Jamie Pike

New tools for predicting spread of Fusarium wilt in banana

I have always been passionate about plants and begun studying horticulture after my GCSEs. I undertook a BSc in Horticulture – Plant Science at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK where I developed an interest in plant pathology. I developed a particular fascination with technologies, controls, and alternative growing systems which can be used for sustainable plant pest and disease management. Perusing my interests, I undertook a BSPP summer studentship at Rothamsted Research where I contributed to research on the recently discovered brassica pathogen, Pyrenopeziza cascadia as well as new in field diagnostic technologies for air-borne fungal pathogens.  On my return to Eden, I continued to examine more sustainable approaches to pest and diseases management, focusing my undergraduate research on the use of a biological control agent to manage the banana pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense TR4, which has been identified in the Eden Project’s rainforest biome.

The Waitrose CTP scheme has enabled me to continue working with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense TR4 and peruse my interest in developing technologies which may contribute to the sustainable management of plant pathogens. My PhD aims to develop and employ new technologies to aid in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense detection and identification, including both molecular detection technologies and image analysis-based systems, such as hyperspectral imaging. Hopefully, the technologies developed can be employed in the control of other pathogens in other crops in the future.