2015 BGRI Workshop

17-20 September in Sydney Australia

BGRI 2015 Agenda

Click on the highlighted titles to read the abstract and watch video where available

Day 1 Thursday 17 September

Session 1: Workshop Opening and Welcome
16:00Welcome: Ronnie Coffman, Vice Chair, BGRI; Jeanie Borlaug Laube, Chair, BGRI
Remarks:Robert Park, University of Sydney, Australia; Katherine Kahn, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA
 Keynote: BGRI 2015: How far have we come?
Robert McIntosh, University of Sydney, Australia
Session 2: PBI and the World: The Plant Breeding Institute: Developing generations of world leaders in rust research
16:55Moderators: Sanjaya Rajaram, ICARDA (ret.) and Resource Seed Mexicana; Colin Wellings, University of Sydney, Australia
Panelists: Davinder Singh, University of Sydney, Australia; Sridhar Bhavani, CIMMYT, Kenya; Kumarse Nazari, ICARDA, Iran; Eric Huttner, ACIAR, Australia, Naeela Qureshi, University of Sydney, Pakistan
18:00Remarks: The Hon Niall Blair MLC, Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Lands and Water, Australia

Welcome Reception and Poster Session
19:45-20:30Odd-numbered posters attended
20:30-21:15Even-numbered posters attended

Day 2 Friday 18 September

08:45Morning Keynote: Edgar S. McFadden: Innovator of wheat improvement
Kevin Kephart, South Dakota State University, USA
Session 3: Gene Stewardship
09:15Keynote: Durable rust resistance: From gene to paddock, continent and beyond
Robert Park, University of Sydney, Australia
09:35Gene Stewardship Award Ceremony, presented by Ronnie Coffman, Vice Chair BGRI
10:05Coffee/Tea Break
10:25Training agricultural scientists for a more globalized world: Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program after 7 years
Edward Runge, Texas A&M University, USA

Session 4: New Sources of Resistance
Chair: Ian Dundas, University of Adelaide, Australia
10:40Capturing new genetic variation for rust resistance among the Watkins collection of pre-Green Revolution wheats: Discovery to deployment and cloning
Urmil Bansal, University of Sydney, Australia
11:00The cereal Mla locus is a rich source of effective resistance genes: cloning the Sr50 gene from rye
Rohit Mago, CSIRO, Australia
11:20Contribution of environment and pathogen race to effectiveness of adult plant resistance to wheat stem rust
Matthew Rouse, USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab, USA

Session 5: Surveillance
Chair: Sajid Ali, University of Agriculture, Pakistan
13:10Keynote: Three principles for more informative virulence surveys of cereal rusts
Gene Milus, University of Arkansas
13:40A decade of stem rust surveillance: How far have we come and where are we going?
David Hodson, CIMMYT-Ethiopia
14:00Detection of significant new races of the wheat stem rust pathogen in Africa and Europe
Mogens Hovmoller, Aarhus University, Denmark
14:20Detection of Ug99 (TTKSK) race of stem rust fungus in Egypt
Atef Shahin, Agricultural Research Centre, Egypt
15:00Coffee/Tea Break
15:20New variants in the Ug99 race group found in Kenya in 2013 and 2014
Maria Newcombe, University of Arizona, USA
15:50Rapid isolation and increase of virulent Pgt races and evaluation of germplasm in single-race field nurseries in Ethiopia
Endale Hailu, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
16:10Quantification of atmospheric dispersion and identification of likely airborne transmission routes of emerging strains of wheat stem rust
Marcel Meyer, University of Cambridge, UK

19:00-19:20Group Photo
19:30-21:30Evening Reception and Poster Session
19:45-20:30Even-numbered posters attended
20:30-21:15Odd-numbered posters attended

Day 3 Saturday 19 September

08:30Morning Keynote: Innovation for sustainable farming practices: Turning the potential into yield, income and reduced risks
Bram Govaerts, CIMMYT-Mexico @BramACCIMMYT

Session 6: Yellow Rust
Chair: Evans Lagudah, CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia
09:05An integrated genomics approach to combat the wheat yellow rust pathogen
Cristobal Uauy, John Innes Centre, UK @CristobalUauy
09:25Segregation for aggressiveness in sexual offspring of the yellow rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis
Chris Khadgi Sørensen, Aarhus University, Denmark
09:45Coffee/Tea Break
10:05Placement of South African stripe rust in a global context and development of diagnostic tools for genotyping field samples
Hester van Schalkwyk, University of the Free State, South Africa
10:25Metabolomics and plant physiology during the wheat-stripe rust interaction
Veronica Roman-Reyna, Australian National University @xocolatl_vrr

