance genes from landraces and wild relatives as well as understand the genetic basis of root rots. Nicolas aims to then introgress identified genes into existing pea varieties using marker-assisted selection.