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Project Title: Genetics of Common Scab Resistance in Potato, towards resistant varieties

Overview: Fatima, with a background in biotechnology and genetics, is a PhD student interested in plant breeding and microbiology. The aim of her PhD project is to understand the genetics behind the resistance to common scab, an important disease caused by Streptomyces spp. affecting Solanum tuberosum spp. worldwide by significantly reducing the tuber quality and, hence, resulting in yield loss. She is studying different existing resistance sources such as old potato varieties, modern tetraploid and diploid varieties, and trying to understand the inheritance of resistance, whether the resistance is controlled by a single gene or multiple genes with additive effect.

Identification of molecular markers associated with QTLs is the focus of the project because these markers will be used by breeders for marker-assisted selection, selection of tubers with desirable traits for inclusion in a breeding program to improve resistance to common scab, thus, preventing yield loss caused by this disease.

She is gaining experience in bioinformatics, learning tools such as R in depth to perform complex data analysis.

Fatima is from Spain and in her leisure time she likes to practice piano and draw.

Programme Area: Crops, Environment and Land-Use Programme - Crops Research 

Supervisors: Dr Denis Griffin and Dr Ir. Herman van Eck

Location: Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow / WUR, Netherlands