Fusarium head blight research

Description of the topic

Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease of wheat globally, not only reducing yield but also contaminating food and feed with mycotoxins that threaten humans and animals alike. CIMMYT has worked on this disease for four decades and incorporated FHB resistance into elite wheat germplasm. Chinese germplasm is an important source of resistance and in our previous studies several lines with very good resistance were identified; however, genotyping results indicated the absence of known major QTLs. Mapping populations have been developed in the hope of identifying new QTLs in these materials and of using the QTLs in CIMMYT and Chinese breeding programs.

Work expectations

A RIL population derived from a cross between SW87-2323 and Gamenya was developed with 200 progenies. During field evaluation for FHB in 2016, the RIL population showed good segregation and will therefore be evaluated for two more years to generate good scientific findings that can be published in refereed journals. The candidate is expected to work with this population as the main research objective, but he/she is also strongly encouraged to participate in other research activities of the wheat pathology group and possibly publish more articles, depending on the research output and findings.

Required skills

Good knowledge of genetics and statistics is required; knowledge of breeding, phytopathology and biotechnology is desirable.The candidate will work collaboratively with colleagues and provide necessary assistance when requested. He/she is expected to work not only in the office, but also in the field, laboratory and greenhouse, and to travel to experiment stations when necessary.