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Identifying and exploiting the novel sources of genetic resistance for root diseases of pea (ARORA_J21CASE)

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    University of East Anglia
    Biological sciencesBiology
    Biological sciencesBotany
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    23/11/2020 23:00 - Europe/London
    United Kingdom › Norwich


The root rot complex is the most destructive disease of pea and is now endemic across most pea growing areas of UK. It has become a significant constraint to pea production while there is a spike in demand for this crop due to consumers’ increasing preference for plant-based protein. The complex causes severe root damage affecting the plant’s ability to fix nitrogen and can lead to total crop failure. There are no genetic or chemical solutions available to control the spread of this devastating disease. It has become imperative to identify novel sources of genetic resistance and develop resistant pea varieties

to counter the threat of root rots. The landraces and wild relatives of pea represent a rich source of variation for disease resistance. In this PhD project, the student will explore the variation in a Pisum diversity panel against an array of pathogens associated with root rot diseases. You will implement state-of-the-art enabling technologies, including resistance gene enrichment sequencing coupled to association genetics (AgRenSeq) and genome-wide association mapping using whole genome sequencing data. You will collaborate with NIAB, Cambridge, to culture isolates of root pathogens collected from UK soils and develop high-throughput phenotyping methods to discover and clone resistance genes from pea diversity panels.

This project will facilitate understanding the genetic architecture of root rot complex in pea. Identified resistances will be transferred into elite pea varieties, using marker-assisted selection in collaboration with our industrial partner, van Waveren Saaten GmbH in Germany, where you will have opportunity to undertake a three-month placement.

This PhD project will be jointly supervised by Sanu Arora and Claire Domoney at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park, and in close collaboration with our industrial partner, van Waveren Saaten GmbH.

Funding Notes

This project is awarded with a 4-year Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) PhD studentship. The studentship includes payment of tuition fees (directly to the University), a stipend for each year of the studentship (2020/21 stipend rate: £15,285), and a Research Training Support Grant for each year of the studentship of £5,000 p.a..


The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to UK and international candidates for entry October 2021 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship placement (PIPS) during their study. The placement offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the NRPDTP programme. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Thursday 7th January, Friday 8th January and Monday 11th January 2021.

Visit our website for further information on eligibility and how to apply: https://biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/

Our partners value diverse and inclusive work environments that are positive and supportive. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.


More Information

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

At least UK equivalence Bachelors (Honours) 2:1 or UK equivalence Master's degree. English Language requirement (Faculty of Science equivalent: IELTS 6.5 overall, 6 in each category).

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
John Innes Centre/Biological Science
United Kingdom
Colney Lane

EURAXESS offer ID: 571490


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