A multi-locus strategy for durable rust resistance in wheat, in the face of a rapidly changing pathogen landscape (Yellowhammer)


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 April 2018 - 29 September 2023
AHDB sector cost:
Total project value:
Project leader:
NIAB (Scientific partner: BBSRC. Industry partners: RAGT Seeds Ltd, KWS UK Ltd, Limagrain UK Ltd, Saaten-Union, Biotec, GmbH (including Elsoms Wheat Ltd, DSV UK Ltd, LSPB Ltd), Lantmannen, SW Seed, Sejet Plant Breeding and Syngenta UK Ltd)

About this project

The challenge

Races of yellow rust are changing rapidly and current sources of varietal resistance can break down quickly. This can result in yield loss, additional fungicide applications and increased cost to the grower. There is a need to develop durable and robust sources of resistance to yellow rust in wheat.

The project

The project aims to breed wheat varieties with good resistance (ratings of 8 to 9 on the AHDB Recommended List) to yellow rust. Crucially, the work looks to increase the diversity of resistance genes in commercial varieties to reduce the risk of new pathogens emerging.  

The benefits

It is hoped the project will lead to the production of commercially available wheat varieties with durable yellow rust resistance within ten years. The deployment of such varieties should help reduce the use of fungicides, save the grower money and provide environmental benefits. 

It will also provide stability for the grower, as they will be able to continue to grow a variety over more seasons and improve their agronomic management of the variety each year.