Our students, James Stroud and Natalie Chivers, told her about their projects. James said how he had used molecular markers to identify late-blight resistance genes in tomato and different strains of Phytophthora infestans. Collaboration with Burpee Europe and Dr Katherine Steele, Bangor University, has culminated in the selection of a new cultivar of tomato, Crimson Crush, with excellent blight resistance for outdoor growing in UK. Natalie explained how her project will find out how far fields of flowering potatoes benefit pollinating and predatory insects. Another KESS studentship to Simon White is using molecular probes to identify blight resistance genes that can be bred into new Sarpo potato varieties.
Guests were pleased to receive gifts of certified seed potatoes resistant to blight. The Minister said she would give some to her colleague, Deputy Minister for Food and Farming, Rebecca Evans AM
|James and Natalie with posters|