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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Cereal Disease Lab » Research » Research Project #431321

Research Project: Fusarium Head Blight of Cereals: Pathogen Biology, Associated Phytobiome, and Host Resistance

Location: Cereal Disease Lab

Project Number: 5062-21220-022-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 27, 2017
End Date: Mar 26, 2022

Additional funds will enhance research on current Objective 2, "Relate fungal genotypes to mycotoxin production in fungal strains in field production environments to aid in developing enhanced methods of control," by expanding coverage for characterization of populations of Fusarium; to current Objective 3, "Optimize metagenomic and functional approaches to define the phytobiome of healthy and diseased plants naturally infested with the FHB fungus," by enhancing the functional characterization of the wheat phytobiome; and to current Objective 4, "Identify novel sources of plant disease resistance to FHB and mycotoxins produced by FHB fungi to improve breeding for resistance," by expanding analysis of FHB resistant populations and efforts to pyramid resistance genes in a given background.

Improved management strategies are needed to maintain adequate plant disease control. Specific approaches include: 1) Genetic information obtained from the fungal pathogen, Fusarium, will be used to identify genes factors responsible for fungal pathogenesis, possibly leading to novel approaches to control FHB disease and reduce toxin levels in grain; 2) FHB levels, strain diversity, and the nature of associated fungal communities, will be monitored by population genetic and metagenomic approaches improving the ability to forecast the economic impact and the design of effective management strategies; 3) Novel sources of FHB resistance and mycotoxin tolerance will be developed for plants.