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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Goswami, Rubella
item Xu, Jin-rong
item Trail, Frances
item Kistler, H - Corby

Submitted to: Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2006
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Goswami, R., Xu, J.-R., Trail, F., Kistler, H.C. 2006. Genomic analysis of host-pathogen interactions between Fusarium graminearum and wheat during early stages of disease development. Microbiology 152:1877-1890.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium head blight is a major threat to the profitable and dependable production of wheat and barley crops in the United States. By understanding the fundamental mechanisms by which these microorganisms cause disease, we may be able to develop novel, stable, and environmentally sensible disease management practices aimed at interfering with the essential processes of pathogenesis. This paper describes the search for genes in the fungus that are expressed during wheat infection with the goal of identifying genes essential to disease that may be exploited for disease control. Once the genetic potential of the fungus to cause disease is fully understood, management strategies could be tailored using these newly discovered requirements. The primary users of the research in this publication will be other scientists engaged in research to improve disease management on small grain crops.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium graminearum strains responsible for causing the plant disease Fusarium head blight vary greatly in their ability to cause disease and produce mycotoxins on wheat. With the goal of understanding fungal gene expression related to pathogenicity, three cDNA libraries were created by suppression subtractive hybridization using wheat heads inoculated with a highly aggressive strain and either water or a less aggressive strain of this pathogen. Eighty-four fungal genes expressed during initial disease development were identified. The probable functions of 49 of these genes could be inferred by bioinformatic analysis. Thirty-five ESTs had no known homologs in current databases and were not identified by ab initio gene prediction methods. These ESTs from infected wheat heads likely represent F. graminearum genes that previously were not annotated. Four genes represented in one of these libraries were selected for targeted gene replacement leading to the characterization of a two component response regulator homolog involved in pathogenicity of the fungus. The mutants for this gene showed reduced sporulation and delayed spread of Fusarium head blight on wheat.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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