RNA silencing & disease resistance

Professor Sir David Baulcombe of the Department of Plant Sciences and his team use the glasshouse facility for propagating the progeny of Solanum lycopersicum x S. pennelli hybrids through to the F4 generation.
The aim is to investigate transgressive segregation in hybrid plant populations. Transgressive segregation is well known to plant breeders and may be important in natural evolution. It results in plants that have heritable properties that are outside the range of the parents – they may be bigger, more colourful, more flavoursome or conversely they may be less useful than the parents. Breeders have often selected for useful transgressive segregation and the present work aims to understand the molecular biology of this important trait so that it can be harnessed more efficiently.