PhD Evolution of resistance to morpholine fungicides, John Innes Centre
In this project, the student will investigate the evolution of resistance to morpholine fungicides as a model for fitness costs of resistance. The morpholines are a small but important group of fungicides used in agriculture and medicine, and target two proteins in the sterol biosynthesis pathway, ERG24 and ERG2. Although some crop pathogens have moderate resistance to morpholines, there has been no known outbreak of complete resistance in commercial farming. This is a striking contrast to experience with other fungicides. It suggests that resistance to morpholines involves a fitness penalty and that stronger resistance incurs a higher cost. Morpholines may thus be particularly useful in multi-drug treatments for persistent infection.