Project Number: 3091-22000-031-09
Start Date: May 01, 2014
End Date: Apr 30, 2019
The fungal pathogen, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum (Fov) race 4 from California, is recognized as a major threat to profitable cotton production in the U.S. The genetic basis for the heightened pathogenicity of Fov race 4 is not known. Specific pathogenicity genes have been identified in other plant pathogens. We will identify the candidate pathogenicity-related genes by comparative studies utilizing the ATCC type specimen race 4 isolate which has identical genotype with California race 4 yet is non-virulent to Pima and Upland cultivars. Mutants of gene knockouts as well as reciprocal gene replacement between the two isolates will be generated and tested for pathogenicity against cotton cultivars susceptible to Fov race 4. Identification of pathogenicity-related genes will greatly facilitate our ongoing effort to increase host resistance against race 4 either through biotechnology or traditional breeding.