Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP) - CSIRO: Delivering genetic tools and knowledge required to breed wheat and barley with resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust and stem rust
Rust diseases are a significant threat to wheat production in Australia. Disease control relies heavily on breeding for disease resistance. Genetic resistance is preferable to fungicide control because of the lower input and environmental costs and the risk of restrictions of fungicide use due to weather conditions and supply constraints. However, the emergence of new virulent rust strains and threat of foreign incursions means that it is imperative to increase the levels of genetic resistance in Australian wheat cultivars.
This project aims to deliver simple and accurate DNA markers to breeders for detection and selection of novel seedling rust resistance (R) and adult plant resistance (APR) genes that collectively will provide resistance to wheat stem, stripe and leaf rust diseases along with information on the additive effects of these genes in combination.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
- develop simple and accurate DNA markers for effective resistance genes;
- determine which resistance genes work best in combination; and
- generate germplasm containing useful resistance genes in adapted backgrounds.
These outputs will enable breeders to efficiently introduce effective R and APR genes into breeding pipelines, stack these genes in combination, and accurately assign rust resistance genotypes to elite lines. This will ultimately lead to the release of cultivars with increased genetic disease resistance for Australian wheat growers and reduce the impact and risk of yield loss due to rusts.
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