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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Research Project #436992

Research Project: Characterization of the Genomics, Genetic Diversity and Ecology of Plant Pathogens and Biocontrol Agents and Plant Defense Mechanisms

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Project Number: 2090-22000-019-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2019
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

The objectives of this cooperative research are to: 1) genotypically and phenotypically characterize soilborne plant pathogens that cause diseases of crops grown in cereal-based cropping systems, 2) genotypically and phenotypically characterize the beneficial bacteria and fungi that suppress plant pathogens and characterize the microbiomes of plants in these cropping systems, and 3) determine the molecular genetic and biochemical basis of plant-microbe interactions and plant defense.

Plant pathogens and their biocontrol agents will be characterized through a combination of genome sequencing, molecular fingerprinting techniques, amplicon-based high-throughput sequencing and methods of classical plant pathology and microbiology. The population structures of pathogens and biocontrol agents will be determined by analysis of DNA banding patterns generated by techniques such as repetitive polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR), Restricted Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLPs), and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLPs), by sequence analysis of 16S rDNA and key genes, by multi-locus sequence analysis, and by genome sequencing. Soil and rhizosphere microbiomes will be analyzed using next-generation sequencing. Results of genotypic and phenotypic analyses will be compared. Plant-microbe interactions will be characterized using a combination of laboratory, greenhouse and field studies, and molecular genetic and bioanalytical tools. Biologically active metabolites and antibiotics produced by pathogens and antagonists will be characterized using bioanalytical techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry.