Jing Lu is a visiting student from the Chengdu Institute of Biology in China. Her work in the Wulff Lab focuses on resistance to Puccinia triticina, the causal agent of wheat leaf rust, a major disease of wheat. The wild progenitors and relatives of wheat possess many leaf rust resistance (Lr) genes.
Jing is conducting functional and evolutionary analyses of two recently discovered candidate Lr genes from Aegilops tauschii. The incorporation of these genes into bread wheat and their subsequent deployment could help to control this disease in an environmentally friendly way.