Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2021

225  University of North Texas  (84521)

Principal Investigator: Shah,Jyoti

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 80,256

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): No

Start and End Dates: - 6/9/21

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: Biological Sciences

Department, Center, School, or Institute: College of Science

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Developing Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight in Wheat

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Program Title: N/A
CFDA Linked: Agricultural Research_Basic and Applied Research


Sub-project 1: RNA-Interference Targeting of Fungal Genes for Enhancing FHB Resistance Project Goals: The long-term goal of the PI’s research is to develop strategies for controlling FHB and mycotoxin accumulation that complement existing control measures in wheat and barley. While breeding efforts target host genes to enhance resistance, host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) provides an in planta strategy to silence expression of fungal genes to control infection and toxin accumulation. The goal of the proposed work is to test the hypothesis that HIGS of Fusarium graminearum effector genes, which are required for virulence, will adversely impact pathogenicity and thus promote FHB resistance in wheat. The efficacy of this approach to promote resistance against F. graminearum has been validated in Arabidopsis thaliana. Two fungal virulence factor-encoding genes will be targeted for HIGS in wheat: (i) FGL1, which encodes a lipase that is required for spread of the infection, and (ii) FgNahG, which encodes a hydroxylase that metabolizes the plant defense signaling metabolite salicylic acid. The specific objectives of the project are to: 1. Determine the effect of HIGS-mediated knockdown of a F. graminearum lipase expression in promoting FHB resistance in wheat. 2. Prevent the ability of F. graminearum to suppress wheat defense signaling by HIGS-mediated silencing of fungal FgNahG expression. Subproject 2: Wheat Variants Deficient in a FHB Susceptibility Factor Project Goals: The goal of this research project is to identify native wheat gene variants that improve FHB resistance and reduce DON accumulation. Wheat genes that contribute to susceptibility by facilitating fungal growth, development and virulence provide excellent targets for controlling disease. With previous support from the USWBSI, the PI’s lab identified wheat 9-lipoxygenases (9-LOXs) as susceptibility factors, which when knocked-down by RNA-interference (RNAi) in the cv Bobwhite, limit spread of Fusarium graminearum infection and limit DON accumulation. The goals of the proposed work are to establish whether (i) the FHB resistance promoting effect of Lpx3 knockdown is also effective in wheat backgrounds other than Bobwhite, (ii) one or more Lpx3 homeolog(s) in wheat contribute towards susceptibility to Fusarium graminearum, and (iii) nonsense and/or missense Lpx3 variants can provide a non-GMO strategy that in the future can be utilized by breeding programs to enhance FHB resistance in wheat. As a first step in this direction, several TILLING mutants that cover all three Lpx3 homeologs on chromosomes 4A, 4B and 4D have been identified in the hexaploid and tetraploid wheat varieties Cadenza and Kronos, respectively. Mutations in these TILLING lines are predicted to yield prematurely truncated Lpx3 protein, or strong missense alleles. The specific objectives of this project are to: 1. Characterize the response to Fusarium graminearum in backcrossed progeny of Lpx3 variants. 2. Develop wheat lines containing mutant combinations at more than one Lpx3 homeologous loci and characterize their response to Fusarium graminearum.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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