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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Research Project #429297

Research Project: Novel Genes/Promoters for Tolerance to Abiotic and Biotic Stress and Their Role(s) in Aspergillus Infection and Aflatoxin Contamination

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Project Number: 6054-42000-025-10-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

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

(1) Identification and isolation of genes/promoters for Aspergillus (A.) flavus resistance in corn/cotton; (2) Express the candidate genes isolated in transgenic crops (tobacco, cotton, corn) by over/under expression; and (3) Evaluate the genes for tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress, for example, in response to A. flavus infection. Transgenic plants developed with these genes will be tested for their efficacy against A. flavus and other microbial pathogens. Genes identified in this study will lead to future development of sequence based functional marker (such as single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), EST-derived Simple Sequence Repeats (ESSR)) for use in marker-assisted breeding.

Identification of novel genes/promoters through differential gene expression analysis in response to Aspergillus (A.) flavus infection such as messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) differential display/subtractive suppression hybridization to complement proteomics/genomic research. Heterologous or native genes/promoters identified through this research or from research on other plant species, such as Louisiana native Smooth Cordgrass (marsh adapted, salt-tolerant), will be employed in transgenic systems to evaluate their efficacy for tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress. Smooth Cordgrass has been shown to have high sequence similarity with corn. Promising gene constructs in transgenic tobacco model system will be advanced for use in transgenic cotton or corn. Finally, transgenic plants will be evaluated for resistance to A. flavus under laboratory, greenhouse and field conditions.