The Art and Science of Rust Pathology and Applied Plant Breeding

World-Renowned Experts. One Online Course.

Learn “The Art and Science of Rust Pathology and Applied Plant Breeding” from wheat pathologists and breeders in this comprehensive online course.

Tailored for early- and mid-career wheat researchers, this program covers a range of topics. Anticipate mastering areas such as understanding plant diseases and their management, host-pathogen interactions, race typing, chemical interventions, engaging in practical exercises for infection type scoring and pathotype identification, implementing field survey protocols, managing wheat disease monitoring and trap nurseries, gaining practical insights into the science of wheat breeding, learning the intricacies of handling rust collections in the lab and greenhouse, and more.

Meet your instructors:
Gordon Cisar

Gordon Cisar

Senior project manager for the DRRW project, Gordon Cisar is a former hybrid wheat breeder with years of experience developing winter wheat varieties for the US, and triticale cultivars for the Central Plains of the USA.

Dave Hodson

Dr. David Hodson

CIMMYT senior scientist, Dave Hodson leads global surveillance and prediction-modeling efforts to monitor fungal rusts and curtail their spread.

Robert Park

Professor Robert Park

Park is a leading rust pathologist, directs the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program, and is an expert on how fungal rust pathogens evolve and acquire virulence for resistance genes in their hosts.

Professor Zak Pretorius

Respected pathologist with the University of the Free State in South African, Zak Pretorius was one of the first to characterize Ug99 while working with William Wagoire in Uganda.

Module 1.0

Introduction by Gordon Cisar

Module 2.0: Host-Pathogen Interactions

Module Number 2.1
Genetics of Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Instructor: Robert Park
  • 02 March 2015
Module Number 2.2
Infection Structures – Microscopy And Image Analysis
  • Instructor: Zak Pretorius
  • 03 March 2015

Module 3.0: Pathogen

Module Number 3.1 and 3.2
Physiologic Specilization in the Rust Fungi: forma speciales (Parts 1 and 2)
  • Instructor: Robert Park
  • 08 March 2013
Module Number 3.3
What exactly Is Ug99?
  • Instructor: Robert Park
  • 08 March 2013
Module Number 3.4
Race Typing Differentials, Nomenclature Systems
  • Instructor: Robert Park
  • 08 March 2013
Module Number 3.5
Practical Exercise in Infection Type Scoring And Pathotype Identification
  • Instructor: Zak Pretorius
Module Number 3.6
Chemical Interventions in Plant Disease Management
  • Instructor: Zak Pretorius

Module 3 Support Material

Century-Old Mystery of Puccinia striiformis Life History Solved with the Identification of Berberis as an Alternate Host
Yue Jin, Les J. Szabo, and Martin Carson, 2010

The Global Spread of Crop Pests and Pathogens
Daniel P. Bebber, Timothy Holmes and Sarah J. Gurr, 2014

Leaf Rust of Wheat: Pathogen Biology, Variation and Host Resistance
James Kolmer, 2013

Diversity of Puccinia striiformis on Cereals and Grasses
Mogens S. Hovmøller, Chris K. Sørensen, Stephanie Walter, and Annemarie F. Justesen, 2011

New races of Puccinia striiformis found in Europe reveal race specificity of long-term effective adult plant resistance in wheat
Chris K. Sørensen, Mogens S. Hovmøller, Marc Leconte, Françoise Dedryver, and Claude de Vallavieille-Pope, 2014

Right-Sizing Stem Rust Research
P. G. Pardey, J. M. Beddow, D. J. Kriticos, T. M. Hurley, R. F. Park, E. Duveiller, R. W. Sutherst, J. J. Burdon, D. Hodson, 2013

Somatic Hybridization in the Uredinales
Robert Park and Colin Wellings, 2012

Wheat Stripe (Yellow) rust Caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici
Wanquan Chen, Colin Wellings, Xianming Chen, Zhengsheng Kang, Taiguo Liu, 2014

Module 4.0: Surveillance 

Module Number 4.1
Field Survey Protocols and Tools + Procedure of Collection and Mailing of Samples
  • Instructor: Dave Hodson
  • 28 July 2015
Module Number 4.2
Wheat Disease Monitoring, Sentinel “Trap” Nurseries
  • Instructor: Dave Hodson
  • 28 July 2015
  • An introduction to trap nurseries and sentinel plots. What they are, how they can be useful, their limitations and best practice for using them as effective disease monitoring tools.
Module Number 4.3
Resources for Rust Pathogen Surveillance
  • Instructor: Dave Hodson
  • 28 July 2015

