Last updated May 16, 2018 at 4:09 pm
Toby Hendy (Australian National University) may look nice, but she revealed her dark side at the FameLab Australia 2018 National Final.
Toby pokes plants with needles to understand how plants defend themselves from disease. There is potential in her research to create resistant crops and decrease world food shortages. Toby’s needles mimic the way a pathogen would pierce through a plant cell to spread disease. So far she has found a new minimum pressure that can trigger a defence response in the plant; stiffening of the cell wall. She works on the coffee crop which is one of the species at risk of disease infection.