Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

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, Annals of Botany), chloroplast (see Diekmann et al. 2009, DNA Research) and mitochondrial genomes (Diekmann K, Hodkinson TR, Wolfe K & Barth S (2012) First insights into the mitochondrial genome of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). In: Breeding Strategies for sustainable forage and turf grass improvement (Barth S and Milbourne D eds) Springer, Dordrecht, 2012 p 141 - 146 (ISBN 978-94-007-4554-4) (DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-4555-1) 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.

I am a handling editor with the journal ‘Annals of Botany’ (http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/; 2016 Impact factor 4.041) (since 2009), 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).

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


I am a Research Associate with Trinity College Dublin (since 2010). I am also serving as an external scientific advisory committee member for the French national funded Biomass for the Future (BFF) project. Because of my interest in the conservation of genetic resources I am serving as 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

  • ‘Enable Conservation Tillage (ECT)’ led by Michael Hennessy, European Innovation Partnerships Initiative EIP, Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (project partner)
  • ‘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
  • ‘SI for hybrid breeding’, EU Marie Curie Cofund/IRC: Marie Curie Postdoctoral project for Dr Abel Gari, a collaborative project with Gorta – Self Help Africa
  • ‘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)
  • Foito A, Hackett CA, Stewart D, Velmurugan J, Milbourne D, Byrne SL, Barth S (2017) Quantitative trait loci associated with different classes of polar metabolites in perennial ryegrass - providing scope for breeding towards increasing certain classes of polar metabolites. BMC Genetics, DOI: 10.1186/s12863-017-0552-0
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)