Dr Peter Dracatos

Research Fellow
Dept of Plant and Food Sciences

C44 - Plant Breeding Inst - Admin. & Labs A1 Camden
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 8811
Fax +61 2 9351 8875

Biographical details

Dr Dracatos finished his PhD in 2008. He studied at the Department of Primary Industries Victoria in conjunction with LaTrobe University, Department of Botany in the area of Plant Molecular Genetics after completing an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Sciences. He has worked on a wide range of research areas including: nutrition, grazing management and rust driseases of forage grasses, how plant antimicrobial proteins kill agronomically important fungal pathogens and development of transgenic Maize expressing antimicrobial proteins and a wide range of different cereal host and non-host interactions primarily involving rusts. He has a unique combination of experience in molecular and conventional genetics and molecular biology, plant pathology with a background in agronomy. To pursue these research interests his program is focused on gene discovery through association mapping and mapping of new rust resistance genes primarily in barley but also in wheat and oats. His main project is on understanding why some cereal species are preferred hosts of some rust species and sub species and not others and performing genetic analysis of this resistance to ultimately provide durable resistance for cereal breeders for rust diseases.

Dr Dracatos can offer research projects in the following areas:

• Identification of genomic locations of rust resistance genes in barley through genetic mapping using high through-put marker technologies

• The genetic analysis of non or near host resistance to stem rust in oats, barley and wheat

• Fine mapping and cloning of genes for resistance to both host and non-host cereal rust species in barley

Research interests

Peter is particularly interested in the different mechanisms and genetics of resistance to rust pathogens in agronomically important crop species. He is also very interested in the different agents of change in rust pathogens and how they acquire virulence for resistance genes in their hosts.

As a trained agronomist Peter is interested in working on research that has a direct impact on the improvement of global food security while assisting national breeding programs in their fight to produce cereals with durable rust resistance.

Teaching and supervision

Peter currently supervises a Sudanese student funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and she is working on the Genetic Analysis of Leaf Rust resistance in barley.

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