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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #434520

Research Project: Host and Pathogen Signaling in Cereal-Fungal Interactions

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Project Number: 5030-21000-067-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 11, 2018
End Date: Feb 1, 2023

Objective 1. Discover diverse fungal disease resistance mechanisms in cereal (barley and maize) crops. Sub-Objective 1A. Use expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis in combination with genome-wide promoter-motif enrichment strategies to discover master regulators of immunity. Sub-Objective 1B: Identify host targets of pathogen effectors by next generation yeast-two-hybrid interaction screens. Sub-Objective 1C: Identify and characterize the genetic and molecular pathological modes of action for isolate-specific and non-specific Quantitative Disease Resistance (QDR) mechanisms that protect corn plants against northern leaf blight. Objective 2: Generate novel sets of disease defense alleles for mechanistic dissection and application to crop protection. Sub-Objective 2A: Functional confirmation via integrated reverse genetic analysis. Sub-Objective 2B: Evaluate yield and northern leaf blight resistance properties of QDR alleles in hybrid genetic contexts.

Large-scale sequencing of plant and pathogen genomes has provided unprecedented access to the genes and gene networks that underlie diverse outcomes in host-pathogen interactions. Determination of regulatory focal points critical to these interactions will provide the molecular foundation necessary to dissect important disease resistance pathways. This knowledge can be used to guide modern plant breeding efforts in response to pathogens that present diverse challenges to the host.