Module 4 Supporting Materials

Trap Nursery Data Management System
JG Hansen, P Lassen, K Nazari, D Hodson, 2014

Module 5.0: Host 

Module Number 5.1
The Wheat Host: Distribution and Importance
  • Instructor: Gordon Cisar
Module Number 5.2
Genetics of the Wheat Host
  • Instructor: Gordon Cisar
  • A review of the genomes of wheat and their importance in the evolution of the species, as well as their importance in the discovery of new resistance genes from progenitor species. A brief review of meiosis (and a reference for study) and the relation of chiasmata formation and crossing over as it relates to the interpretation of molecular marker information.
Module Number 5.3
Concepts of Rust Resistance
  • Instructor: Robert Park

Module 5 Supporting Materials

Crops that feed the world: Past successes and future challenges to the role played by wheat in global food security
Bekele Shiferaw, Melinda Smale, Hans-Joachim Braun, Etienne Duveiller, Mathew Reynolds, Geoffrey Muricho

The story of wheat
The Economist, 2005

Module 6.0: Breeding 

Module Number 6.1
Wheat Breeding: More Than Just Making Crosses
  • Instructor: Gordon Cisar
  • A discussion of the many practical aspects of an applied plant breeding program
  • 08 March 2013
Module Number 6.2
Molecular Genetics and Rust Control, Marker-Assisted Selection
  • Instructor: Robert Park
  • 08 March 2013
Module Number 6.3
Integration of Surveillance Data Into Resistance Breeding
  • Instructor: Dave Hodson
  • An overview of the critical need for surveillance to inform and enhance resistance breeding. The importance of communicating pathogen changes across regions and the value of using key races in germplasm screening programs.
  • 08 March 2013
Module Number 6.2
Integration of Surveillance Data Into Resistance Breeding: Examples From South Africa
  • Instructor: Zak Pretorius
  • In this presentation examples are given of how critical rust isolates are used in selection and breeding from South African standpoint.

Module 6 Supporting Materials

Hybrid Wheat
G Cisar and D B Cooper

Prediction of Total Genetic Value Using Genome-Wide Dense Marker Maps
T.H.E. Meuwissen, B.J. Hayes and M.E. Goddard, 2001

Development and characterization of wheat lines carrying stem rust resistance gene Sr43 derived from Thinopyrum ponticum
Z. Niu, D. L. Klindworth, G. Yu, T. L Friesen, S. Chao, Y. Jin, X. Cai, J.‑B. Ohm, J. B. Rasmussen, Steven S. Xu, 2014

Plant Breeding Graduate Education: Opinions about Critical Knowledge, Experience, and Skill Requirements from Public and Private Stakeholders Worldwide
Repinski, Shelby L; Hayes, Kathryn N; Miller, Jamie K; Trexler, Cary J; Bliss, Fredrick A, 2011

Strategies for transferring resistance into wheat: from wide crosses to GM cassettes
Brande Wulff, Matthew Moscou, 2014

The past, present, and future of breeding rust resistant wheat
Jeffrey Ellis, Evans Lagudah, Wolfgang Spielmeyer, Peter Dodds, 2014

Trial Setup and Statistical Analysis
Andreas Büchse, Pawel Krajewski, Kristian Kristensen and Wiesław Pilarczyk

Module 7.0: Rust Resources 

Module Number 7.1
Handling Rust Collections in the Lab and Greenhouse
  • Instructor:  Zak Pretorious
  • An introduction to basic infrastructure requirements for wheat rust pathology
Module Number 7.2
Maintenance of Repository of Races Short- and Long-Term Storage of Isolates
  • Instructor: Robert Park

Module 7 Supporting Materials

Recommendations on Critical Infrastructure Kenya (Njoro) and Ethiopia (Ambo, Debre Zeit and Kulumsa)
Robert Park, Zak Pretorius, Rick Ward, 2008

The art of growing plants for experimental purposes: a practical guide for the plant biologist
Hendrik Poorter, Fabio Fiorani, Mark Stitt, Uli Schurr, Alex Finck, Yves Gibon, Björn Usadel, Rana Munns, Owen K. Atkin, Francois Tardieu, Thijs L. Pons, 2012

Want to learn more?

Check out our “Wheat Breeding Technology Workshop” course