Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) is ranked as the world's second most important plant virus infecting field vegetables. It detrimentally affects a wide range of crops due to its extremely broad host range, ability to be spread by over 89 different aphid vector species and the inefficacy of pesticides and/or more conventional disease control methods.
It is most damaging to members of the Brassica genus (cabbage, cauliflower, oilseed rape etc.), which is where the focus of my research lies (Fig. 1).
Figure 1. Schematic diagram representing the cytogenetic relationships between six species of the Brassica genus. Chromosome number and crop varieties of high importance are also shown. Chromosomes from each of the original diploid genomes; A, B and C, are represented by colour; green, red and blue respectively. Modified from here, accessed on 11/11/2015.
I aim to exploit sources of broad-spectrum TuMV resistance found previously in Brassica rapa (the vegetable brassica of highest socioeconomic importance) by developing molecular markers for the plant genes responsible for TuMV resistance before, in association with Sakata Seeds Ltd., introgressing enhanced resistance factors into plant varieties that have all other traits necessary for commercial production.