Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2004
Publication Date: 8/4/2004
Citation: Mcdonald, T.W., Brown, D.W., Hammond, T.M., Keller, N.P. 2004. Rna interference in fusarium graminearum [abstract]. American Phytopathological Society Abstracts. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Small grains like wheat are susceptible to scab, a disease caused primarily by the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum. Wheat head scab is characterized by the production of small, shriveled seeds often contaminated with the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON or vomitoxin). DON and other trichothecenes cause a variety of animal diseases and are a significant agricultural concern. We are investigating RNA interference (RNAi) in an effort to identify novel ways to control trichothecene contamination of small grains by F. graminearum. We transformed F. graminearum with an inverted repeat (IVRT) construct targeting tri6, a transcription factor that positively regulates expression of trichothecene biosynthetic genes. Northern blots of tri6 IVRT transformants but not wild-type showed the presence of degraded tri6 transcript typical of RNAi. Wheat infection assays indicate that disease is significantly reduced in two independent tri6 IVRT transformants as compared to wild-type and a transformant lacking the construct. We are now examining the tri6 IVRT transformants for trichothecene biosynthetic gene expression and DON production.