Prof Rosie Bradshaw staff profile picture

Contact details +6469517735

Prof Rosie Bradshaw BSc, PhD

Professor in Genetics

School of Fundamental Sciences

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.

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Contact details

  • Ph: +64 6 356 9099 ext 84735
    Location: ScC3-13, Science Tower C
    Campus: Manawatu


  • Bachelor of Science - University of Lancaster (1979)
  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of Nottingham (1983)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

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.

Area of Expertise

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)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 4 32

Completed Projects

Project Title: Keeping New Zealand grass green

Drought is one of the greatest environmental stresses to pasture production in New Zealand and is made worse by climate change. It is known that a fungus, Neotyphodium lolii, that lives as an endophyte inside perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) can enhance drought tolerance. However, very little is known about how the endophyte improves grass drought tolerance and why this effect varies among grass genotypes. Knowing this will help us make better use of endophytes, such as selecting and using specific endophyte-grass combinations in arid areas. Therefore, we conducted a high-throughput RNA sequencing experiment to study gene expression in two N. lolii infected perennial ryegrass genotypes with different drought tolerance profiles, along with clonal endophyte-free grasses. The grasses were grown in a controlled environment growth chamber. Analysis of the gene expression results showed that the fungal endophyte increases perennial ryegrass drought tolerance by adjusting many aspects of the plant's metabolism that facilitate the survival of the plant. The fungal endophyte itself also had modified gene expression under drought and showed increased production of metabolites with the capability of reducing grass cell damage under drought. Further characterisation of specific grass and endophyte genes will be carried out in the future.
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Date Range: 2012 - 2012

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 2 11
Co-supervisor 4 9

Current Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • Hannah McCarthy - Doctor of Philosophy
    Novel virulence factors in Dothideomycete pathogens
  • Mariana Massoco Tarallo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Foliar pathogens of pine: are there common triggers for resistance

Co-supervisor of:

  • Merce Rocafort Ferrer - Doctor of Philosophy
    The role of cell surface modifications in the morphological differentiation of infection structures by the apple scab fungus, Venturia inaequalis
  • Trevorne Douglas - Doctor of Philosophy
    Molecular basis of plant resistance to Dothideomycete species
  • Ellie Bradley - Doctor of Philosophy
    Identification and functional characterisation of CAZymes and RXLRs from the Kauri dieback pathogen, Phytophthora agathidicida.
  • Silvia De La Rosa Montelongo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effectors as tools for controlling scab disease of apple

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Aslinur Ozturk - Doctor of Philosophy
    Sensing and Signalling Intercalary Growth in Epichloë festucae
  • 2018 - Lukas Hunziker - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effector delivery and effector characterisation in Dothistroma needle blight of pines
  • 2018 - Simren Brar - Doctor of Philosophy
    Genetic diversity and gene expression analysis of Phytophthora pluvialis, a foliar pathogen of conifers
  • 2017 - Ibrahim Ozturk - Doctor of Philosophy
    Secondary metabolism of the forest pathogen Dothistroma septosporum
  • 2016 - Kahandawa Geeganaarachchige Ariyawansa - Doctor of Philosophy
    Sensing and signalling mechanical stress during intercalary growth in Epichloë grass endophytes
  • 2015 - Yanan Guo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Identification and characterization of Dothistroma septosporum effectors
  • 2014 - Pranav Chettri - Doctor of Philosophy
    Regulation of Dothistromin Toxin Biosynthesis by the Pine Needle Pathogen Dothistroma septosporum
  • 2014 - Yanfei Zhou - Doctor of Philosophy
    Neotyphodium lolii endophyte improves drought tolerance in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne. L) through broadly adjusting its metabolism
  • 2014 - Md Shahjahan Kabir - Doctor of Philosophy
    Investigation of dothistroma needle blight development on Pinus Radiata
  • 2008 - Arne Schwelm - Doctor of Philosophy
    Investigations of dothistromin gene expression in Dothistroma septosporum and the putative role of dothistromin toxin
  • 1997 - Dianne Bird - Doctor of Philosophy
    Transformation and Gene Targeting in #Aspergillus# #nidulans#.

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Nikolai Kondratev - Doctor of Philosophy
    Identification of mechanisms defining resistance and susceptibility of Camellia plants to necrotrophic petal blight disease
  • 2018 - Maxim Prokchorchik - Doctor of Philosophy
    Molecular analysis of plant innate immunity triggered by secreted effectors from bacterial and fungal pathogens of apple
  • 2018 - Jinping Du - Doctor of Philosophy
    Design of Bacterial Polyester Beads for Recombinant Protein Production, Biomolecule Separation and Detection
  • 2017 - Sera Choi - Doctor of Philosophy
    Identification and functional analysis of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae effector-triggered immunity in Nicotiana spp. and Arabidopsis thaliana
  • 2017 - Toby Newman - Doctor of Philosophy
    The molecular basis of RPS4/RRS1- mediated defense activation in Arabidopsis
  • 2017 - ~ Jayaraman - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effector-triggered immunity against Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae in nonhost plants
  • 2015 - Matthew Denton-Giles - Doctor of Philosophy
    Characterization of incompatible and compatible Camellia-Ciborinia camelliae plant-pathogen interactions
  • 2013 - Gemma Cartwright - Doctor of Philosophy
    Redox regulation of an AP-1-like transcription factor, YapA, in the fungal symbiont Epichloe festucae
  • 1996 - Yunqiu Wang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Male Cone Development in #Pinus# #Radiata#

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