College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
Cereal wild relatives have not been fully exploited in breeding programs. The long-term goal of this project is to clone rust resistance genes from cereal wild relatives by association genetics of whole genome sequencing data and transfer them as multi-gene cassettes into cultivated wheat and barley cultivars. The project also conducts comparative genomic analyses of cloned rust resistance genes to characterize their allelic diversity. This research will lead to the development of durably resistant crops, thereby reducing the impact of disease.
In a parallel project, the researchers are also sequencing isolates of the rust pathogens in order to isolate avirulence genes that interact with the cognate resistance genes.
This research was featured on the MSI website in December 2019: Discovering the Origins of a Wheat Stem Rust Lineage.