Dr Camila Zanella

Postdoctoral researcher - pre-breeding and plant pathology

Camila joined NIAB in 2016, working as a post-doc researcher across a range of ongoing research projects in the Cambridge Crop Research department. Her research focuses on the application of classical genetics studies, plant molecular genetics and genomics, including genetic mapping and genome wide association screens, to investigate the genetic control of disease resistance to stripe (yellow), leaf (brown) and stem (black) rust, yield, yield components, and quality traits in cereal crops, with particular focus on wheat and multi-founder advanced generation inter-cross (MAGIC) populations. Functional studies to determine mechanisms of quantitative resistance include whole genome transcriptomics analyses, histopathology, and stable gene expression in wheat.

Research projects

Title: Yellowhammer: A multi-locus strategy for durable yellow rust resistance in wheat, in the face of a rapidly changing pathogen landscape
Duration: October 2018-September 2022
Partners: NIAB (lead), UK wheat breeders
Funder: BBSRC LINK (BB/R019231/1)

Title: ToropiAPR: Uncovering the genetic and functional basis of the unique leaf rust resistance in the Brazilian wheat variety Toropi
Duration: August 2013 – December 2019
Partners: NIAB (lead), AAFC, Morden, Canada, Embrapa, Brazil, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Funder: Bilateral BBSRC-Embrapa (BB/N01622X/1); BBSRC-pump-priming award (BB/N004477/1); BBSRC International Partnering Award (BB/K021435/1)

Title: Photowheat: Exploiting variation in stomatal dynamics and ear photosynthesis to optimise wheat productivity
Duration: 2016-2021
Partners: University of Essex (Lead), NIAB, BASF
Funding: BBSRC IPA (BB/N01698X/1)

Title: MAGIC Yield: Deploying MAGIC populations for rapid development of genetic markers for yield improvement in elite UK winter wheat
Duration: 2015-2019
Partners: NIAB (lead), KWS, RAGT, Limagrain, Elsoms
Funding: BBSRC (BB/M008908/1).

Recent publications

Corsi1, B‡, Obinu, L‡, Zanella, CM‡, Cutrupi, S, Day, R, Geyer, M, Lillemo, M, Lin, M, Mazza, L, Percival-Alwyn, L, Stadlmeir, M, Mohler, V, Hartl, L, Cockram, J. [‡ equal contribution] (2021) Identification of eight QTL controlling multiple yield components in a German multi-parental wheat population, including Rht24, WAPO-A1, WAPO-B1 and genetic loci on chromosomes 5A and 6A. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 134:1435-1454. 

Rosa, SB‡, Zanella, CM‡, Hiebert, CW, Brûlé-Babel, AL, Randhawa, HS, Shorter, S, Boyd, LA, McCallum, BD. [‡ equal contribution] (2019) Genetic characterization of leaf and stripe rust resistance in the Brazilian wheat cultivar Toropi. Phytopathology, 109:1760-1768.

Pinto-da-Silva, GB‡, Zanella, CM‡, Martinelli, JA, Chaves, MC, Hiebert, CW, McCallum, BD, Boyd, LA [‡ equal contribution] (2018). Quantitative trait loci conferring leaf rust resistance in hexaploid wheat. Phytopathology, 108:1344-1354.

Pinto-da-Silva, GB, Zanella, CM, Delatorre, CA, Chaves, MC, Martinelli, JA, Federizzi, LC. (2018) Organic acid carriers in tolerance to toxic aluminum in wheat. Ciência Rural, 48: e20180106.