1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to identify genes important in resistance of soybean to soybean rust and soybean cyst nematode and to develop soybean plants with broad resistance to them.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Soybean genes expressed during rust and nematode invasion will be identified that may be used to broaden resistance to rust and SCN through soybean transformation or targeted mutations. These genes can be over- or under-expressed in soybean roots and challenged with rust and SCN. Genes will be identified that are up regulated during the resistance response using microarrays and deep-sequencing techniques. These up-regulated genes will be over-expressed using strong constitutive promoters or under-expressed using RNA interference.
3. Progress Report
DNA sequence derived from soybean rust, which is a fungal pathogen of soybean, was analyzed using bioinformatic tools to detect the presence of microRNAs, which are small regulatory RNAs that can control gene expression. Evidence of several microRNAs in the rust was found. This information may lead to new strategies for regulating fungal genes and broadening the control strategies for developing resistance which is the goal of the parent project. Conference calls and emails are used to monitor and coordinate progress with University of Maryland collaborators. Meetings are scheduled as needed.