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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Plant Pathology

PI: Brian J. Steffenson

Molecular Mapping of Disease Resistance Genes in Wild Cereal Progenitors

Wild barley and wheat have not been fully exploited in breeding programs. The long-term goal of this group’s research is to develop, through comparative genomic analysis, efficient methods for exploiting allelic diversity in wild cereal progenitors for cultivated cereal improvement. The researchers have phenotyped large core collections of wild cereal progenitors for resistance to six important diseases at both the seedling and adult plant stages. They also genotyped this same germplasm with molecular markers that span the genomes. These data were analyzed to measure genetic diversity, facilitate comparative genomic assessments of wild and cultivated cereals, select genetically unique accession with broad-based resistance for use in the national breeding programs, and test the feasibility of association mapping for identifying genomic regions contributing to important phenotypes in wild and cultivated cereals. The data can be used to hasten the development of adapted cereal cultivars with enhanced disease resistance, which will help alleviate food shortages worldwide.

Group Members

Ben Alsop, Graduate Student
Yuan Chai, Graduate Student
Mattias Persson, Research Associate
Joy Roy, Research Associate
Hao Zhou, Graduate Student