Genetic dissection of a complex immune locus in barley


Stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis) is an obligate biotrophic fungal pathogen of grasses. There are several adapted forms that preferentially infect different species including wheat and barley. We previously established that three genetic loci (Rps6, Rps7, Rps8) contribute to maintaining host species specificity of wheat stripe rust in barley. Rps6 and Rps7 prevent the colonization of wheat stripe rust, whereas Rps8 prevents the completion of the full lifecycle of wheat stripe rust. Fine-mapping of Rps8 identified a 1 Mb physical interval encompassing several candidate genes.

This PhD project involves the use of forward genetics (mutagenesis) and reverse genetics CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing) to identify genes that are required for Rps8-mediated resistance.

This PhD project will be supervised by Dr. Matthew Moscou at The Sainsbury Laboratory. The Moscou group focuses on understanding the molecular basis of non-host Resistance, with the long-term goal of translating these discoveries into wheat to engineer resistance. This PhD will therefore provide an excellent training in molecular plant pathology, genetics, genomics, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatics in a world-renowned environment for academic and research excellence.