Rose McNelly

Postgraduate Researcher Molecules from Nature

Starch is a major storage carbohydrate in the grains of wheat and is a key source of calories in human diets.

In wheat grains there are two types of starch granule, large flattened A granules and small spherical B granules.

This is important as the relative ratio of A and B granules can determine the properties of the starch in the grain. However, there is much we still don’t understand about the way A and B granules initiate and how this is controlled and regulated.

In her project Rose will be using Aegilops tauschii, which is an ancestor of modern wheat, to try and identify genes which influence the starch granule distribution and granule size in grains.

Any genes which are identified can then be studied and characterised in wheat due to the close evolutionary relationship between Aegilops tauschii and wheat.

Rose a first year PhD student on the John Innes Foundation Rotation PhD programme.

Before joining the Dr David Seung lab she completed rotations with Dr Janneke Balk, where she was researching high-iron wheat lines, and Dr Myriam Charpentier, where she was investigating nuclear calcium signalling during symbioses.

Previously, Rose studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, choosing to specialise in plant sciences in my final year.

Outside of the lab work Rose enjoys cooking, baking, cycling and walking in countryside.