The Global Rust Reference Center (GRRC) was established in 2008 upon the request of the international institutions CIMMYT and ICARDA to serve as a global hub for the investigation of wheat yellow rust. In 2011, the activities expanded to stem rust by the onset of phase II of the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project.
GRRC now performs virulence phenotyping and genotyping of both yellow rust and stem rust, training of students and scientists, and handling, storage (databases) and reporting of data.
The current research activities have a focus on evolutionary analyses, and population genetics and genomic studies in yellow rust. The activities are further expanding via Danish and international grants.
An example of this is RUSTFIGHT, which has a focus on genetics of aggressiveness in yellow rust infecting wheat and grasses, and searching for sources of resistance controlling the disease. RUSTFIGHT is funded by Innovation Fund Denmark and involves Danish and international partners, including ICARDA, CIMMYT, INRA and the John Innes Centre (UK), and the private Danish plant breeding industry.
GRRC hosts the “Wheat Rust Toolbox”, a data management and display system allowing efficient data storage, data management and on-line dissemination of global results on wheat rust surveillance, pathotypes, and genotype results from trap nurseries. The latter is coordinated and integrated with information platforms at CIMMYT, ICARDA, Cornell University and other partners in the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative.