skip to content

Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


Crop Science Centre / Department of Plant Sciences

Research theme: Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food


Project Title:

Developing a genetic toolbox for plant parasitic nematodes

Project Summary:

Plant-parasitic nematodes threaten global food security and account for over 10% of the annual life-sustaining crop losses, costing the industry roughly 100 billion U.S. dollars per year. Current control measures include crop rotations, the use of pesticides, and the deployment of resistant cultivars. Extensive use of these crops is increasing the selective pressure for a resistance breaking PPN. In addition, the banning of most of the effective pesticides will eventually push the number of nematodes over the damage threshold. Understanding how these pests operate on a molecular level may aid the development of new control measures but is held back by a lack of a genetic toolbox. 

My project aims to improve our understanding of the overall parasitism program on both the nematode and plant sides of the interaction to develop novel sources and tools for future control.



Key publications: 

Kranse, O., Beasley, H., Adams, S., Pires-daSilva, A., Bell, C., Lilley, C.J., Urwin, P.E., Bird, D., Miska, E., Smant, G. and Gheysen, G., 2021. Toward genetic modification of plant-parasitic nematodes: delivery of macromolecules to adults and expression of exogenous mRNA in second stage juveniles. G3, 11(2), p.jkaa058.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Dr Sebastian Eves-van den Akker

Staff Photo

Job Titles

PhD Student