Resistance and susceptibility in interactions between apple and woolly aphids

October 2019 – September 2023

Cindayniah Godfrey

Cindayniah studied for her BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and MRes in Integrated Pest Management at the Harper Adams University. In her PhD project, Cindayniah will study plant resistance to woolly apple aphid (WAA; Eriosoma lanigerum)and the life cycle and genetic diversity of the pest.

Her specific research objectives will include:

  • Investigate the genetic diversity of UK populations of WAA and compare with diversity within this aphid species in other regions of the world using a combined SSR and population genomic approach.
  • Characterise the ecology and life cycle of WAA in the UK.
  • Assess responses of different WAA clonal genotypes to key aphid resistance genes in apple.
  • Elucidate the inheritance of resistance from novel sources and determine interactions or linkage with currently described genes.
  • Identify candidate genes and propose mechanisms for apple resistance to WAA.
  • Characterise aphid resistance loci in apple accessions and determine the effect of pyramided resistance genes on resistance-breaking aphid genotypes, highlighting accessions with potential for use in future breeding programmes.