Bioinformatics and gene discovery in wheat rust pathogens

This project uses next-generation and third-gen sequencing to characterize the genomes of wheat stripe rust, a severe fungal pathogen on wheat crops worldwide. We use these data to identify rust effector proteins to describe their roles in the pathogenesis and host resistance. New projects in this area include the use of epigenomics to understand the rapid evolution of these devastating fungal pathogens. You should have a strong background in molecular biology, and experience or interest in coding using languages such as Python or R.

Honours Project 2019: Use third-generation sequencing to analyze the genomes of virulent strains of wheat stripe rust that are causing huge losses in Australian agriculture. Use high-throughput analysis to find genomic differences that underly virulence, and design tests to detect these crucial genes. You will develop strong competency in bioinformatics, and complement this with significant laboratory experience.

ASC/Summer Projects: You will use bioinformatics techniques to compare the complements of virulence effector genes from different stripe rust genomes. You will develop skills in bioinformatics and coding using Python.

PhD Projects: Several projects are available in this area, particularly around high-throughput identification of virulence effectors and detection of novel resistance genes.


This project is in collaboration with the CSIRO and the University of Sydney.