Postdoctoral Researcher

Contact Details

Office 220B, Level 2 John Hines Building (62)
P +61 (0)7 3346 9957
F +61 (0)7 3365 3556
Batley Lab

Short Biography

Jessica received her PhD in Plant molecular biology from the Plant Breeding Institute at University of Sydney, in 2008. She is currently employed as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Dr Jacqueline Batley in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the CILR at the University of Queensland.

Research Interests

Her major area of interest is the interaction between Brassica crops and their major pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans, the causal agent of blackleg disease. She is also interested in genetic diversity and in applying this knowledge to understand trait variation and evolution in Brassica crops.

Current Projects

Investigating the genetic variation in Brassica napus

The advent of high-throughput genome technologies have allowed for the identification and analysis of genetic variation on a large scale. This project will identify and characterise the diversity present in Brassica napus for mapping of genetic traits.

Characterisation of resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans

Brassica napus (canola/oilseed rape) is the most economically important Brassica crop. Blackleg disease, caused by the fungal pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans, is the number one threat to Australia's canola industry. The outcome of the interaction between canola and the pathogen is partly determined by the presence of resistance genes in the plant genome, where sufficient resistance allows the plant to ward off disease. A number of resistance genes have been identified in various canola cultivars but their precise location and sequence have not yet been identified. This project aims to identify and characterise resistance genes in Brassica napus lines to aid in breeding and crop management strategies.

Key Publications

Tollenaere R, Hayward A, Dalton-Morgan J, Campbell E, McLanders J, Lorenc M, Manoli S, Stiller J, Raman R, Raman H, Edwards D and Batley J. Identification and characterisation of candidate Rlm4 blackleg resistance genes in Brassica napus using next generation sequencing. Plant Biotechnology Journal. (In press)

Dong C, Dalton-Morgan J, Vincent K and Sharp P. (2009) A modified TILLING method for wheat breeding. The Plant Genome. 2(1) 39-47

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