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Dr Charlotte Allender

Job Title
Wellesbourne Campus Senior Experimental Office
Life Sciences
024 7657 5014
Research Interests

I am interested in patterns of genetic diversity in a range of species, and the processes that affect them. I have used molecular markers to answer questions about the ecology and evolution of a variety of species from the native hazel Dormouse to African cichlid fish to Brassicas.

I am the Manager of the Warwick Genetic Resources Unit, a facility which house the UK Vegetable Genebank - a seed bank which maintains several globally significant collections of vegetable crops and related wild species. I am particularly interested in the patterns and nature of the distrubition of genetic diversity among crop species and their wild relatives. I have active research interests in carrot, particularly understanding genepool diversity and the production of pre-breeding resources in this crop. This work is carried out in the Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network project.


PhD Biological Sciences University of Southampton

MRes Analytical Biology University of Warwick

BSc (Hons) Ecology Lancaster University

I am a Fellow of the Linnean Society, Chair of the Umbellifer Crops Working Group and UK representative on the Brassica, Allium and Leafy Vegetables Working Groups of the European Co-operative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources. I am a member of the UK Plant Genetic Resources Group which provides technical and policy advice to Defra.

I have worked on various projects, including a study funded by the BBSRC/NERC 'Geneflow' initiative which looked at potential ecological effects of the commercial release of GM oilseed rape on a wild relative in the UK. I have also worked on a project investigating the diversity of disease resistance genes ('R-genes') in Brassica oleracea crop types including cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, kohl rabi and kale. These genes play a role in pathogen recognition and so are important in terms of crop improvement but also extremely interesting from an evolutionary point of view. I have used microsatellite markers to investigate the genetic diversity surrounding the BoAP1-a gene in cauliflowers and other brassica crop types. This gene has been implicated in the development of the curd tissue seen in cauliflowers but direct evidence of this is lacking.

All of my projects have used existing genetic diversity naturally present in the species of interest to answer questions relating to environmental and ecological issues and the genetic control of important traits.

  • Collier, Rosemary, Teakle, Graham R., Allender, Charlotte J., 2011. Farming Today. BBC Radio 4
Title Funder Award start Award end
Support for a Base Collection for use in Vegetable Research: GRU renewal tender; Defra GC0148 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Apr 2014 31 Mar 2024
VeGIN Tender re-costed budget - link with 57218 that contains the original Tender application Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Feb 2018 31 Jan 2023
Genebank 2 year extension Linked to Ideate 36622 extension to R.LFCA.3005 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Apr 2019 31 Mar 2021
Improving the characterisation and conservation of umberllifer crop wild relatives and landraces in Europe Bioversity International 01 Apr 2017 31 Mar 2019
Testing epigenomic approaches to characterise environmental adaptation in crops and related wild species (MLS application for PDRA Sarah Trinder) Medical and Life Sciences Research Fund 01 Jun 2017 31 May 2018
Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN) extension 2017 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Apr 2017 31 Mar 2018
Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN) Tender - Sep 2014 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 28 Nov 2014 31 Dec 2017
Extension to VeGIN: Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network for leafy and field vegetables CH0101 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Mar 2014 30 Sep 2014
Umbellifiers Working Group Wild Relatives project Bioversity International 14 May 2013 30 Nov 2013
Developing links in agricultural and horticultural research: scientific exchange between the University of Warwick and Embrapa British Council 01 Jul 2012 31 Dec 2012
Brassica selection criteria for the identification of the MAAs: relate to the Brassicaoleracea of Iberian collection; Banco Portugus de Germoplasma Vegetal, INRB, I.P,Portugal. EU 01 Jun 2011 31 May 2012
CORE: Long term maintenance and genetic diversity of F1 hybrids in genetic resources collections using UK brussel sprouts as a model Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Apr 2009 31 Mar 2012
IF0158 Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN): Per-breeding research to support sustainable farming of carrot and onion Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Apr 2009 31 Mar 2012
AEGIS: Assessment of Unique Material in the European Collections of Umbellifer Crops European Co-operative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources 01 Mar 2010 28 Feb 2011
DEFRA IF0164 (with University of Birmingham) Vegetable Landrace Inventory of England and Wales Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 01 Dec 2008 31 Mar 2009