Session 7: Women in Triticum
11:05Keynote: Wheat and the role of gender in the developing world
Martin Kropff, Director General, CIMMYT @KropffMartin
11:35WIT Awards Ceremony, Awards presented by Jeanie Borlaug Laube, Chair, BGRI; Introductions by Lesley Boyd, NIAB, UK

Session 8: Breeding
Chair: Maricelis Acevedo, North Dakota State University, USA
13:00Keynote: Australian wheat breeding: Trends, traps and rainbows
Tresslyn Walmsley, Intergrain, Australia @TressWalmsley
13:30Breeding durable adult plant resistance to stem rust in spring wheat: Progress made in a decade since the launch of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative
Sridhar Bhavani, CIMMYT-Kenya
13:50Using “speed breeding” to harness rust resistance: Faster, cheaper and easier
Lee Hickey, The University of Queensland, Australia @DrHikov
14:10Phenotyping adult plant resistance to leaf rust in wheat under accelerated growth conditions
Adnan Riaz, The University of Queensland, Australia @Adnanriaz7
14:30Implications of new technologies for durability
Jessica Rutkoski, Cornell University/CIMMYT-Mexico @JRutkoski
15:10Coffee/Tea Break

Session 9: BGRI Research Awards and Workshop Closing
Chair: Ronnie Coffman, Vice Chair BGRI
15:302015 BGRI Workshop Poster Awards and Graduate Student Research Award
Presented by Zak Pretorius, University of the Free State, South Africa
16:00Workshop Summaries
Lee Hickey, University of Queensland, Australia; Cristobal Uauy, John Innes Centre, UK; Jessica Rutkoski, Cornell/CIMMYT, Mexico
16:30Concluding Remarks
Robert Park, University of Sydney, Australia
Ronnie Coffman, Vice Chair BGRI

Day 4 Sunday 20 September FIELD DAY to Plant Breeding Institute

08:30-09:00Departure from hotel (staggered times)
10:30-11:15Welcome and Morning tea
11:15-12:00Overview: Robert Park, University of Sydney, Australia
12:00-13:30Greenhouse, lab and field tours
14:30Greenhouse, lab and field tours resume
17:15Arrive at hotel


  • nepal 11

    New equipment like this handheld heavy-duty rototiller is becoming more common in Nepal. Shared resources in the terraced farming communities of Nepal make farming more efficient.

  • nepal 10

    Sarala Sharma (center) scientist with NARC helps Marya Maharjan (right) and members of this women’s farming cooperative in Nepal adopt new, more disease resistant and higher yielding varieties of wheat.

  • nepal 9

    Erratic rainfall and temperatures, hailstorms and earthquakes are some of the challenges faced by farmers in Nepal like those living on these terraced hills outside Pokara, in the shadows of the Himalayas

  • nepal 8

    Yellow rust in wheat is one of the diseases that flourishes under warmer, wetter conditions of climate change.

  • nepal 7

    (l-r) NARC agricultural scientist Sunita Adhibari talks to Anjana and Shiba Dhikari how to identify yellow rust in their wheat field.

  • nepal 6

    Wheat farmers Nabaraj Sapkota and his wife Muthu Dei experience the impacts of climate change on their farms almost daily.

  • nepal 5

    More than 75% of people in Nepal make their livelihoods from agriculture and forestry, largely on small quarter-acre plots worked by hand and/or oxen.

  • Nepal 4

    Sushila Pyakurel works with Nepalese farmers in climate field schools that help them adapt new agricultural practices to buffer climate change.

  • nepal 3

    Dhruba Thapa (R), senior scientist with the Nepal Agricultural Reearch Council (NARC), surveys farmer Krishna Bahadur Ghimire’s (L) field of WK1204 wheat.

  • Three farmers

    (l-r) Manju Khavas, Radha Basnet and Janaki Silwal — three farmers near Godhavari — use new agronomic practices like planting in rows, incorporating manure, the use of handheld tractors and improved wheat varieties introduced to them by scientists from NARC.