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Fergus Meade

Postdoctoral Researcher - Potato Genomics

Research Interests

I have previously worked with poppy which is the sole source of analgesic alkaloids morphine, codeine and thebaine. A chemically mutagenised population was screened for mutations in key genes involved in morphine biosynthesis. Targeted crosses were completed to produce new cultivars of poppy with increased yields of codeine and thebaine. My interests, therefore, lie in marker assisted selection (MAS). Conventional plant breeding is based on phenotypic selection of superior genotypes within segregating progenies obtained from crosses. It is often complicated by reactions between genotypes and the environment. MAS changes the selection criteria toward selection of genes/molecular markers rather than phenotypes.

Current Projects

Virtual Irish Centre for Crop Improvement (VICCI)

Task 4.2: Developing predictive biotechnology-based tools to select for processing characteristics and multiple disease resistances in potato breeding


PhD Biology, University of York

“Biosynthetic regulation of the major opiates in Papaver somniferum”



MPhil Microbiology, University of Nottingham

“Development of a PIA vaccine for treatment of staphylococcal infections of orthopaedic devices”


BSc Genetics, University College Cork

Winzer T(1), Gazda V, He Z, Kaminski F, Kern M, Larson TR, Li Y, Meade F, Teodor R, Vaistij FE, Walker C, Bowser TA, Graham IA. A Papaver somniferum 10-gene cluster for synthesis of the anticancer alkaloid noscapine. Science. 2012 Jun 29;336(6089):1704-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1220757.