Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Ph.D., Australian National University, Australia, 2001
Phone +61 2 6246 5411
Fax +61 2 6246 5000
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
CSIRO Plant Industry
GPO Box 1600
Canberra ACT 2601
My primary research activities relate to the identification
of molecular markers closely linked to genes for resistance
to scald, a disease of barley caused by the fungal pathogen
Rhynchosporium secalis. Wild barley, Hordeum vulgare
ssp. spontaneum, is a rich source of resistance to
scald and other diseases. We have derived a series of lines
carrying scald resistance genes from wild barley. We have
developed molecular markers for several of these scald resistance
genes, which will be of use to breeders in developing scald
resistant barley cultivars. We are continuing to develop
markers for more scald resistance genes. We have also used
molecular markers to map several of the resistance genes
to their chromosomal locations. This information is useful
to breeders in choosing resistance genes to be combined,
or pyramided, into single cultivars a strategy which
should increase the durability of scald resistance in the
I am also interested in plant-pathogen interactions at the
molecular level, particularly pathogen recognition and the
initiation of defence responses. I have initiated a collaborative
project with a group at Adelaide University, investigating
the pattern of gene expression in the barley epidermis after
inoculation with R. secalis spores. The pattern of
gene expression will be compared for lines carrying scald
resistance genes in different chromosomal locations, inoculated
with two different scald isolates, one of which can overcome
scald resistance in some lines.
Ruth K. Genger, W. James Peacock, Elizabeth
S. Dennis and E. Jean Finnegan, 2002. Opposing
effects of reduced DNA methylation on flowering time
in Arabidopsis. Planta, in press.
Ruth K. Genger, Kathryn A. Kovac, Elizabeth
S. Dennis, W. James Peacock and E. Jean Finnegan, 1999.
Multiple DNA methyltransferase genes in Arabidopsis
thaliana. Plant Molecular Biology 41:269-278.
E.J. Finnegan, R.K. Genger, W.J. Peacock and
E.S. Dennis, 1998. DNA methylation in plants.
Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular
E.S. Dennis, P. Bilodeau, J. Burn, E.J. Finnegan, R.
Genger, C. Helliwell, B.J. Kang, C.C. Sheldon and
W.J. Peacock, 1998. Methylation controls the low temperature
induction of flowering in Arabidopsis. Symposia
of the Society for Experimental Biology 51:97-103.
E. Jean Finnegan, Ruth K. Genger, Kathryn Kovac,
Elizabeth S. Dennis and W.James Peacock, 1996. DNA
methylation and the promotion of flowering by vernalization.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the
E.S. Dennis, E.J. Finnegan, P. Bilodeau, A. Chaudhury,
R. Genger, C.A. Helliwell, C.C. Sheldon, D.J.
Bagnall and W.J. Peacock, 1996. "Vernalization
and the initiation of flowering". Cell and Developmental
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
Barley Molecular Markers
expression after scald inoculation, in leaf epidermal tissue
of barley lines containing scald resistance genes derived
from wild barley. Collaborators: Wolfgang Knogge and
Oldach, Adelaide University.