Western Australia's Murdoch University and the GRDC have teamed up to tackle the problem of Russian wheat aphid resistance in wheat and barley.
Dr Mehmet Cakir, senior research fellow at Murdoch University, will conduct and co-ordinate the research funded by a five-year GRDC grant.
Russian wheat aphid can destroy up to 70pc of a wheat crop and more than that in barley.
A significant pest in the USA, South Africa and parts of South America, Europe and Asia, it is present in all major wheat and barley growing areas of the world except Australia.
"The project will evaluate resistance, develop resistant wheat and barley varieties to biotypes of Russian wheat aphid and finally identify molecular markers for resistance so that continuous breeding for Russian wheat aphid is possible in Australia," Dr Cakir said.
"Ultimately, we want to develop a resource of Australian wheat and barley germplasm with Russian wheat aphid resistance for use by Australian cereal breeders."