Magic Wheat Resistance Gene Sequenced

November 18, 2015

A team of scientists from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, together with partners in China, Norway, and Australia have sequenced and described a gene that can help wheat to resist four serious fungal diseases. The research team isolated the wheat gene Lr67, revealing how it hampers the growth of fungal pathogen through a novel mechanism.

Lr67 belongs to a group of three known "magic" genes that help wheat to resist all three wheat rusts and powdery mildew. The genes act in different ways, slowing rather than totally stopping the development of disease. According to CIMMYT scientist Ravi Singh, they created and field tested genetic mutations of Lr67, to identify the gene's exact location in the wheat genome. The cloned gene will be much easier to deploy widely in CIMMYT breeding lines, he said.

For more information, read the news article at the CIMMYT website.