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Professor Rosie Bradshaw was appointed as a genetics lecturer in 1991. She is an enthusiastic teacher of cell biology, genetics and molecular plant pathology and has organised and run workshops on DNA technology and fungal genomics. Starting her research career in the UK studying the genetics of fungal Aspergillus spp. and yeasts, she turned her attention to the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum after moving to New Zealand. As well as elucidating the genetics of an aflatoxin-like toxin (dothistromin) made by this fungus, she published the genome sequence of D. septosporum in a comparative study with that of the model plant pathogen Cladosporium fulvum. Professor Bradshaw is a principal investigator in the BioProtection Research Centre, a National Centre of Research Excellence and a Management Committee member for the Dothistroma European COST Action FP1102. In 2012 she was awarded a Willie Commelin Scholten Foundation Visiting Chair of Phytopathology in The Netherlands.
Professor Bradshaw's main research focus is the application of molecular and comparative genomics tools to study how fungi interact with plants. Her group is interested in plant pathogens, endophytes, forest pathology, mycotoxins, fungal gene clusters and biocontrol. As part of an initiative by the Dothideomycete Comparative Genomics Consortium and the Joint Genome Institute, she was PI for the project to sequence the genome of the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum. The Bradshaw laboratory elucidated the genetics of dothistromin toxin biosynthesis and discovered it is a virulence factor in needle blight disease. They also found that dothistromin genes are unusual in being dispersed across one chromosome in a 'fragmented cluster' and gathered evidence that this is a fragmented form of a tighter ancestral aflatoxin-like gene cluster and is subject to chromatin-level regulation of gene expression.
The Bradshaw laboratory's research interests also include Phytophthora species that are pathogens of forest trees. A project looking at the pine needle pathogen Phytophthora pluvialis suggests there were two introductions of this pathogen into New Zealand and a transcriptomics study is unravelling how this pathogen interacts with its host. A major initiative to study the kauri dieback pathogen Phytophthora agathidicida is in progress, using effector biology to help determine the best way to achieve durable resistance of kauri in the forest.
Field of research codes
Biological Adaptation (060303): Biological Sciences (060000): Evolutionary Biology (060300): Gene Expression (incl. Microarray and other genome-wide approaches) (060405): Genetics (060400): Genome Structure and Regulation (060407): Genomics (060408): Host-Parasite Interactions (060307): Microbiology (060500): Mycology (060505): Plant Biology (060700): Plant Pathology (060704)
Project Title: Keeping New Zealand grass green
Date Range: 2012 - 2012
Funding Body: Massey University