“Rusts” are a group of fungi that attack and damage plants and trees, costing the international agriculture and forestry sectors billions annually in lost revenue, with an estimated loss of $200M/year due to the destruction of cereal crops in Canada. This project used genomic tools to generate a catalog of genes and investigated gene expression during the pathogen-host infection process.
As well, international collaborations were established to re-sequence genomic data on source population of rusts in France, allowing the researchers to retrace the evolutionary origins of rust in North America. The datasets generated have also strengthened the International collaboration with the Broad Institute and several labs at the USDA working on wheat rust diseases. The resources generated through this project have been instrumental in supporting ongoing research in two LSARP Genome Canada projects (TAIGA and POPCAN).