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The research was published in the journal Science by a team that, in addition to Blechl, includes Xianming Chen, an ARS plant pathologist in Pullman, Wash., and researchers from the University of California-Davis and the University of Haifa in Israel. Publication of the gene sequence should give breeders the ability to use sequence-based DNA markers to incorporate resistance into new wheat varieties.
Scientists transferred a resistant gene, known as Yr36, from a race of wild wheat into a handful of domesticated pasta and bread wheat varieties.
Caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis, stripe rust is spread by the wind and is most likely to ruin crops in mild winters, wet springs and wet summers.
The fungus evolves rapidly, developing new races that overcome various race-specific seedling resistances. While it provides only partial resistance to adult plants at high temperatures, Yr36 is useful because it protects against all known strains of stripe rust, making it an effective tool.
by S. C.
21 february 2009, Technical Area > Science News