Wheat immunity and applied synthetic biology

Wheat growing in the RSB CEF. Image: Belinda Pratten, FreeSwimmers


One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is to feed an increasing world population of up to 9 billion people. Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world and together with rice provides over 60% of all calories consumed world-wide. Wheat is the major crop in Australia and contributes 5% towards worldwide production. However we could do even better if harvest loss due to pathogen epidemics were reduced. The fungal pathogen stripe rust causes losses of up to 80% in yield , equivalent to ~1 billion $AUS per year, during such epidemics. This project is designed to address this pressing issue with 21st century biological and bioinformatic tools. You will learn how to manoeuvre next generation sequencing data, extract the information required to answer your questions and visualize your results in easy to understand graphics. This will form the basis to apply novel genome editing and synthetic biology tools for targeted and mimetic evolution. All with the ultimate goal in mind to reduce wheat yield loss due to pathogen infection and feeding more people with less resources.

Updated:  20 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB