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Plant Pathology and Microbiology

Plant Pathology and Microbiology / Ecology and Organismal Biology / Research Highlights / Why does a good relationship go bad? Fusarium verticilliodides - Robertson Lab

Why does a good relationship go bad? Fusarium verticilliodides - Robertson Lab

One of the most commonly found fungi colonizing corn plants is Fusarium verticillioides. Infection by this fungus can result in seedling blights, stalk rots, ear rots and mycotoxin contamination of corn. More often than not however, the fungus systemically colonizes the corn plant with no disease symptoms (endophytic interaction).

We are investigating biological and ecological aspects of this pathosystem in an effort to identify what factors result in disease. We are working with modified strains of the fungus that have been labeled with florescent proteins, and are using confocal laser scanning microscopy to visualize infection of the corn plant by F. verticillioides. Specific gene knockout mutants will enable us to identify key molecular signals regulating endophytic infections in corn plants.

 

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Department Highlights

Whitham Lab

Plant Viruses Reprogram the Expression of Plant Genes

"The vast majority of plant viruses are very simple entities comprising a nucleic acid genome encoding from 4 to 10 proteins needed for multiplication, systemic spread within the host plant, and transmission to a new plant. Since the late 1800’s viruses have been recognized as significant pathogens on plants, and they lead to numerous diseases that cause significant yield losses in a variety of crops. " Read More