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Jemma Taylor

Hi, my name is Jemma Taylor and I am a PhD student in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick. My research is focussed on flowering time and applies knowledge gained studying the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to crop plants.

My interest in Plant Science started when I did work experience at Kew Gardens, London at 16, so chose to study Plant Science at the University of Nottingham. I really enjoyed the degree and was fortunate to find a post at Warwick University as a technician to gain research experience once I had finished.

My PhD

Project Title -

Delayed bolting in rocket for improved quality and greater sustainability

Overview -

Wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) has recently become a very popular salad leaf in the UK due to its peppery taste. It is found widely in Italy but is now being produced in Spring and Summer in England. It is part of the Brassicaceae family and thus has a high level of homology at the DNA level to Arabidopsis and other Brassica species. This project aims to produce robust late bolting varieties of rocket which are uniform in leaf shape, size and colour to put to market. This is important as current varieties vary in morphology and produce flowers at unpredictable times, which is a problem because when rocket flowers it becomes unsaleable. An EMS population will be produced and late bolting plants selected for backcrossing and selfing in order to reduce the mutation load and to ensure the SNPs causing late bolting are homozygous. Flowering pathway genes will be isolated from rocket and checked for function by complementation of their respective Arabidopsis thaliana mutant knockout lines. Late bolting lines will be screened for SNPs in the target flowering time genes and, if any are found, whether they are the cause of the late bolting phenotype determined. Illumina sequencing will be used to identify SNPs causing delayed bolting and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Regions (CRISPRs) will be used to introduce mutations into specific rocket flowering time pathway gene homologs to engineer late bolting.

Supervisors -

Dr Stephen Jackson, University of Warwick

Professor Yiguo Hong, University of Warwick and Hangzhou Normal University, China

Ms Sue Kennedy, Elsoms Seeds Ltd

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Jemma Taylor

J dot L dot Taylor at warwick dot ac dot uk

School of Life Sciences

Gibbet Hill Campus

University of Warwick

Coventry

CV4 7AL