Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.11.2005

Two pronged - resistance strategy

The CSIRO Plant Industry team based in Brisbane, led by Dr Sukumar Chakraborty, is taking a new approach to developing bread and durum wheats resistant to crown rot. It is applying a two-pronged strategy by firstly identifying the most virulent strains of Fusarium pseudograminearum (Fp) in Queensland and New South Wales and then using these to screen 1400 wheat lines for crown rot resistance.

Using these virulent crown rot pathogen strains, the team has developed a rapid seedling test for screening the wheat lines for resistance to crown rot. To date, 17 potentially resistant wheat lines have been identified and are currently in field trials.

This approach to variety development is more efficient and effective, reducing the cost of developing resistant varieties and delivering them more quickly to the grower. The screening technique has enabled the team to assess a much wider range of wheat lines than would otherwise be possible. Screening large number of lines increases the likelihood of finding sources of robust resistance.

The next step for the team is to use genetic analysis to identify sources of crown rot resistance that have different mechanisms. Marker-assisted selection will be used to combine different sources of crown rot resistance into varieties adapted for Australian conditions.The team is continuing to survey for new strains of Fp in Queensland and NSW and are maintaining a collection of cultures with different levels of virulence. Improved knowledge of crown rot field epidemiology is being used to prolong the life of resistant varieties.

GRDC Research Code CSP386
For more information: Dr Sukumar Chakraborty, 07 3214 2677,

Region North