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Crop Biotech Update

Australian Researchers Develop Tools to Identify Plant Genes Resistant to Disease-causing Fungi

July 21, 2021

Researchers from The University of Western Australia (UWA) and The UWA Institute of Agriculture in collaboration with the University of Melbourne have developed tools to identify plant genes that are resistant to disease-causing fungi and deploy them to create more resistant crops.

The researchers looked at the evolution of the resistance genes against blackleg to develop a durable resistance mechanism to the disease. Blackleg, a disease-causing fungus that can wipe out crops, is a serious problem for canola growers, with an average of 10 percent yield loss per year.

The research team developed a screening platform that identifies the genes that underlie the resistance against blackleg in canola plants. The genes can then be deployed in breeding programs to protect canola crops.

For more details, read the article on the UWA website.

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