KAUST InsightView Full Article
The genetic diversity of modern wheat has been eroded by past hybridizations and breeding, leaving this important crop vulnerable to pests and disease. Given the global dependence on wheat and the rapidly increasing population, it is crucial that we engineer more sustainable ways of cultivating crops that do not require pesticides.
The wild grassy relatives of the modern wheat crop are far more resilient to pests and disease. We are mining the genomes of these grasses for their resistance genes and studying their evolution and mechanisms of action from the molecular to the population level.