Understanding the evolution and dynamics of fungicide resistance development in cereal pathogens

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted

Abstract

This project will focus on genetic and functional characterisation of genes in wheat, barley and related cereal species that are required for resistance to agronomically important diseases caused by (i) soil-borne viruses (Soil- borne cereal mosaic virus, SBCMV; Soil-borne- wheat mosaic virus, SBWMV; Barley yellow mosaic virus, BaYMV; Barley mild mosaic virus; BaMMV), (ii) the necrotrophic fungus Septoria tritici (teleomorph Mycosphaerella graminicola) and, (iii) Fusarium spp. fungi. Genes controlling resistance to these pathogens in cereal crops have not been isolated yet.
Objectives:
1) identify and characterise resistance to the soil-borne viruses (SBCMV, SBWMV, BaYMV and BaMMV) in cereal cultivars and related species. This will include identification of novel resistance sources for durable disease control, genetic mapping of resistance genes, development of molecular markers for resistance, and both molecular and biological characterisation of the resistance mechanism(s);
2) produce a high resolution genetic map for the Stb6 locus specifying resistance to M. graminicola isolate IPO323 in wheat as a pre-requisite for gene isolation using a positional cloning approach. This will include screening of large mapping populations for resistance to M. graminicola as well as genetic linkage analyses using existing genetic markers (i.e. SSR, RFLP, etc.) and development of novel markers (i.e. AFLP, DArT, BES, CAPS, COS, etc.) more closely linked to Stb6. Please note: the actual isolation of Stb6 is not feasible using the current level of CSG funding;
3) establish at Rothamsted the published VIGS reverse genetics system based on Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV) in wheat and related cereal species (i.e. T. monococcum) to enable rapid identification of gene / gene family functions with particular focus on candidate wheat and T. Monococcum genes involved in resistance and / or susceptibility to M. Graminicola and Fusarium spp.
Includes one BBSRC funded quota studentships.