Dr Peng Zhang
My research interests include molecular cytogenetics of cereal, germplasm and genetic stocks development, and rust and other resistance genes transfer from wild species to cereal.
One of my major research interests involves transfers of rust and other resistance genes from wild species to cereal using chromosome engineering and molecular cytogenetic techniques (such as fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH)). I am also interested in the genetic aspects of rust and powdery mildew resistance.
In addition, my long time research interests have been in the structure and function of cereal centromere and telomere, the evolution of the Triticeae genome, and the evolutionary relationships in the Triticum and Aegilops complex. Molecular biological and cytogenetic techniques are the main approaches used to study the Triticeae genome and its evolution in our laboratory.
Peng Zhang received her MSc degree in Biotechnology at Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands. Her MSc research work mainly involved FISH to DNA molecules prepared by molecular combing technique, which is one of the major methods in making DNA fibres. She worked in the same laboratory developing new fiber-FISH techniques and physically mapping yeast artificial chromosome clones to pachytene chromosomes of Arabidopsis before she started her PhD. She received her PhD degree in Genetics at Kansas State University, USA. After completing her degree, she worked as a research associate in the same laboratory for three years. Her work there was focused on the molecular cytogenetics of wheat, its relatives, and other cereals.
She joined the University of Sydney in 2005. Since then, she has been working on identifying new resistance sources to rust diseases from wild relatives of wheat, introgress the target resistance genes into wheat, and recombine rust resistance genes to develop durable resistant germplasm.
- Qi L, Friebe B, Zhang P, Gill BS. 2007. Homoeologous recombination, chromosome engineering and crop improvement. Chromosome Research 15: 3-19.
- Zhang P, Friebe B, Gill B, Park RF. 2007. Cytogenetics in the age of molecular genetics. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 58: 498-506.
- Anugrahwati DR, Shepherd KW, Verlin DC, Zhang P, Mirzaghaderi G, Walker E, Francki MG, Dundas IS. 2008. Isolation of wheat–rye 1RS recombinants that break the linkage between the stem rust resistance gene SrR and secalin. Genome 51: 341-349.
- Zhang P, Li W, Friebe B, Gill BS. 2008. The origin of a ‘‘zebra’’ chromosome in wheat suggests nonhomologous recombination as a novel mechanism for new chromosome evolution and step changes in chromosome number. Genetics 179: 1169-1177.
- Mago R, Zhang P, Bariana HS, Verlin DC, Bansal UK, Ellis JG, Dundas IS. 2009. Development of wheat lines carrying stem rust resistance gene Sr39 with reduced Aegilops speltoides chromatin and simple PCR markers for marker-assisted selection. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 119:1441–1450.
- Zhang P, McIntosh RA, Hoxha S, Dong C. 2009. Wheat stripe rust resistance genes Yr5 and Yr7 are allelic. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 120: 25-29.
- Qi L, Friebe B, Zhang P, Gill BS. 2009. A molecular-cytogenetic method for locating genes to pericentromeric regions facilitates a genome-wide comparison of synteny between the centromeric regions of wheat and rice. Genetics 183: 1235–1247.
- Eberhard FS, Zhang P, Lehmensiek A, Hare RA, Simpfendorfer S, Sutherland MW. 2010. Chromosome composition of an F2 Triticum aestivum x T. turgidum spp. durum cross analysed by DArT markers and MCFISH. Crop & Pasture Science 61: 619–624.
- Qi L, Pumphrey M, Friebe B, Zhang P, Qian C, Bowden R, Rouse M, Jin Y, Gill B. 2011. A novel Robertsonian translocation event leads to transfer of a stem rust resistance gene Sr52 effective against race Ug99 from Dasypyrum villosum into wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123:159–167.
- McIntosh RA, Zhang P, Cowger C, Parks R, Lagudah ES, Hoxha S. 2011. Rye-derived powdery mildew resistance gene Pm8 in wheat is suppressed by the Pm3 locus. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123:359–367.