Rachel Greenhill

Identification and functional validation of effector genes in the parasitic weed Striga asiatica

About me

I started my journey into plant science in 2010 while studying towards a Biological Sciences degree from the university of Brighton. During my summer breaks I undertook internships at the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC) in Hertfordshire, where upon graduation in 2013, I joined the company full-time as a plant genomics scientist.

At TARRC my project work focused on the development of a cost-effective panel of molecular markers for clonal identification of rubber. Here I was able to gain a valuable insight into the Malaysian Rubber industry from presenting at conferences to collecting tissue samples in the field.

My project

In 2017, having studied alongside my employment, I graduated from Imperial College London with an MRes in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences. My first rotation focusing on production and purification of a PSII chaperone protein for structural identification, my second, investigating the location of the active site in a Ribosome inactivating protein involved in resistance to barley powdery mildew.

My current research interests are in crop improvement through pathogen resistance, ensuring a sustainable food source for the years to come. Since joining The University of Sheffield, I have been able to explore this through my work with the parasitic weed species Striga asiatica which is currently devastating cereal crop production across Africa. Striga infestations are particularly difficult to manage, in part due to the abundance of seeds produced and costly or labour-intensive control measures.

The principal project aims are to better understand the molecular basis of virulence in Striga using comparative genomics and molecular techniques. I hope to identify the different strategies which Striga accessions use to overcome host resistance in the hopes of better understanding this relationship.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelGreenhill

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-greenhill/