Biotech Updates

Scientists Discover Barley Gene Has Resistance to Different Pathogens

December 1, 2021

Barley powdery mildew and wheat stripe rust. Photo Source: The Sainsbury Laboratory

Scientists at The Sainsbury Laboratory and the Norwich Research Park have discovered that the barley and wheat gene conferring resistance to stripe rust also does the same to completely different pathogens.

The fungal pathogen stripe rust Puccinia striiformis causes major global losses in cereal crop yields, particularly wheat. The species has independent lineages that infect diverse cereal species, such as wheat stripe rust and barley stripe rust which infect wheat and barley, respectively.

In a study published in Nature Communications, the authors wrote how barley resists infection by wheat stripe rust. They found that three resistance genes Rps6, Rps7, and Rps8 contributed to the immune response in barley towards the non-adapted wheat pathogen. They also found Rps7 to cosegregate with barley powdery mildew resistance at the Mla locus, meaning they are inherited together. This shows that two distinct haplotypes of Mla have coupled resistance to the adapted pathogen barley powdery mildew and the non-adapted pathogen wheat stripe rust.

For more details, read the news article on The Sainsbury Laboratory website.

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