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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Host Resistance and Population Genetics of Rust and Fusarium Head Blight (Fhb) Diseases of Small Grain Cereals

Location: Cereal Disease Laboratory

2011 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Identify sources of seedling and adult plant resistance to wheat stem and leaf rust, and oat crown rust; Map resistance genes and QTLs for resistance to cereal rusts; and Use molecular and virulence markers to determine pathogen population structure and migration patterns.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Screen oat and wheat seedlings for rust resistance in the greenhouse; Screen oat and wheat adult plants for resistance in the field to rusts and FHB; Screen recombinant inbred (RI) populations for rust resistance in the greenhouse and field; and Use DArT and SSR markers to genotype RI populations; Determine virulence phenotype and molecular (SSR) genotype of rust and FHB pathogen isolates from the U.S.

3.Progress Report

Understanding how to successfully control plant diseases requires some knowledge of the characteristics and requirements of healthy plants. Metagenomic approaches are being used to access healthy plant and soil microbial communities and to measure changes in microbial composition in response to biotic perturbations such as agricultural cultivation practices and fungicide treatment. We have conducted experiments designed to test the effects of plant species diversity on the composition of plant associated soil communities and the composition of fungi found within and upon healthy wheat. Our preliminary results indicate a marked difference in microbial community structure in healthy grasses compared with those associated with other plant species. Our results will be useful to plant pathologists and plant improvement specialists in efforts to develop strategies that maintain plant health.

Progress on the project goals has been coordinated via telephone calls and monthly meetings with cooperators.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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