Biotech Updates

Researchers Turn to Molecular Markers to Improve Wheat

June 13, 2013

Steve Harrison, wheat breeder at the Louisiana State University's AgCenter, is working on a project that aims to develop molecular markers for resistance to stripe rust, one of three wheat rust diseases found in cooler environments. Working on wheat variety LA841, Harrison has teamed up with graduate student Alejandro Castro and molecular biologist Niranjan Baisakh to identify useful markers that have a high correlation to field resistance. The team said LA841 has a unique combination of genes that has maintained stable resistance to stripe rust during the last 12 years. They tested LA841 in three locations to expose it to different strains of stripe rust. Baisakh's laboratory is also using molecular markers to map wheat's tolerance to some widely used herbicides.

The team is also looking at another potential variety, LA3200 which has excellent resistance to stripe rust, leaf rust, and Hessian fly.

For more details, read the news release at