University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Plant Pathology

Matt Rouse


Matt Rouse
Department of Plant Pathology
University of Minnesota

495 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN, 55108

phone: 612-625-7781

Wheat and Barley Resistance to Cereal Rusts

The goal of my research group, as part of the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory, is to identify solutions for preventing cereal yield losses to rust diseases. To achieve this goal we are currently researching (1) wheat and barley resistance to stem rust including emerging races of the stem rust pathogen such as TTKSK (Ug99) and (2) physiologic specialization of the barley leaf rust pathogen in the United States.

Rust pathogens often adapt to ‘break down’ genetic resistance used in cereal varieties. Our research seeks to identify and characterize resistance that will be durable and not ‘break down’. Strategies for durable resistance that we are currently pursuing include (1) the identification of multiple highly-effective genes that can be combined together to reduce the probability that the pathogen can ‘break down’ resistance, (2) the identification of genes that confer race non-specific resistance, and (3) basic research on host-pathogen interactions towards developing novel strategies for durable resistance.

Selected Publications

Rouse, M. N., L. E. Talbert, D. Singh, and J. D. Sherman. 2014. Complementary epistasis involving Sr12 explains adult plant resistance to stem rust in Thatcher wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics 127:1549-1559.

Rouse, M. N., J. Nirmala, Y. Jin, S. Chao, T. G. Fetch Jr., Z. A. Pretorius, and C. W. Hiebert. 2014. Characterization of Sr9h, a wheat stem rust resistance allele effective to Ug99. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 127:1681-1688.

Yu, L-X., H. Barbier, M. N. Rouse, S. Singh, R. P. Singh, S. Bhavani, J. Huerta-Espino, and M. E. Sorrells. 2014. A consensus map for Ug99 stem rust resistance loci in wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 127:1561-1581.

Rouse, M. N., C. A. Griffey, and W. S. Brooks. 2013. First detection of Puccinia hordei virulence to barley leaf rust resistance gene Rph3 and combination with virulence to Rph7 in North America. Plant Disease 97:838.

Saintenac, C., W. Zhang, A. Salcedo, M. N. Rouse, H. N. Trick, E. Akhunov, and J. Dubcovsky. 2013. Identification of wheat gene Sr35 that confers resistance to Ug99 stem rust race group. Science 341:783-786. 

Additional Resources

Accessing Genetic Diversity for Wheat Resistance to Ug99” presentation at the Cornell University Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics seminar series, Ithaca, NY, 2013.

2012 BGRI Technical Workshop Summary: Towards Durable Resistance” presentation at the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Technical Workshop, Beijing, China, 2012.