We are currently researching (1) wheat and barley resistance to stem rust including emerging races of the stem rust pathogen such as TTKSK (Ug99) and (2) physiologic specialization of the barley leaf rust pathogen in the United States.
Rust pathogens often adapt to overcome genetic resistance used in cereal varieties. Our research seeks to identify and characterize resistance that will be durable and not break down. Strategies for durable resistance that we are currently pursuing include (1) the identification of multiple highly-effective genes that can be combined together to reduce the probability that the pathogen can overcome resistance, (2) the identification of genes that confer race non-specific resistance, and (3) basic research on host-pathogen interactions towards developing novel strategies for durable resistance.
Our research is currently supported by
(1) USDA-ARS appropriated project, "Cereal Rust Fungi: Genetics, Population Biology, and Host-Pathogen Interaction",
(2) the USDA-ARS National Plant Disease Recovery System,
(3) the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project administrated by Cornell University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development,
(4) USAID Feed the Future,
(5) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project "Fine-scale dissection of the host-pathogen interaction landscape using genome-wide association scans of the host and pathogen genomes", and
(6) the USDA-NIFA Triticeae Coordinated Agricultural Project.
University of Minnesota profile:
"Accessing Genetic Diversity for Wheat Resistance to Ug99" presentation at the Cornell University Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics seminar series, Ithaca, NY, 2013.
presentation at the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Technical Workshop, Beijing, China, 2012.