Link to home

Deciphering the genetic variation of Asian soybean rust pathogen Phakopsora pachyrhizi

Yogesh Gupta: The Sainsbury Laboratory

<div>Soybean (<em>Glycine max</em>) is an important legume crop and a rich source for plant proteins and vegetable oil. A major constraint for soybean production is soybean rust which causes yield losses of up to 80%. The disease is caused by the obligate biotrophic fungus <em>Phakopsora pachyrhizi</em>. Extensive efforts have been made to find genetic resistance against <em>P. pachyrhizi</em> however, the pathogen has rapidly overcome major resistance genes, <em>Rpp1-6.</em> The degree and distribution of genetic variation in the pathogen population is key for informed deployment of novel resistance genes but is largely unknown for <em>P. pachyrhizi.</em> To understand the field variation and population structure of <em>P. pachyrhizi</em>, infected field samples of soybean were collected from different locations across Brazil, East Africa and USA. Next-generation sequencing approach was developed to explore the population structure and genetic variation of <em>P.</em> <em>pachyrhizi </em>in these very different geographic locations. Sequencing of field samples will allow us to study sequence polymorphisms in <em>P. pachyrhizi</em>. We will aim to obtain a detailed understanding of the effector diversity in the field population of <em>P. pachyrhizi</em>. This information will be used for the sustainable deployment of genes that confer resistance to soybean rust<em>.</em></div>