Cereal rust fungi are destructive pathogens, threatening grain production worldwide. Targeted breeding for resistance utilizing host resistance genes has been effective. However, breakdown of resistance occurs frequently and continued efforts are needed to understand how these fungi overcome resistance and to expand the range of available resistance genes. Whole genome sequencing, transcriptomic and proteomic studies followed by genome-wide computational and comparative analyses have identified large repertoire of genes in rust fungi among which are candidates predicted to code for pathogenicity and virulence factors. Some of these genes represent defence triggering avirulence effectors. However, functions of most genes still needs to be assessed to understand the biology of these obligate biotrophic pathogens. Since genetic manipulations such as gene deletion and genetic transformation are not yet feasible in rust fungi, performing functional gene studies is challenging. Recently, Host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) has emerged as a useful tool to characterize gene function in rust fungi while infecting and growing in host plants. We utilized Barley stripe mosaic virus-mediated virus induced gene silencing (BSMV-VIGS) to induce HIGS of candidate rust fungal genes in the wheat host to determine their role in plant–fungal interactions. Here, we describe the methods for using BSMV-VIGS in wheat for functional genomics study in cereal rust fungi.