Biotech Updates

Scientists Discover Gene for Wheat Stem Rust Resistance

August 22, 2013

Scientists from Australia, United States, and China have found a new gene that will help wheat plants resist the deadly stem rust disease. The team has successfully cloned the Sr33 gene from Aegilops tauschii, a wild relative of common bread wheat.

Jan Dvorak, a professor and wheat geneticist at UC Davis said, "We are hopeful that the Sr33 gene and the Sr35 gene, which our colleagues at UC Davis helped to isolate, can be ‘pyramided,' or combined to develop wheat varieties with robust and lasting resistance to wheat stem rust disease."

The discovery of genes that confer resistance to wheat stem rust disease is important for global food security, as new and highly aggressive race of the fungus causing the disease threatens global wheat grain production. Study findings on the Sr33 gene appear in the August 16 issue of the journal Science, as a companion piece to an article about another resistance gene, Sr35.

The journal article is available at: For more information, read the news release at: