Project properties

Title Distribution and variation of downy mildew resistance genes in natural populations of wild lettuce
Group Biosystematics Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Dr. Klaas Bouwmeester (Biosystematics), Dr. Chris Kik / Dr. Rob van Treuren (Centre for Genetic Resources; CGN)
Examiner(s) Prof. dr. Eric Schranz
Contact info
Begin date 2020/12/01
End date 2024/07/31
Description Lettuce downy mildew is one of the most serious diseases of lettuce (Lactuca sativa). It is caused by the oomycete Bremia lactucae, a pathogen notorious for its capability to rapidly overcome host resistance. As a result most lettuce cultivars lack nowadays adequate resistance to new Bremia races. Natural populations of related Lactuca species are regarded as important sources of novel genetic resistance.

This project aims to evaluated Bremia resistance in wild Lactuca populations from Central Asia, which are currently underrepresented in gene bank centres, by combining phenotypic and genotypic analyses.

You will:
- analyse biogeographical distribution and population structures of wild lettuce species
- explore natural variation in disease resistance with pathogen assays
- determine frequency and genetic variation in resistance genes across wild lettuce populations
- perform phylogenetic and population genetic studies
Used skills Molecular techniques (DNA barcoding, gene variant analysis), Population genetics, Plant phenotyping, Pathogens assays
Requirements Basic knowledge of plant-microbe interactions and molecular biology