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New Ph.D dissertation about sexual reproduction of P. striiformis on Berberis vulgaris

Julian Rodriguez-Algaba, AU, GRRC defended his Ph.D in October, 2017. Read about the key findings of his research

2017.12.07 | Jens Grønbech Hansen

During his Ph.D., Julián Rodríguez-Algaba established a system for genetic analysis of Puccinia striiformis, a rust fungus threatening the worldwide wheat supply, using common barberry as sexual (alternate) host for completion its life cycle. The experimental system allowed studying the role of the sexual host in the generation of novel genetic diversity and investigating the genetic variability generated in the sexual structures of the yellow rust fungus. Further, an additional experimental system was implemented to study how vernalisation, temperature, and plant growth stage influenced cereal susceptibility to P. striiformis. This allowed us a better understanding of the effect of environmental conditions on host susceptibility.

The research findings contribute to understand how the sexual host of P. striiformis influences the generation of novel pathogen variability and obtain new insights into important aspects of the biology and genetics of P. striiformis, which can be useful when developing disease management strategies to combat plant pathogenic fungi. In addition, new knowledge was obtained on the interaction between environmental factors, the cereal host and the fungal pathogen which can be deployed when developing new and more robust early-warning systems for P. striiformis.

Contact information: Julián Rodríguez-Algaba, julianr.algaba@agro.au.dk, +4587158138

Main supervisor: Professor Mogens Støvring Hovmøller, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University

Related publications:

Sexual reproduction of Puccinia striiformis on Berberis vulgaris and environmental factors influencing susceptibility of the cereal host. Rodriguez-Algaba, Julian. 2017. Ph.D.-dissertation, 132p, Aarhus University

Sexual structures and recombination of the wheat rust fungus Puccinia striiformis on Berberis vulgaris. Rodriguez-Algaba, J.; Walter, S.; Sørensen, C.K.; Hovmøller, M.S.; Justesen, A. F., 2014. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 70: 77-85.  doi.org/10.1016/j.fgb.2014.07.005

Genetic diversity within and among aecia of the wheat rust fungus Puccinia striiformis on the alternate host Berberis vulgaris, 2017. Rodriguez Algaba, J.; Sørensen, C. K.; Labouriau, R.; Justesen, A. F.; Hovmøller, M. S. Fungal Biology, 121: 541-549. doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2017.03.003

Yellow rust susceptibility of winter wheat and triticale are influenced by interplay between vernalisation, temperature, plant growth stage and pathogen race. Rodriguez-Algaba, J., Sørensen, C.K., Labouriau, R., Justesen, A.J., Hovmøller, M.S. In preparation.

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Revised 10.12.2017