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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Cereal Disease Lab » Research » Research Project #442883

Research Project: Molecular Characterization of Fusarium Head Blight of Wheat and Barley

Location: Cereal Disease Lab

Project Number: 5062-21220-024-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 31, 2022
End Date: Aug 30, 2026

The specific objectives of this project are: 1. Detailed characterization of transgenic wheat lines containing resistance genes from diverse grass species; 2. Evaluate the activity of new genes for Fusarium Head Blight resistance in field and greenhouse settings; 3. Develop new tools to dissect Fusarium Head Blight disease resistance and susceptibility in cereals; and 4. Understand how mycotoxins are produced and the role of pathogen effectors during infection. The ultimate objective of this project is to enhance the resistance of cereals such as wheat and barley to Fusarium Head Blight.

Transgenic wheat expressing resistance genes from diverse wild grass species will be screened in greenhouse and field plots to evaluate their role in mitigating Fusarium Head Blight disease and mycotoxin accumulation. New tools for disease resistance screening will be developed to facilitate more rapid identification of genes effective against Fusarium infection and mycotoxin accumulation. Fusarium infection of wheat and barley will be characterized at the molecular level to understand mycotoxin biosynthesis and to identify "weak" points in the cereal immune system that are manipulated by the pathogen during disease progression.