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Susanne Barth

Research Officer

Research Interests

My research programme is focused on forage species, grass weeds and cereals: perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), Miscanthus spp., Festulolium, Phalaris arundinacea, Dactylis glomerata, wheat, barley, blackgrass, wild oats and bromes. I am interested in genetic resources (including in situ conservation strategies), reproductive traits including self-incompatibility and flowering time, control of meiotic recombination, biomass yield and heterosis, water soluble carbohydrates, herbicides resistance in grasses and abiotic stresses.

Genomics activities have been the sequencing of the nuclear (see Velmurugan et al. 2016), chloroplast (see Diekmann et al. 2009) and mitochondrial genomes of ryegrass and the development of functional tools based on the sequence information.

Between 2011 and 2015 I coordinated the FP7 funded cooperative GrassMargins project.

Since 2009 I am a handling editor with the journal ‘Annals of Botany’ (http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/; 2016 Impact factor 4.041), since May 2017 I am an editor with the journal ‘Global Change Biology –Bioenergy’ ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1757-1707/; 2016 Impact factor 4.655).

Since 2009 I am a handling editor with the journal Annals of Botany (http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/; 2015 Impact factor 3.654, 5 year impact factor 4.338) and since January 2016 I am an editor with Axios Review.

In 2012 I edited a forage breeding book deriving from the 2011 Eucarpia Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses Meeting which was held in Dublin: Barth, S. & Milbourne, D. (eds) (2012) Breeding Strategies for sustainable forage and turf grass improvement, Springer, Dordrecht, 2012 (ISBN 978-94-007-4554-4) (DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-4555-1).


Please have a look at my newest book on advances in the breeding, production, processing and life cycle analysis of perennial crops:

Barth S, Murphy-Bokern D, Kalinina O, Taylor G & Jones MB (eds.) (2016) Perennial Biomass Crops for a Resource Constrained World, Springer, Cham/Switzerland (ISBN 978-3-319-44530-4) DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-44530-4published November 2016


Since 2010 I am a Research Associate with Trinity College Dublin. Since 2015 I am serving as an external scientific advisory committee member for the French national funded Biomass for the Future (BFF) project and since 2016 I am also a member of the Plant Panel of the Genetic Resources Scientific advisory board of the Irish Department, Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Funding for my projects comes from EU Marie Curie Cofund/ Irish Research Council (IRC), FP7, Teagasc, & The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

