Neil Boonham

Neil has in recent years focused on the application of post-genomic technologies to provide applied solutions to detection problems in agricultural and environmental analysis.


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  • Area of expertise
    Plant virology, molecular biology, detection and surveillance technologies
  • Years of experience
  • Highest qualification

Neil's work is focused on targeted and untargeted analysis of DNA to improve the efficiency of monitoring activities for both agricultural and environmental purposes. The aim is to streamline the analysis of samples such that you can profile environmental samples for the presence of DNA from pathogens, the makeup of its microbial and meiofaunal communities as well as the biodiversity of the macro invertebrates, vertebrates and plants that are living in the environment.

Neil works closely with many industry and academia collaborators and maintains a keen interest in Virology in particular the interaction between viruses and plant hosts, the evolution of virus species and the characterisation of persistent viruses in plants using next generation sequencing and the impact that persistent viruses have on crops.

Neil is an editor for the Journal of Virological Methods and a special associate Professor at the University of Nottingham. He regularly provides keynote and plenary lectures at international conferences and lectures at undergraduate and masters degree courses at the Universities of Nottingham, Newcastle, Leeds and Harper Adams as well as being the scientific advisor to the AHDB soft fruit panel.

More about crop health services

Fera offers a suite of crop health services, resources, testing facilities and expertise to help farmers, growers and the food industry to improve yields, reduce costs and develop sustainable solutions.

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Latest Papers and Articles

    Sabbadin F, Glover R, Stafford R, Rozado-Aguirre Z, Boonham N, Adams I, Mumford R, Edwards R. (2017) Transcriptome sequencing identifies novel persistent viruses in herbicide resistant wild-grasses. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 6;7:41987. doi: 10.1038/srep41987.

    Martín-Hernández R, Higes M, Sagastume S, Juarranz Á, Dias-Almeida J, Budge GE, Meana A, Boonham N. (2017) Microsporidia infection impacts the host cell's cycle and reduces host cell apoptosis. PLoS One. e0170183. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170183.

    Hodgetts J, Ostojá-Starzewski JC, Prior T, Lawson R, Hall J, Boonham N. (2016) DNA barcoding for biosecurity: case studies from the UK plant protection program.Genome. 59(11):1033-1048.

    Budge GE, Adams I, Thwaites R, Pietravalle S, Drew GC, Hurst GD, Tomkies V, Boonham N, Brown M. Identifying bacterial predictors of honey bee health. (2016) J Invertebr Pathol;141:41-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2016.11.003.

    Rozado-Aguirre Z, Adams I, Collins L, Fox A, Dickinson M, Boonham N. (2016) Detection and transmission of Carrot torrado virus, a novel putative member of the Torradovirus genus. J Virol Methods. 2016 Sep;235:119-24.

Events past and future

14-15th June 2017: Cereals 2017

5-9th August: The American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting, San Antonio, USA

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Neil and their team work with customers to deliver the following services within Fera...

Application of post-genomic technologies to provide applied solutions to detection problems in agricultural and environmental analysis.

Insect Monitoring

Providing you with the information you need to make pest control decisions.

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Soil Health Unit

Health tests, organism monitoring and metal detection for your soil, amongst other services

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Grower support tools

Cutting edge software to help growers optimise their crop yield and health

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All Crop Health Services

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