Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Simren Brar

Doctor of Philosophy, (Genetics)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Genetic diversity and gene expression analysis of Phytophthora pluvialis, a foliar pathogen of conifers

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Phytophthora pluvialis is the causal agent of red needle cast on Radiata pine in New Zealand and has previously been recovered from tanoak and Douglas fir trees in the USA in 2002. Ms Brar used twenty-seven molecular markers to study the genetic diversity and population structure of P. pluvialis and ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing to examine the gene expression from field infected plants. The genotypic data showed that the population in New Zealand has lower diversity than the USA population and suggested that there have been two separate introductions of this pathogen into New Zealand. This is one of the first studies to use naturally infected samples for RNA sequencing. From this data, genes with similarity to sugar transporter, GH12 and effector genes with known pathogenicity functions were identified. The highly expressed genes can be used to help identify resistance genes in P. radiata that can be incorporated into future breeding programmes.

Professor Rosie Bradshaw
Dr Rebecca McDougal
Professor Murray Cox