Tomato early blight – identification of genetic sources of resistance to Alternaria solani (KESS2 PhD Scholarship)

Tomato early blight – identification of genetic sources of resistance to Alternaria solani (KESS2 PhD Scholarship)


Location: Bangor University, School of Natural Sciences

Project ID: BUK2169

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 31st. August 2019

This studentship is an opportunity for an EU-national to learn plant pathology and work with industry partners (Burpee NL and the Sarvari Research Trust) to evaluate the genetics of resistance of tomato to early blight, caused by the fungus Alternaria solani. This destructive disease is becoming more common in tomatoes, so to avoid greater fungicide use, the project will seek natural sources of resistance in tomato that can be bred into commercial cultivars. Fungal cultures will be maintained and used to inoculate a range of tomato and potato genotypes. Infected leaves will be analysed microscopically to investigate disease severity. Genetic mapping of infection levels will be carried out in a tomato mapping population that we have prepared for this project. Training will be given in R/qtl for analysis and the work should lead to high quality publications. Field and greenhouse work will be done at Bangor University and there will be opportunities to work with the industry partners in the UK and the Netherlands. The project will start as soon as a suitable candidate is identified. For further information please contact Dr Katherine Steele (

To apply for this studentship, please email a CV and a covering letter to and cc to Dr Penny Dowdney Closing date for applications is 31/08/2019. Successful applicants are expected to start the degree on 01/10/2019, though an earlier start date could be discussed.

 Supervisors: Dr Katherine Steele (Bangor University); Henk van Der Velde (Director of Research and Development at Burpee NL); Dr David Shaw (Sarvari Research Trust)

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be an EU national and resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.