Dr Lesley Boyd

Dr Lesley Boyd
Programme Leader
+44(0)1223 342497

Research interests

Lesley has lead a research programme investigating the genetics, cellular and molecular biology of partial, adult plant expressed and nonhost resistance to fungal pathogens in wheat since 1995. In 2012 Boyd moved her research programme to NIAB.

Lesley undertakes classical genetics studies, including genetic mapping and genome wide association screens, to define quantitative resistance to stripe (yellow), leaf (brown) and stem (black) rust in wheat. Functional studies to determine mechanisms of quantitative resistance include whole genome transcriptomics analyses, histopathology, and stable gene expression in wheat.

In 2011 Lesley was awarded the Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum Mentor Award in recognition of her contribution to training and mentoring of female scientists in the area of cereal research.

Research projects

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)

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)

NutrientRice: Molecular Characterization and Genetic Analysis of Nutritional Components of Philippine Indigenous Pigmented Rice Germplasm; Duration: April 2016 – September 2019; Partners: NIAB (lead); IRRI, Philippines; Funder: BBSRC-Newton Fund (BB/N013603/1)

Max-CROP: Maximising the Potential of Crop Researcher; Duration: January 2014-December 2017; Partners: NIAB (lead); Wageningen University, The Netherland; Funder: EU 7th Framework Initial Training Network

DURESTrit (ERA-CAP2) Functional characterisation and validation of nonhost components in Triticeae species for durable resistance against fungal diseases; TritNONHOST (ERA-P) Integrative genomic and genetic analysis of nonhost resistance across Triticeae species.
Duration: April 2009 – April 2018; Partners: NIAB, UK; IPK (lead), Gatersleben, Germany, RWTH, Aachen, Germany; Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Imperial College, London, UK. Funder: BBSRC, ERA-CAP2 (BB/M004929/1); BBSRC, ERA-PG (BB/G024987/1)

NextGenWheat UK: wheat pre-breeding for resistance to new disease threats; Duration: April 2016 – September 2019; Partners: NIAB (lead); University of Adelaide; University of Queensland; CSIRO, Canberra
Funder: BBSRC International Partnering Award (BB/N022033/1)

Agri-Transfer UK partnership to support the uptake of new crop varieties by smallholder farmers, and advancements in agricultural and dissemination technologies; Duration: March 2015-May 2017; Partners: NIAB (lead); The Cambridge Malaysian Education and Development Trust, UK; KALRO-Njoro, Kenya; Funder: BBSRC Flexible Interchange Programme (BB/M017516/1)

GhanaMedPlants Domestication of the wild African vine Cryptolepis sanguinolenta as a cash crop for smallholder farmers in Africa; Duration: March 2016-ongoing; Partners: University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana; Funder: Cambridge Africa programme CAPREx and Alborada awards

BBSRC SCPRID: Implementing effective marker technologies into disease resistance wheat breeding programmes within Africa. BBSRC SARID: Assessment of genetic biodiversity of durable disease resistance in African wheat genotypes, leading to the development of markers for wheat breeding; Partners: NIAB (lead); CenGen, RSA; UFS, RSA; KALRO-Njoro, Kenya; Duration: January 2008-February 2017; Funder: BBSRC, SCPRID (BB/J011525/1), BBSRC, SARID (BB/F004125/1)

Wheat Ergot: Genetic and functional analyses of resistance in wheat to Claviceps purpurea: Duration: June 2009-ongoing; Partners: NIAB (lead); AAFC, Morden, Canada; Funder: BBSRC (BB/G020418/1), AHDB Project 21130053

BBSRC-SCPRID Maximizing the potential for sustainable and durable resistance to the wheat yellow rust pathogen; Duration: January 2013-December 2017; Partners: JIC (lead); NIAB, UK; TSL, Norwich, UK; Aarhus University, Denmark; KALRO-Njoro, Kenya; Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ethiopia; Indian Council of Agri Research (ICAR), India; Punjab Agricultural University, India; FAO (Food & Agricultural Org of the UN); Funder: BBSRC, SCPRID (BB/J012017/1)


Recent publications

SB. Rosa; CM. Zanella; CW. Hiebert; AL. Brûlé-Babel; HS. Randhawa; S Shorter; LA. Boyd; BD. McCallum (2019) Genetic characterization of leaf and stripe rust resistance in the Brazilian wheat cultivar Toropi. Phytopathology Online First 

A. Jouanin, JG. Schaart, LA. Boyd, J Cockram, FJ. Leigh, R Bates, EJ. Wallington, RGF Visser, MJM Smulders (2019) Outlook for coeliac disease patients: Towards bread wheat with hypoimmunogenic gluten by gene editing of α- and γ-gliadin gene families. BMC Plant Biology 

EGN Mbanjo; H Jones; XGI Caguiat; S Carandang; JC Ignacio; MC Ferrer; LA Boyd; T Kretzschmar (2019) Exploring the Genetic Diversity within Traditional Philippine Pigmented Rice. Rice 

A Jouanin, T Borm, LA. Boyd, J Cockram, F Leigh, BACM. Santos, RGF Visser, MJM Smulders (2019) Development of the GlutEnSeq capture system for sequencing gluten gene families in hexaploid bread wheat with deletions or mutations induced by γ-irradiation or CRISPR/Cas9. Journal of Cereal Science 

B Grieve, T Duckett, M Collison, LA Boyd, J West, F Arvin, H Yin, S Pearson (2019) The Challenges Posed by Global Broadacre Crops in Delivering Smart AgriRobotic Solutions: A Fundamental Rethink is Required. Global Food Security

Full publication list on Google Scholar