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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Plant Science Research » Research » Research Project #429259

Research Project: Virulence and Gene Flow Risk of Small-grain Fungal Pathogens

Location: Plant Science Research

Project Number: 6070-22000-018-07-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2015
End Date: Jul 31, 2020

The objective of the cooperative research between North Carolina State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service is to determine the virulence structure of small grain pathogen populations, and to develop wheat germplasm with resistance to Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) and powdery mildew.

North Carolina State University will supply expertise in mathematical modeling and identification of factors leading to severe epidemics of Stagonospora nodorum blotch and powdery mildew in small-grain cereals, in cooperation with the USDA-ARS Plant Science Research Unit (PSRU). This expertise will assist us in determining whether and under what conditions the pathogen populations might undergo shifts in virulence or necrotrophic effector (NE) frequencies. Such knowledge is critical for determining the likely durability of resistance sources, and therefore which sources of resistance to employ, and how resistant cultivars should then be deployed. The information will be used in breeding programs to develop advanced and elite breeding lines of winter wheat. Pathogen populations will be sampled from various locations, cultured, genotyped by sequencing, and phenotyped for virulence and NEs. Population information will be used in epidemiological and risk models. Lines selected from advanced breeding populations will be genotyped using available molecular markers, and phenotypes for reaction to SNB and mildew will be obtained in cooperative disease screening experiments conducted in field, greenhouse and/or growth chamber trials. Elite lines having resistance will be evaluated in regional and uniform yield nurseries, and superior lines will be released as cultivars. Data and germplasm will be shared between ARS, North Carolina State University, and other collaborating scientists.