QTL for wheat septoria resistance

Identifying novel sources of resistance to Septoria tritici blotch in Australian and International wheat germplasm

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Septoria tritici Blotch (STB) is a stubble borne foliar disease of wheat emerging particularly in high and medium rainfall zones (HRZ & MRZ) of the southern regions including South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania. In 2009, it was estimated that STB had the potential to cost the Southern Australian cropping region $21 million per year. In addition, increased incidences of STB were reported during the last 10 years in these regions indicating the potential loss could be high if left untreated. Maximum disease spread identified to occur during flag leaf emergence to grain milk development stage (adult plant stage) leading to estimated yield losses between 20-90% in HRZ and 40-50% during the same growth stage in MRZ. At present growers use fungicides as part of an integrated disease management system to control STB, at a cost of approximately $121 million per year. However, this approach to control STB is expected to be constrained in the future with increased incidences of reduced sensitivity of Z. tritici to group 3 fungicides across the major wheat producing countries including Australia. On the other hand, the wheat varieties that are grown in these regions are susceptible (S) or very susceptible (VS) to STB in their disease resistance. Therefore, the proposed project  aims to identify novel sources of STB resistance by screening Australian and International germplasm and to identify genes that are resistant to predominant native pathotypes.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Meixue Zhou


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Background in molecular biology and cereal genetics and published two or more papers in journals with official Impact Factors

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Australian PR or citizenship

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Prof Meixue Zhou to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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