Wild and obscure species provide resistance to deadly fungus
A scrappy, ancient species of wheat may help today’s widely cultivated bread wheat fight the devastating fungus known as stem rust (shown growing on wheat stems).
A gene isolated from one of the earliest cultivated wheat species, Einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum), confers resistance to a deadly version of stem rust, scientists report June 27 in Science. A second gene found in the wild grass Aegilops tauschii, a botanical parent of today’s bread wheat (T. aestivum), also helps bread wheat fight the fungus, another research team reports.
Both genes are thought to help wheat reco