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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Investigation of Genetic Mechanisms of Plant Defense Against Insect Pests

Location: Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research

Project Number: 6217-21000-008-19
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 01, 2013
End Date: Aug 31, 2018

Objective:
Discovery of resistance genes and functional characterization of them will help elucidate the genetic base and the control of host plant resistance and accelerate genetic improvement for greenbug resistance in sorghum. The specific objectives of this cooperative project are: 1) to identify genes and/or pathway(s) responsible for host plant resistance, and 2) characterize the genetic mechanisms of the resistance to greenbug and other pests in sorghum using integrative approaches. Thus, this research will contribute to the development of new pest-resistant crop and technologies to protect plants from insect pests.

Approach:
In order to achieve research objectives, we will first focus on identification of candidate genes and pathway(s) through QTL mapping to establish the link between phenotype and genotype. We will then take the candidate gene approach to associate the expression of resistance with the DNA sequences of the candidate genes. Sequence variation of candidate genes will be compared between resistant and susceptible lines. In this way, allelic variants or sequence mutation may lead to the determination of their function in host resistance against the pest. Alternatively, the next-generation high-throughput DNA sequencing technology will be used for this study, which will not only re-examine the differential expression of sorghum genes shown by cDNA microarray in response to greenbug, but also provide global analysis of sorghum transcripts at the best possible resolution. Furthermore, molecular experiments will be conducted to analyze and decipher the relationship of regulatory networks with host responses to attack by the insect pests. It is expected that the results generated from this research will help to determine the function of certain candidate genes or pathway(s) for host resistance to insect pests.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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