T: +44 (0)1223 342251
E: Dr Jane Thomas
My main research interests are in the development of improved techniques and new approaches for identifying and evaluating disease resistance in a range of arable and horticultural crops, principally oilseeds and pulses, and potatoes; the deployment of resistant varieties in integrated disease control strategies, and in understanding interactions between pathogen populations and varieties. The programme includes projects on the use of quantitative PCR for evaluating pathogen development (Leptosphaeria maculans and Pyrenopeziza brassicae) in oilseed rape varieties. In potatoes, special interests include the evaluation of varieties to skin blemish diseases, and implications for field management and storage of varieties. The programme also includes work on disease control and variety resistance in field vegetable crops, sugar beet, and fodder crops, including grasses and maize. I also have interests in pathogen populations of wild plants, in relation to gene flow from related cultivated species, and the effects of introducing new types of resistance.
In seed pathology, my main interests are in the development of diagnostic techniques, especially rapid DNA based approaches, for the detection of seed-borne diseases of cereals and other crops; method development within ISTA working groups, and strategies for effective seed sampling. Research on the development of diagnostic techniques for seed-borne and a number of other pathogens of field crops provides the basis for NIAB's diagnostic services, provided through NIAB LabTest.