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Genetics studies of rust resistance in faba bean


Faba bean is an important grain legume in Australia. A breeding program to develop suitable varieties for the northern grain growing region of Australia is located at the University of Sydney’s Plant Breeding institute, Narrabri. Rust, chocolate spot and viral diseases, such as bean leaf roll virus and bean yellow mosaic virus are major biotic stresses while frost tolerance in early growing season and heat tolerance towards the grain filling period are major abiotic stresses in this region.


Dr Kedar Adhikari.

Research location

Sydney Institute of Agriculture

Program type



Rust, caused by the pathogen Uromyces viciae-fabae, is a serious disease of faba beans in sub-tropical NSW and southern Queensland.  Up to 30% yield loss can be expected from the disease.  The current varieties, such as Doza, Warda and Icarus have some resistance to the disease and there are germplasm in the breeding program with better resistance than the current varieties.  Little information is available on host resistance, virulence of the pathogen and the existence of races and their distribution.  The research aspect addressed by the project may include (i) Identification of host resistance, (ii) Inheritance of resistance, (iii) Identification of pathogen variability, (iv) Host-pathogen interactions, (v) Pathogen population genetics

Additional information

The student would undertake lab studies mainly at Cobbitty and field work at the Plant Breeding Institute, Narrabri.  Students will have greater interaction with scientific staff and students working at both locations.

HDR Inherent Requirements
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1766

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