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Resistance For Yellow Mosaic Virus Sequenced In Wheat

Resistance of the Wheat Yellow Mosaic Virus (WYMV) has been discovered by a University of Melbourne team of scientists in a genome sequence of a gene in wheat according to a release. This helps provide information to manage more resistant crops and to maintain the food supply.

There is demand for WYMV resistant wheat varieties across the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa due to struggles with the disease. Yield is reduced by up to 80% when crops are impacted by WYMV which causes a large economic loss. PNAS published a study showing the resistant gene comes from a wild plant relative of wheat from the ancient Mediterranean.

Researchers have seen the dominant gene, Ym2, reduces how WYMV impacts wheat plants, but they did not know how this was achieved. The impact is reduced by 70%. By using positional cloning, the Ym2 gene was located on a chromosome in bread wheat and the DNA sequence was found to code for a protein type called NBS-LRR. This protein detects pathogens and triggers the plant to have an immune response.

“Now that we know the gene’s DNA sequence, we can select breeding lines carrying Ym2,” said study lead researcher Dr. Mohammad Pourkheirandish. The discovery will help with developing more resistance wheat cultivars, improve crop yields and decrease the use of fungicides.

More information: University of Melbourne Newsroom.