Turkish wheat varieties offer an untapped source of disease resistance genes for European wheat breeders. Turkish wheat breeding has used a diverse collection of Turkish varieties and landraces, with recent introductions from CIMMYT, Mexico breeding initiatives.
However, this source of biodiversity has remained largely unexplored, both for disease resistance and genetic biodiversity by European breeders. Among the diseases of wheat most prevalent in Turkey are the rusts, with stripe rust being a significant problem.
A better understanding of the nature and diversity of stripe rust resistance sources in Turkish wheat would be a benefit to both Turkish and European wheat breeders. This proposal aims to introduce the knowledge and skills required to access the biodiversity in Turkish wheat through the training of the proposed researcher.
The proposed researcher is an experienced scientist, but the training received during this fellowship will allow them to liaise and collaborate with Turkish and European breeder s to directly address the needs of the cereal breeding industry. The proposal aims to screen Turkish wheat varieties along side European varieties to characterise the phenotype of each source of stripe rust resistance.
In this way potentially non-race-specific, durable sources of disease resistance will be identified. The Turkish and European wheat varieties will be grouped into distinct and different sources of resistance by screening for physical diversity in regions of the wheat genome associated with resistance genes.
This will involve developing and using two resistance gene associated marker systems, NBS-AFLP and EST-SSR markers, both of which will target genes involved in disease resistance within the wheat genome.
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