Understanding and engineering broad-spectrum disease resistance in crops


10 September 2019

Time and Venues


Local Time

Adelaide Waite Campus – B101-FG-R00-SmallWICWest

12:00 pm

Armidale – B55-FG-R00-Small

12:30 pm

Bribie Island – B01-FG-Small

12:30 pm

Brisbane St Lucia QBP – Room 3.323

12:30 pm

Canberra Black Mountain – Discovery Lecture Theatre

12:30 pm

Irymple (See Natalie Strickland)

12:30 pm

Narrabri – Conference Room

12:30 pm

Perth Floreat B46-F2-R22 Leeuwin Conference Room

10:30 am

Sandy Bay (Hobart) – B2-F1-R24 River View Room

12:30 pm

Toowoomba – Media Lab Room

12:30 pm

Townsville (see Liz Do)

12:30 pm

Werribee (Melbourne) – B01-FG-R02

12:30 pm



Ricky Milne, Postdoctoral Fellow, CSIRO Agriculture and Food



Fungal pathogens are a major constraint to global crop production, hence plant genes encoding pathogen resistance are important tools for combating disease. Many of the pathogen-resistance genes already identified contain nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NLR) domains, are pathogen- or race-specific, and are prone to being overcome by pathogens. A small number of resistance genes provide a partial yet durable resistance to multiple pathogens. One example is the Lr67 gene in wheat, which confers partial resistance to multiple biotrophic pathogens including stem rust, stripe rust, leaf rust and powdery mildew. Lr67 is a plasma membrane protein of the STP13 hexose transporters subfamily and two variants exist (susceptible and resistant), which differ by two amino acids located in transmembrane regions (G144R, V387L). The susceptible variant (Lr67sus) functions as a high affinity hexose/proton symporter whereas the resistant variant (Lr67res) is incapable of transporting hexoses. Our recent findings indicate that Lr67res has a novel gain-of-function over Lr67sus that is linked with the resistance phenotype and may cause physiological changes in planta that hinder pathogen development. Moreover, only a single mutation (G144R) is required to confer the resistance phenotype, signifying the possibility of engineering this rare, broad-spectrum disease resistance trait to other crops in the future.


About the speaker

Ricky is a Postdoctoral researcher from Evans Lagudah’s team in the Cereal Rust Group at Black Mountain. His research focuses on understanding the mechanism of the wheat Lr67 hexose transporter variant that confers broad-spectrum resistance to fungal pathogens, and exploring the transferability of this resistance to other economically important crops. Previously, he investigated source to sink transport pathways of sucrose, and functionally characterised sucrose transporters in sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) at The University of Newcastle, Australia.



This is a public seminar.

Open-access to The CSIRO Discovery Theatre @ Black Mountain