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Webinar: Wheat genomics facilitates the discovery of kinase fusion proteins as major players in rust resistance

Discovery of kinase fusion proteins as major players in rust resistance
On 5 October 2023, the IWGSC will organize a webinar entitled "Wheat genomics facilitates the discovery of kinase fusion proteins as major players in rust resistance" presented by Guotai Yu and Yajun Wang (KAUST, Saudi Arabia)

Date & Time

Thursday 5 October, 11:00am EDT, 5:00pm CEST

Register here


Guotai Yu, Research Scientist, Center for Desert Agriculture, KAUST

Yajun Wang, Post Doctoral Fellow, Center for Desert Agriculture, KAUST


Each year, about 20 percent of global wheat production is lost to diseases and pests. Breeding resistant cultivars is one of the most economical and environmentally friendly ways to address the problem. For over 100 years, breeders have conducted numerous crosses to enrich the wheat gene pool with resistance genes. Today, more than 40% of the designated disease resistance genes in bread wheat lines are derived from outside the bread wheat gene pool. However, the deployment of these alien resistance genes in commercial varieties is often hampered by linkage drag, and their cloning is often hindered by suppressed recombination.

Here, we combine mutagenesis and DNA/RNA sequencing to clone the stem rust resistance gene Sr43 and leaf rust resistance gene Lr9, which were introduced into bread wheat from the wild wheat relatives Thinopyrum elongatum and Aegilops umbellulata, respectively. Sr43 encodes an active protein kinase fused to two domains of unknown function, while Lr9 encodes a tandem kinase followed by fusions of von Willebrand factor A (vWA) and Vwaint domains. So far, about 20 percent of the cloned Triticeae resistance genes encode kinase fusion proteins (KFPs). We propose the integrated decoy model of KFPs in plant disease resistance.

Our studies exemplify how genomics accelerates gene cloning in the large and highly complex Triticeae genomes, revealing a novel model of plant-pathogen interactions.