Scientists from the University of Zurich (UZH) developed new wheat lines
with enhanced resistance against fungal disease. The results are published
in Theoretical and Applied Genetics.
UZH researchers have been investigating a wheat gene that confers resistance
to powdery mildew. The gene, known as Pm3, exists in different variations.
However, using a single Pm3 gene to confer resistance quickly lost its
effectiveness. Thus, the researchers tested crossbreeding transgenic Pm3
lines leading to four new wheat lines with two different Pm3 phentoypic
"The improved resistance against powdery mildew is the result of the
increased total transgene activity as well as the combination of the two Pm3
gene variations," said Teresa Koller, lead author of the study. The
activities of the resistance genes did not exhibit a negative effect on the
development or productivity of wheat.