Mapping Wheat Stem Rust Resistance Genes
This project's goal is to identify solutions for preventing cereal grain yield losses to rust disease. The current research emphasis is to characterize wheat and barley resistance genes that are effective to Ug99 stem rust. Rust pathogens often adapt to "break down" genetic resistance used in cereal varieties, especially when single-resistance genes are used to protect these varieties. This research seeks to identify and characterize resistance that will be durable and not "break down." Strategies for durable resistance we are currently pursuing include: the identification of multiple highly-effective genes that can be combined together to reduce the odds that the pathogen can "break down" resistance; the identification of genes that confer race non-specific resistance; and basic research on host-pathogen interactions towards developing novel strategies for durable resistance. The researchers use resources provided by MSI to map stem rust resistance genes using the program JoinMap. They also use programs to analyze genetic and genomic data.