Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr. Jan E. Leach - Department of Bio agricultural Sciences & Pest Management - Colorado State University
Topic: Wading through the murky paddies: Understanding durable disease resistance in rice
When: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116

The need for durable (long-lasting) genetic resistance for plant diseases becomes more and more compelling as we strive towards less dependence on chemicals for crop production. This is particularly true in rice, the staple food for about half of the world’s population, where conservative estimates attribute 5% yield losses to diseases.  Our collaborative group is studying the molecular basis for durable resistance using two diverse approaches.  First, we are assessing why certain single resistance genes are more durable than others, and if that durability is predictable prior to deployment of the resistance genes.  Second, we have identified the genes underlying quantitative trait loci (QTL) that control disease resistance to understand how they contribute to durable resistance, and to provide crop breeders with reliable markers for accumulation of the QTL.   Using specific examples, I will discuss our progress towards achieving durable and, in some cases, broad spectrum resistance in rice.


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