A significant breakthrough has been made by an international team led by India’s Punjab Agricultural University, with researchers from The University of Western Australia, in resistance against disease in Brassica oilseed crops.
Amongst the important types of plants, brassica is the one in the mustard family with various kinds which are used commonly for food inclusive of cabbage, broccoli, turnip, cauliflower, and particularly as oilseed crops for the production of condiment mustard and canola oil.
The findings will result in advancement towards strengthening the crops against attack from Sclerotinia stem rot, which is a disease that specifically damages Brassica crops, such as mustard and canola, leading to huge yield losses all across the world.
The research, which got published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, gives a description of genetic markers linked with resistance against the Sclerotinia stem rot disease in Brassica juncea also known as the Indian mustard.
Martin Barbetti, a professor at the UWA Institute of Agriculture and UWA School of Agriculture and Environment passed a statement which said that there could be an achievement of management of Sclerotinia stem rot disease by the genetic resistance present within Brassica crops.
He said that if crops are developed with greater disease resistance, this could be the only effective avenue for achieving cost-effective, as well as, long-term, management of this devastating pathogen which is spread all over the world.
He added that their research has shown great hope for the deployment of the introgressed resistance genes from wild weedy Brassicas into a vast range of high-yielding cultivars, of initially B. juncea and, then, into canola and other crops, as well as, horticultural Brassica species.
Significant benefits have been underscored by the research for agriculture in India and Australia.
Government of India, the Department of Biotechnology, the University of Western Australia, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has supported this study.