While questions remain, such as whether effector proteins contribute to alteration of cell structure and metabolism in the host plant, "It's important to know your enemies and the genomes of these devastating parasites have provided some important insights into the strategies that they use to sabotage the plant's immune responses," said McDowell. "It is now possible to translate pathogen genome data into better tools for diagnosis and disease forecasting. And by comparing the genomes of pathogens that infect different types of crops, we and other plant pathology researchers are developing and testing new ideas for breeding crops with stronger disease resistance genes."
McDowell's research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
|Contact: Susan Trulove|