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The MPP team uses classical and innovative methods of pathology, genetics, and molecular genetics to accomplish targeted goals and is responsible for conducting basic and applied research on host-parasite interactions that will ultimately result in the development of germplasm with improved disease resistance.


The MPP members provide unique and highly specialized skills in the areas of plant pathology and molecular biology of host genetic resistance, host-pathogen interactions, and genomics at the DB NRRC. The current projects are:


••       Investigate genes involved in host-pathogen interactions leading to blast resistance responses

••       Develop a perfect DNA marker for an effective blast resistance gene.  In collaboration with EPAGRI, Brazil ( (external link)

••       Develop novel methods to improve blast resistance in US breeding programs.  Project supported by USDA-NIFA ( (external link)

••       Fine map a major sheath blight resistant quantitative trait loci (QTL)

••       Develop new methods for quantifying minor gene differences controlling resistance to rice sheath blight disease

••       Determine genome sequences of two field isolates of rice sheath blight pathogen (R. solani).  Project supported by NSF and State of Arkansas  ( (external link)

••       Develop a controlled inoculation for rice false smut disease for germplasm screening

••       Understand evolutionary basis of weedy red rice for crop protection and weed management.  Project supported by NSF ( (external link)

••       Develop effective screening and molecular markers for identifying genetic resistance to rice bacterial panicle blight.  Project supported by Arkansas Rice Research and  Promotion Board ( (external link)

••       Identify genetic and epigenetic controls for disease resistance and yield potentials.  Project funded by NSF ( (external link)

••       Develop genetic stocks and mapping populations of rice (GSOR).


For professional publications (abstracts, journal articles, research plans, etc.) describing this research, please click here.