MOLECULAR AND GENETIC APPROACHES TO SUPPRESSING FUNGAL PATHOGENS AND MYCOTOXIN CONTAMINATION
Project Number: 5325-42000-035-00
Start Date: Jan 31, 2006
End Date: Jan 30, 2011
Objectives of the research 1) Release a promising insect resistant, premium quality almond variety, and evaluate other advanced breeding selections. 2) Characterize almond seed coat tannins at the genetic and biochemical levels and examine associaion of specific antioxidants with seed coat ink staining. 3) Identify and integrate multiple resistances into regionally adapted, high commercial quality breeding selections.
Reduce mycotoxin contamination of agricultural commodities focusing on tree nuts (almonds, pistachios and walnuts) by identifying natural constituents or biocompetitive organisms that inhibit growth of fungi and aflatoxin production. Identify target genes in fungi that trigger mycotoxin biosynthesis focusing on stress response pathways.
Identify the natural constituents responsible for resistance of certain varieties of tree nuts to growth of aflatoxigenic strains of aspergillus. Isolate and identify novel metabolites in sclerotia of Aspergillus and develop analytical methods for such compounds in order to assess exposure levels of tree nut orchards to the fungus. Identify genes involved in triggering mycotoxin biosynthesis using high-through put bioassays. Assays involve use of deletion mutants, gene knockouts and complementation analysis. Discover natural compounds that disrupt functionality of gene targets identified. Develop biosensors for detecting toxic fungi in pre- and post harvest environments. Combining 5325-32000-006-00D (1/09).