Plant nematode-interactions: parasitism and defence

Discover how parasitic nematodes affect cereal plant roots and exactly which genes help the plants fight back.

nematode barley root

Migratory nematodes, like this root lesion nematode, tunnel through cells in the root cortex

Plant parasitic nematodes cause significant yield losses in agriculture.

We have mapped barley and wheat genes for nematode resistance and developed new ways to look inside infected roots. Now we want to discover exactly how the nematodes affect the roots and exactly which genes help the plants fight back.

Depending on your interests (e.g., genetics, biotechnology and/or plant pathology) we can work with you to design a project in which you can help solve some of the remaining mysteries about an important host-parasite system.

You will learn to formulate hypotheses and design experiments to test them and you will gain experience in the research methods used in plant genetics, biotechnology and pathology.

Agriculture, food and wine research at Waite campus

In our lab, students can learn to use robots to analyse plant DNA.

Key references

Diane Mather


Professor Diane Mather

Research area: plant genetics, genomics and breeding.

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Plant Science.

Tagged in Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Diane Mather, Honours projects - Agricultural science