Agricultural Research Service researchers, in collaboration with Iowa State University researchers and the Sainsbury Laboratory, UK, have identified, isolated, and cloned a number of alleles of the powdery mildew resistance gene, Mla, from barley. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease-–appearing as a white-powdery substance-–that infects plant leaves, stems and flowers. The fungus is a problem for the wheat, fruit, and vegetable industries. It costs the wheat industry alone yield losses of up to 50 percent, and nearly $3 million annually to control. One approach to solve this problem has been to pyramid numerous resistance genes into a single plant variety. In laboratory tests, ARS scientists were able to show that Mla genes confers resistance to powdery mildew in wheat. This is the first demonstration using genetic engineering to transfer a resistance gene between cereal crop species. This invention should allow breeders to incorporate multiple genes more easily into plants.
Please refer to patent application S.N. 10/148,351 (Docket #0167.00), "Powdery Mildew Resistance in Cereals," which was filed on May 28, 2002. Foreign rights are not available.
Roger P. Wise Corn Insects & Crop Genetics Res. Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 50011-1020 (515) 294-9756 / Fax: (515) 294-9420 email@example.com
Dennis A. Halterman (Same as first inventor) (515) 294-2893 / Fax: (515) 294-9359 Dhalerm@iastate.edu