Dr K.A. Steele - Staff Profile

Dr Katherine Steele
Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Crop Production

Thoday Building room G5

Email: k.a.steele@bangor.ac.uk

Tel: 01248 388655 (from U.K.)
+44 1248 388655 (International)

Research interests

My research is focused on tackling global food security issues. I use genomics tools and follow a client-orientated approach to develop novel crop varieties for sustainable agriculture. I study genetic diversity and inheritance of quantitative traits in economically important species and use marker-assisted selection for trait improvement.

Responsibilities within SENRGY/BU

College of Natural Sciences Director of Impact
Member of CNS Executive Committee
Member of SENRGY Research Committee
Member of Henfaes Research Centre Committee
Module organiser for SENRGY modules: DXX3701, DXX2021 and DXX2019

Research Students

  • Anastasia Atucha (KESS PhD) “Identifying genetic markers for frost resistance in Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)”, 2016-2019
  • Beverly Agesa (AHDB PhD) “Phosphorus-efficient cereals” 2016-2019
  • Simon White (KESS PhD) “Breeding strategies to improve blight resistance in Sárpo potatoes” (2016- 2019)
  • Mohammed Mubarak AlHashmi (PhD) “The effect of the growing environment on beta-glucan content in food barley” (2015-2018)
  • Noorman Marzukhi (MPhil) “Molecular breeding in rice for abiotic and biotic stress resistances” (2014-2016)

Completed Postgraduate students

  • Jamie Stroud (KESS PhD) “Development of late-blight resistant tomatoes” (2011-2014)
  • Simon White (KESS MRes) “Breeding for blight resistance in potato” (2013–2014)


KASP™ technology to improve new rice varieties and farmers' livelihoods
Agri-Tech Catalyst Early Stage Award

Transnational approaches to resolving biological bottlenecks in macroalgal biofuel production (SuBBSea)

Building capacity and transferring technology for modern plant breeding in Uganda and Kenya. Project funded by EU ACP Science and Technology Transfer Programme.

Naked Barley for Healthy and Sustainable Food
Working with industry and supported by the Welsh Government

ESRC IAA GCRF Raising awareness of better rooting rice for drought prone Eastern India

Host to Commonwealth Academic Fellow Dr Adejoke Akinyele (Department of Forest Resources Management, University of Ibadan, Oyo State) “Genetic diversity of Afzelia Africana” (2016-2017)

Recent Publications

Stroud, J.A., Shaw, D.S., Hale, M.D., Steele, K.A. (2015) SSR assessment of Phytophthora infestans populations on tomato and potato in British gardens demonstrates high diversity but no evidence for host specialization. Plant Pathology, 65, 334-41.

Ul Haq T., Akhtar J., Steele K. A., Munns R., Gorham J. (2014) Reliability of ion accumulation and growth components for selecting salt tolerant lines in large populations of rice. Functional Plant Biology, 41, 379–390

Steele K., Dickin E., Keerio M.D., Samad S., Kambona C., Brook R., Thomas W., Frost G. (2013) Breeding low-glycemic index barley for functional food. Field Crops Research 154: 31–39.

Steele K.A., Price A.H., Witcombe J.R., Shrestha R., Singh B.N., Gibbons J.M., Virk D.S. (2012) QTLs associated with root traits increase yield in upland rice when transferred through marker-assisted selection. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 126: 101-108.

Dickin E.T., Steele K.A., Edwards-Jones G., Wright D. (2012) Agronomic diversity of naked barley (Hordeum vulgare L.): a potential resource for breeding new food barley for Europe. Euphytica 184: 85-99.

Dickin E.T., Steele K.A., Frost G., Edwards-Jones G., Wright D. (2011) Effect of genotype, environment and agronomic management on Beta-glucan concentration of naked barley grain intended for health food use. Journal of Cereal Science 54:44-52.

Waliszewski W.S., Sinclair F.L., Steele K.A. (2011) Morpoholgical and AFLP diversity in Thaumatococcus daniellii, the source of the protein sweetener thaumatin. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 59:151-161.

Ul Haq T., Gorham J., Akhtar J., Akhtar N., Steele K.A. (2010) Dynamic QTL for salt stress components on chromosome 1 of rice. Functional Plant Biology. 37:634-645

Steele K.A., Gyawali S., Joshi K.D., Shrestha P., Sthapit B.R., Witcombe J.R. (2009) Has the introduction of modern rice varieties changed rice genetic diversity in a high-altitude region of Nepal? Field Crops Research. 113: 24-30

Clark L.J., Price A.H., Steele K.A. Whalley W.R. (2008) Evidence from near-isogenic lines that root penetration increases with root diameter and bending stiffness in rice. Functional Plant Biology 35: 1163-1171/p>

Steele K.A., Ogden R., McEwing R. Briggs H. Gorham J.R. (2008) InDel markers distinguish Basmatis from other fragrant rice varieties.  Field Crops Research 105: 81-87.

Witcombe J.R., Hollington P.A., Howarth C.J., Reader S., Steele K.A. (2008) Breeding for abiotic stresses for sustainable agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 363: 703-716.

Steele K.A., Virk D.S., Kumar R., Prasad S.C., Witcombe J.R. (2007) Field evaluation of upland rice lines selected for QTLs controlling root traits Field Crops Research 101: 181-186

Virk D.S., Steele K.A., Witcombe J.R. (2007) Mass and line selection can produce equally uniform rice varieties. Field Crops Research 100:341-347

Steele K.A., Price A.H., Shashidhar H.E., Witcombe J.R. (2006) Marker-assisted selection to introgress of rice QTLs controlling root traits and aroma into an Indian upland rice variety. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 112:208-221.

Bajracharya J., Steele K.A., Jarvis D.I., Sthapit B.R., Witcombe J.R. (2006) Rice landrace diversity in Nepal: Variability for agro-morphological traits and SSR markers from a high-altitude site. Field Crops Research 95: 327-335.