Cereal rust

The Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP, established in 1973) is funded largely by the grains industry, through the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC). It has a national mandate and with 6 senior scientists, 8 technicians and currently 7 PhD students, is one of the largest groups involved in cereal rust research in the world.

Pathogenicity Surveys

The surveys play a vital role in identifying current and new rust pathotypes from all parts of Australia.

Rust Resistance Gene Discovery

The ACRCP investigates new sources of cereal rust resistance and then incorporates them into different quality backgrounds.

Reports & Forms

These reports give the scientific and farming communities an update of current rust trends.


A number of Fee-for-Services are available to the cereal plant breeding companies.

Prof. Robert Park

GRDC Chair of Rust Research and Leader of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP). Robert has expertise in all cereal rust with special interest in wheat, leaf and stem rust, leaf rust in barley and crown rot in oats.

Adj. Assoc. Prof. Colin Wellings

The face of the ACRCP to the Australian farmer. Colin specialises in wheat stripe rust, barley stripe rust and stem rust in oats. Colin leads the extension work in passing on relevant information to farmers.

Assoc. Prof. Harbans Bariana

Leads the ACRCP Germ- plasm Enhancement & Rust Screening Group. Harbans is responsible for the Fee-for-Service aspects of the ACRCP and for identifying new sources of rust resistance genes markers.

Dr Peng Zhang

Peng is the ACRCP’s Molecular Cytogeneticist, carrying on from Prof. Robert McIntosh in identifying new sources of cereal rust resistance, these new sources are then passed on to the Germplasm Enhancement Group.

Dr Urmil Bansal

Urmil has taken on the role of the ACRCP Molecular Geneticist. Urmil has mapped new cereal rust genes and is actively involved in marker assisted selection.

Australian Cereal Rust Control Program

The Cereal Rust Laboratory hosts the ACRCP, which continues one of the longest running research efforts at the University of Sydney. It is involved in cereal rust research with a very strong emphasis on disease control by resistance breeding. The program monitors cereal rust pathogens throughout Australia, finds and characterises new sources of rust resistance, and assists Australian cereal breeding groups to incorporate rust resistance in new cultivars.