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Crop Biotech Update

Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Honors Women in Wheat Research

May 2, 2018

The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) awarded a group of women who have made significant contributions in wheat research and development. The winners of the 2018 Women in Triticum Award were honored at the 2018 BGRI Technical Workshop in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Early Career Awards were given to the following researchers:

  • Meriem Aoun, who applied both conventional and molecular breeding techniques toward the release of resistant durum varieties to rusts and Fusarium head blight;
  • Radhika Bartaula, a plant geneticist working to unravel the genetic mechanism of resistance to wheat stem rust pathogen in barberry;
  • Sreya Gosh, work focuses on understanding and exploiting genes controlling resistance to leaf rust in wheat;
  • Raheela Rehman, who conducts studies to better understand and characterize the differences in root absorption and translocation of zinc in wheat and maize plants, as well as in various wheat genotypes with high grain zinc concentrations; and
  • Hannah Robinson, who engages with researchers throughout Australia and across the globe to develop research projects aimed at improving wheat and barley production.

Dr. Urmil Bansal, a molecular geneticist at the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute, was hailed with the Mentor Award. Aside from developing and validating closely linked markers for more than 20 rust resistance genes to facilitate marker-assisted pyramiding to control of rust diseases in wheat, she has mentored 29 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students mostly from developing countries including South Asia and Africa.

Read the news release from BGRI for more information.