Bill Rolling

Bill Rolling
Graduate Student
306A Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43210


BS, Biology, Iowa State University of Science and Technology

Work History
Laboratory Technician: USDA-ARS, Ames, IA May 2013-April 2014

Project Description
Phytopthora sojae is the third most yield limiting pathogen in soybean production. It causes losses estimated at 30 million dollars in the United States and 1-3 Billion dollars worldwide annually. Currently, the best method of defense is genetic resistance. The most commonly used genetic resistances are single dominant genes providing complete resistance to specific races of the pathogen. The widespread deployment of individual genes for resistance against P. sojae (Rps genes) causes intense selection pressure on P. sojae, resulting in rapid diversification of populations. This diversification has caused many Rps genes to become obsolete. This is why studying the alternative types of genetic resistance is becoming increasingly more important.

Quantitative defense is an alternative to Rps gene mediated defense. It is conferred by many genes, it is not isolate specific, and is more durable the Rps gene mediated defense. Recently, efforts have been made to map the locations of the quantitative defense loci, and many QTLs have been genetically mapped. My project aims to determine specifically which genes in the mapped QTLs are conferring the defense through gene expression experiments and functional analysis. In particular, I am studying the possible involvement of NB-LRR genes in this type of resistance.

The understanding of which genes are responsible for this quantitative resistance will enable the development of perfect markers. Armed with this knowledge soybean breeders can more quickly incorporate quantitative resistance traits into the elite cultivars using marker assisted selection 


Schneider R, Rolling W, Song Q, Cregan P, Dorrance AE, McHale LK (2016) Genome-wide association mapping of partial resistance to Phytophthora sojae in soybean plant introductions from the Republic of Korea. BMC Genomics. 17:607