PS Seminar Series: Rice resistance gene discovery using GWAS

Abstract - Around twenty percent of all calories consumed by humans are derived from rice. Rice is of particular importance in Asia, where the vast majority of the crop is grown and consumed. Many rice-growing countries rely on rice not only for their nutritional needs, but also for their trade prospects and broader economic security. With limited capacity to increase the amount of land available for agriculture, yield increases from currently farmed land are required to support expanding populations in the rice growing regions of the world. Reducing crop loss to disease is one way to improve the global output of rice. Two rice diseases, rice blast and bacterial leaf blight, contribute to major crop losses which if avoided would significantly improve food and economic security, particularly in developing nations. In collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute, this project aims to identify and validate previously undescribed genetic factors which contribute to disease resistance in rice. To do this, we have performed GWAS using a set of 500 genetically diverse rice accessions which were infected with a variety of disease isolates. Candidate resistance genes have been identified and are being validated through the generation of transgenic rice plants.


PhD – working on inflorescence development and flowering time in wheat at CSIRO/ANU

Post-doc – working on resistance gene cloning in rice and maize at the University of Zurich

Post-doc –recently started a post-doc working on plant pathogen interactions in David Jones’ lab at ANU