An Agricultural Research Service scientist may be a step closer to the development of wheat and other major crops that show a resistance to Ug99, a form of stem rust that threatens 80% of the world’s wheat. David Garvin has developed a special population of plants of a wild grass that will help speed up scientists' search for helpful genes.
The plants developed are the first recombinant inbred line population of Brachypodium. This means offspring of each line in the population will retain the same genetic identity in perpetuity. This allows scientists to more efficiently explore the genetic and molecular basis of a range of traits. This means scientists around the world can repeat experiments as often as they desire.
The ability to work with large numbers of plants with the same genetic makeup gives scientists the opportunity to obtain highly accurate information on the number of genes that control a trait. This provides a strong start toward identifying the location of these genes on Brachypodium chromosomes.