Seed World

Cause of Wheat Resistance to Scab Discovered

A research team from Canadian Light Source — a world-leading center of synchrotron light science — has imaged both healthy and infected wheat spikes and florets to understand the development and progression of Fusarium head blight.
CLS uses the brightest light in Canada — millions of times brighter than even the sun — to get incredibly detailed information about the structural and chemical properties of materials at the molecular level, with work ranging from mine tailing remediation to cancer research and cutting-edge materials development.
“What we were trying to do using the synchrotron is to understand how the fungus infects the plant and see what kind of changes are happening,” says Rachid Lahlali, CLS plant innovation research associate. “And what we found are biochemical markers at the point of where the infection begins.”
Understanding how the fusarium infects the wheat plant will be a huge advantage to plant breeders trying to develop FHB-resistant varieties of wheat.
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