New Investigator Award: Rapid identification of genes and pathways that increase resistance to yellow rust disease of wheat

Lead Research Organisation: Earlham Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED


In this project we aim to isolate wheat genes responsible for gain-of-resistance to yellow rust disease of wheat. At The Sainsbury Laboratory and in collaboration with other colleagues, we will test our previously identified lines for broad-spectrum resistance to wheat pathogens (brown rust, powdery mildew, Septoria and wheat blast). We will examine the stage at which pathogen is stopped by microscopy and pre-priming of defence responses by q-PCR. Leveraging the recent advances in wheat genomics at The Genome Analysis Centre, we will establish a rapid approach for mapping wheat genes by exome capture and sequencing reducing the complexity of wheat genome (17 Gb). We will sequence the gene space of the F2 populations of resistant mutants using exome-capture design (86 Mb) and identify mutations linked to resistance with our mutation calling pipelines, providing large amount of marker data. For high-resolution mapping we will design small exome-capture to completely cover the identified chromosomal interval and sequence the region with long-read technology. We will study natural and induced diversity in the target loci in wheat mutagenised populations and 1,000s of wheat cultivar and related species sequenced by other projects along with published yellow rust resistance Genome Wide Association data. Our specific aims include:
- Adopt semi-automated assays for quantifying rust growth inside wheat leaves.
- Test mutant wheat lines for pre-priming of defence response pathways.
- Evaluate selected mutants for the broad-spectrum resistance to multiple pathogens.
- Introduce new sources of resistance to the elite UK and European wheat varieties.
- Identify markers linked to resistance using wheat exome-capture and mapping-bysequencing approaches.
- Clone and validate gene(s) responsible for broad-spectrum resistance to yellow rust.
- Identify natural and induced diversity in the resistance loci.


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