1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives of this agreement are to analyze Rhizoctonia solani and related pathogens using: (1) high-throughput genome assembly, gene identification, annotation and comparative genomics, and (2) transcriptome sequence analyses to aide in functional genomics and in genome annotations. Sequence information will enable accurate identification of Rhizoctonia AG groups which is critical in identifying host-pathogen interactions leading to disease control strategies. Genome sequencing will also lead to improvements in resistance breeding, development of new fungicides based on alternate metabolic pathways, and in effective monitoring of fungicide resistance in the pathogen population. The Cooperator has the necessary bioinformatic expertise that we do not for the analyses including development and annotation of the full genome and transcriptome sequences of plant pathogens.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS will develop genome and transcriptome sequences of R. solani and related pathogens using high throughput sequencing approaches. This information will be used by both parties to jointly develop a greater understanding of the biology, ecology and pathology of this organism through computational and other bioinformatic and wet-lab experimentations. The Cooperator will generate bioinformatic tools and databases which will facilitate molecular investigations of the pathogen.
ARS scientists from Beltsville, MD and Towson University are carrying out a project on genomic and functional genomic analyses of fungal plant pathogens. Towards this goal, Towson University recently hired a laboratory technician, and a postdoctoral scientist will join in September, 2012 to carry out Rhizoctonia genome analysis.