Rust Genetics Now Understood After 30 Years of Research

Wheat rust is continuing to destroy wheat crops. Up to 70 percent of a farmer's crop can wilt due to rust. A disaster is just around the corner as a third of the world's population in all climates relies on this commodity.

Rust in wheat

Csiro, the University of Sydney, John Innes Centre (UK) and the National Institute of Agriculture Botany (UK) have identified three key genes that sustain the disease. Research has brought to light how the genes work in stripe rust.

All three genes were cloned using mutational genomics. Editing of genes could make wheat genes that are susceptible to rust become active again. They could then fight the disease. Much more work needs to be done but the future looks bright.

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