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Distinguished Noel T. Keen Lecturer:

Jan Leach, Colorado State University

Title: “Pursuing durable, broad-spectrum disease resistance in plants”

Location: Zoom

Meeting ID: 929 1247 4758

Passcode: 644865


Jan Leach is a rice geneticist, plant pathologist, and microbiologist who has made important contributions to the field of plant pathology and plant-microbiome interactions. She was a personal friend of Noel Keen and the mentor of individuals in our community. Jan is known for pioneering the use of the rice Xanthamonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) as a model for understanding infectious diseases in plants. She is currently a Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean of Agriculture at Colorado State University.

Abstract: Disease resistance is the foundation for managing many plant diseases, because resistant varieties have the strongest impact with minimal environmental effects or cost. Sources of broad-spectrum resistance (BSR), or resistances that are effective against multiple and/or diverse pathogens, are of particular interest. Frequently, BSR are quantitative traits, which, due to their complexity, can be difficult to identify and to transfer into elite germplasm. To guide improvement of BSR in rice, we have used novel genetic resources, such as Multi-parent Advanced Generation Inter-Cross (MAGIC) populations, advances in genomics and associated computational tools, and knowledge of plant disease defense responses. These resources and tools have improved detection of BSR QTL, enabled identification of the genes contributing to QTL function, and, importantly, allowed discovery of how those genes contribute to disease resistance. Overall, this progress provides steps forward to improving BSR, and possibly durable disease resistance, in rice.

This event will include the annual presentations of these awards:

Neil Campbell Undergraduate Award for Outstanding Research

CEPCEB Graduate Award for Outstanding Research

CEPCEB Postdoctoral Award for Outstanding Research

Previous Awardees

CEPCEB Director: Julia Bailey-Serres