Plant Breeding Institute
The Plant Breeding Institute is a research institute within the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment. The Institute has a major research emphasis in cereal rust control, cereal molecular genetics and biotechnology, and cereal breeding for disease resistance and grain quality. Other major areas of research include ornamental plant breeding, turf grass science and breeding, paprika breeding and selection, and molecular biology of rice with respect to cold tolerance.
The activities of the PBI are based in two locations, at Cobbitty and Narrabri, and are funded by GRDC and other R&D corporations, CRCs, and private industry.
One of the main research programs based in the PBI is the GRDC-funded Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP), which conducts world-class applied and strategic research on cereal genetics relevant to various fungal rust diseases, improvement of cereal resistance to these diseases, and on the causative pathogens. This program provides:
- rust resistance testing services to all cereal breeding programs in Australia
- rust resistance breeding services to Australian wheat breeders
- research on rust resistance genes, and transfer of new genes into adapted cultivars
- surveillance of the strains of cereal rust fungi present in the Australian cereal belt
- advice to producers and breeders on rust-resistant cultivars.