Decoding of Karnal Bunt genome by Indian scientists

Scientists from ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley research, Karnal and ICAR-Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi have sequenced the genome of the indigenous pathogen Karnal Bunt. This is a pride moment for the country having decoded one of the quarantine pathogen which restricts the trade of wheat due to international quarantine laws.

Karnal bunt disease caused by the fungus Tilletia indica (Syn. Neovosia indica) is a serious concern due to strict quarantines affecting international trade of wheat. This disease is also called as partial bunt because only part of the kernel is damaged during infection. It is a quarantined pathogen and severe economic losses occur due to quarantine restrictions on export of wheat grain in the infected areas. Early detection of the pathogen strains is crucial for managing the infestation. The draft sequence of two monospridial and one dikaryon is a major landmark to understand the pathogen diversity, its mating behavior and to detect the pathogens at the earliest. The draft size of KB strains PSWKBGH-1, PSWKBGH-2 and PSWKBGH-3 were 37,460,344 bp, 37,216,861 bp and 43,736,665 bp, respectively. The results were published in the international journal of American Society of Microbiology, Genome Announcements ( These genome sequences have been deposited at GenBank under the accession MAPW00000000 (PSWKBGH-1), MAPX00000000 (PSWKBGH-2) and MAPX00000000 (PSWKBGD-1-3).

(Source: Director, ICAR-IIWBR, Karnal (wheatpdatgmail [dot] com))