Crop Biotech Update

UZH Scientists Develop Wheat Lines Resistant to Powdery Mildew

January 31, 2018

Scientists from the University of Zurich (UZH) developed new wheat lines with enhanced resistance against fungal disease. The results are published in Theoretical and Applied Genetics.

UZH researchers have been investigating a wheat gene that confers resistance to powdery mildew. The gene, known as Pm3, exists in different variations. However, using a single Pm3 gene to confer resistance quickly lost its effectiveness. Thus, the researchers tested crossbreeding transgenic Pm3 lines leading to four new wheat lines with two different Pm3 phentoypic variations.

"The improved resistance against powdery mildew is the result of the increased total transgene activity as well as the combination of the two Pm3 gene variations," said Teresa Koller, lead author of the study. The activities of the resistance genes did not exhibit a negative effect on the development or productivity of wheat.

For more details, read the media release from UZH.