Genetic options ensure rust resistance is toast

09 May, 2022

Stem rust is a significant disease in wheat crops around the world, with outbreaks expected to become more common under future scenarios of climate change.

The reemergence of the disease over the past few decades highlights the importance of developing new wheat varieties with broad-spectrum ongoing resistance to stem rust, says KAUST researcher Brande Wulff.

An international research team, including Wulff and lead author Guotai Yu, have recently identified a stem rust resistance gene in Aegilops sharonensis and transferred it to common wheat. The new transgenic wheat lines show high levels of resistance to the stem rust pathogen.

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Image: Professor Brande Wulff (pictured) collaborated with an international team to identify a stem rust resistance gene in a wild cereal relative of wheat, which they successfully transferred to common wheat.
© 2022 KAUST; Brande Wulff.