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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

Nenad Tatalovic

Masters Program: Plant Pathology, 2008

"Why did you choose Iowa State: I met my current advisor back in my home country, and that resulted in my coming as an intern to ISU in 2004. Back then I got the chance to meet lots of professors and to talk to them about research and possibilities to learn. Since I like the opportunities offered I decided to apply to ISU."Read More