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Fusarium Head Blight of Cereals: Pathogen Biology, Associated Phytobiome, and Host Resistance

Kianian S; Kistler H C
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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Objective 1: Discover specific factors involved in pathogenicity, sporulation and toxin synthesis for the FHB pathogen and related fungi by applying genomic and functional approaches. Sub-objective 1.A. Functionally characterize cellular processes and structures that determine plant pathogenesis. Sub-objective 1.B. Identify genes uniquely or differentially expressed during development that defines pathogen structure and function. Objective 2: Relate fungal genotypes to mycotoxin production in fungal strains in field production environments to aid in developing enhanced methods of control. Sub-objective 2.A. Monitor genetic changes in critical pathogen populations by pathogen surveys. Sub-objective 2.B. Characterize populations of Fusarium from native North American grasses that may be sources of novel pathogen genotypes and/or host resistance. Objective 3: Optimize metagenomic and functional approaches to define the phytobiome of healthy and diseased plants naturally infested with the FHB fungus. Sub-objective 3.A. Characterize phytobiome and soil carbon composition. Sub-objective 3.B. Determine the relative abundance of competitive phenotypes and impacts on plant productivity. Objective 4: Identify novel sources of plant disease resistance to FHB and mycotoxins produced by FHB fungi to improve breeding for resistance. Sub-objective 4.A. Characterize the epigenetic changes of FHB resistant durum cultivars produced by altering the DNA methylation pattern. Sub-objective 4.B. Characterize durum lines missing a portion of chromosome 2A region that may contain the FHB suppressor locus.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
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Natural Toxins