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Emma Skipper - ePortfolio

I am a 3rd year plant and environmental sciences PhD student at Warwick HRI. Before joining Warwick HRI I successfully completed an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences (BSc Hons) and a Masters degree (MSc with merit) in Conservation and Utilisation of Plant Genetic Resources, at the University of Birmingham. My main research interests are in plant genetics and post harvest biology, I also have an interest in scientific writing.

Department: Warwick HRI

Research Group: Collaboration between Plant Science and Crop Science

Supervisor: Dr. Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston

Second Supervisor: Prof. Dave Pink

About my research:


Thesis Title: Investigating the post harvest genetic control of shelf life and vitamin C content in broccoli.

Broccoli is a popular green vegetable with consumers due to its high vitamin and mineral content and health promoting properties such as antioxidants, flavonoids and glucosinolates. However a problem facing growers, industry and consumers is the short shelf life and unstable metabolite content of broccoli once harvested. Loss of quality in green vegetables such as broccoli is characterised by a stress response which triggers post harvest senescence causing a diminished appearance, loss of flavour and compromised nutritional content. Broccoli has a very short shelf life, with major retailers issuing shelf life guidelines of only 4 days (from sell by date to consume by date) after this period the quality of broccoli is very poor, with visible signs of yellowing due to chlorophyll degradation and wilting due to loss of turgor, resulting in rejection and high levels of waste for retailers and consumers.

This project aims to understand the post harvest genetic control of shelf life in broccoli by exploiting the natural variation in shelf life within members of a mapping population, and to identify potential markers that could be used in a breeding programme to breed an elite broccoli cultivar with a extended shelf life. This project also aims to investigate the effects of harvesting and storage on the vitamin C content of broccoli using a HPLC approach.

Year Started: 2006

Funding: BBRSC

Learn more about my research, view my Project summary & background, Introduction, Methods and Results.

For more information about the project see the Genetics and genomics of post harvest senescence in broccoli web page.

Field 2




Contact Me

Emma Skipper

Warwick HRI

University of Warwick


CV35 9EF

Tel: +44 24 7657 5146