Current Projects

  • ‘Herbicide resistance of weed grasses in Irish arable crop systems’, Teagasc core funding & Irish Seed Trade Association. - Herbicide resistance in Irish grass weeds - T Research, Summer 2017
  • ‘Changes in allele frequencies of perennial ryegrass populations under different management regimes’, Irish Research Council and Teagasc core funding.
  • ‘Virtual Irish Centre of Crop Improvement’ (VICCI), DAFM Research Stimulus Fund 14/S/819 (Work package leader)
  • ‘Classical and genotypic methods of increasing grassland productivity through breeding’ RMIS 6410: This is a collaborative project led by Dr. Michael O’Donovan in collaboration with Dr. Dan Milbourne and Dr. Patrick Conaghan. Financed under the “Research Stimulus Fund” of the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine (DAFM) (11/S/109).
  • ‘Development of genome based resources and SNP discovery for perennial ryegrass genetics and breeding ’ RMIS 6074; joint project with Dr. Dan Milbourne; Teagasc core funding
  • Byrne, S.L., Foito, A., Hedley, P.E., Morris, J.A., Stewart, D., & Barth, S. (2011) Early response mechanisms of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) to phosphorus deficiency. Annals of Botany 107:243-254 (doi:10.1093/aob/mcq234)
  • Klaas, M., Yang, B., Bosch, M., Thorogood, D., Armstead, I., Franklin, F.C.H., & Barth, S. (2011) Progress towards elucidating the mechanisms of self-incompatibility in the grasses: further insights from studies in Lolium. Annals of Botany 108(4): 677-685 (doi:10.1093/aob/mcr186)
  • Tomaszewski, C., Byrne, S.L., Foito, A., Kildea, S., Kopecký, D., Doležel, J., Heslop-Harrison, P.(J.S.), Stewart, D. & Barth, S. (2012) Genetic linkage mapping in an F2 perennial ryegrass population using DArT markers. Plant Breeding, doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0523.2011.01944.x
  • Diekmann, K, Hodkinson T.R. & Barth, S. (2012) New chloroplast microsatellite markers prove to be suitable for assessing genetic diversity of Lolium perenne and other related grass species. Annals of Botany (doi:10.1093/aob/mcs044)
  • Nagy, I., Barth, S., Mehenni-Ciz, J., Abberton. M.T. & Milbourne, D. (2013) A hybrid next generation transcript sequencing-based approach to identify allelic and homeolog-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms in allotetraploid white clover. BMC Genomics (DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-14-100)
  • Foito, A., Byrne, S.L., Hackett, C., Hancock, R.D., Stewart, D. & Barth, S. (2013) Short-term response in leaf metabolism of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) to alterations in nitrogen supply. Metabolomics 9: 145-156 (DOI: 10.1007/s11306-012-0435-3)
  • Hodkinson TR, Klaas M, Jones MB, Prickett R & Barth S (2014) Miscanthus: a case study for the utilization of natural genetic variation. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization 1–20: doi:10.1017/S147926211400094X 
  • Foito A, Hackett CA, Byrne SL, Stewart D & Barth S (2014) Quantitative trait loci analysis to study the genetic regulation of non-polar metabolites in perennial ryegrass. Metabolomics, doi:10.1007/s11306-014-0703-5
  • Haiminen N, Klaas M, Zhou Z, Utro F, Cormican P, Didion T, Jensen CS, Mason C, Barth S, Parida L (2014) Comparative exomics of Phalaris cultivars under salt stress. BMC Genomics 15 (Suppl 6):S18 (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-S6-S18)
  • Lynch TMH, Barth S, Dix PJ, Grogan D, Grant J & Grant O (2015) Ground cover assessment of perennial ryegrass using digital imaging. Agronomy Journal: 107:2347-2352 (doi:10.2134/agronj15.0185)
  • Barth S, McGrath S, Arojju SK & Hodkinson TR (2015) An Irish perennial ryegrass genetic resources collection clearlydivides into two major gene pools. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilizationdoi:10.1017/S1479262115000611
  • Manazanares C, Barth S, Thorogood D, Byrne SL, Yates S, Czaban A, Yang B, Asp T & Studer S (2015) A gene encoding a DUF247 domain protein co-segregates with the S self-incompatibility locus in perennial ryegrass. Molecular Biology and Evolution. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv335
  • Barth S, Jankowska JM, Hodkinson TR, Vellani T & Klaas M (2016) Variation in sequences containing microsatellite motifs in the perennial biomass and forage grass, Phalaris arundinacea (Poaceae). BMC Research Notes 9:184 DOI: 10.1186/s13104-016-1994-6
  • Perdereau A, Klaas M, Barth, S & Hodkinson TR (2016) Plastid genome sequencing reveals biogeographic structure and extensive population genetic variation in wild populations of Phalaris arundinacea in north western Europe. Global Change Biology – Bioenergy, DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12362
  • Velmurugan J, Mollison EMB, Barth S, Marshall D, Milne L, Creevey C, Lynch B, Meally H, McCabe M, Milbourne D (2016) An ultra-high density genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using genotyping by sequencing (GBS) based on a reference shotgun genome assembly. Annals of Botany, DOI 1093/aob/mcw081
  • Arojju SK, Barth S, Milbourne D, Conaghan P, Velmurugan J, Hodkinson TR & Byrne SL (2016) Genome wide association study of heading and re-heading in perennial ryegrass full-sib families. BMC Plant Biology, 16(1):160. doi: 10.1186/s12870-016-0844-y
  • Di Fenza M, Hogg B Grant J, & Barth S (2017) Transcriptomic response of maize primary roots to low temperatures at seedling emergence. Preprint: PeerJ Preprints 4:e2372v1; PeerJ, DOI 10.7717/peerj.2839
  • McGrath, S., Hodkinson, T.R., Charles, M.T., Zen, D., & Barth, S. (2010) Variation in inflorescence characters and inflorescence development in ecotypes and cultivars of Lolium perenne L. Grass and Forage Science, 65: 398-409 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2494.2010.00759.x)
  • De Cesare, M., Hodkinson T.R., & Barth S (2010) Chloroplast DNA markers (cpSSRs, SNPs) for Miscanthus, Saccharumand related grasses (Panicoideae, Poaceae). Molecular Breeding, 26: 539-544 (DOI: 10.1007/s11032-010-9451-z)
  • Byrne, S., Durandeau, K., Nagy I., & Barth, S. (2010) Identification of ABC transporters from Lolium perenne L. that are regulated by toxic levels of Selenium. Planta 231:901-911 (doi:10.1007/s00425-009-1096-y)
  • Foito, A., Byrne, S.L., Shepherd, T., Stewart, D., & Barth, S. (2009) Transcriptional and metabolic profiles of Lolium perenne L. genotypes in response to a PEG-induced water stress, Plant Biotechnology Journal 7:719-732 (DOI:10.1111/j.1467-7652.2009.00437.x)
  • Anhalt, U.C.M., Heslop-Harrison, J.S. (Pat), Piepho, H.P., Byrne S.L. & Barth, S. (2009) Quantitative trait loci mapping for biomass yield traits in a Lolium inbred line derived F2 population, Euphytica 170: 99-107 (DOI : 10.1007/s10681-009-9957-9)
  • Yang, B., Thorogood, D., Armstead, I., Franklin, F.C.H. & Barth, S. (2009) Identification of genes expressed during the self-incompatibility (SI) response in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Plant Molecular Biology, 70: 709-723, DOI : 10.1007/s11103-009-9501-2
  • Diekmann, K., Hodkinson, T.R., Wolfe, K.H., Bekerom, R.v.d., Dix, P.J. & Barth, S. (2009) Complete chloroplast genome sequence of a major allogamous forage grass species, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), DNA Research, 16(3): 165-176, DOI:10.1093/dnares/dsp008
  • Diekmann, K., Hodkinson, T.R., Fricke, E., & Barth, S. (2008) An optimized Chloroplast DNA Extraction Protocol for Grasses (Poaceae) Proves suitable for Whole Plastid Genome Sequencing and SNP Detection. PloS One 3(7): e2813. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002813
  • Yang, B., Thorogood, D., Armstead, I. & Barth, S. (2008) How far are we from unravelling self-incompatibility in grasses? New Phytologist 178: 740-753
  • Anhalt, UCM, Heslop-Harrison, P (J.S.), Byrne, S., Guillard, A., & Barth, S (2008) Segregation distortion in Lolium - evidence for genetic effects. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 117: 297-306