Navigation Links
USDA researchers, collaborators sequence genomes of fungi that threaten wheat, poplars
Date:5/9/2011

This press release is available in Spanish.

An international team of researchers co-led by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist has sequenced the genomes of two fungal pathogens-one that threatens global wheat supplies and another that limits production of a tree crop valued as a future source for biofuel.

The sequencing of the genetic codes of wheat stem rust pathogen (Puccinia graminis) and poplar leaf rust pathogen (Melampsora larici-populina) is expected to help researchers develop control strategies to address worldwide threats to wheat fields and tree plantations. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was a six-year collaborative effort of USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, the National Science Foundation, the Broad Institute of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Minnesota and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.

"The threats these pathogens pose to two essential agricultural products are very real, and that makes it important to learn everything we can about them, from their molecular underpinnings to how they survive and spread infection," said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of ARS, USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency. The research supports the USDA priority of developing new sources of bioenergy and promoting international food security.

Wheat stem rust causes major epidemics of both barley and wheat worldwide. A strain known as Ug99 has spread across Africa and into Central Asia, and has been able to overcome most of the stem-rust-resistant wheat varieties developed over the past 50 years.

Poplar leaf rust can cause significant losses in poplar tree plantations. Poplar is an important crop for the wood industry and is becoming increasingly important to the biofuel industry in the United States and Europe because of its rapid and significant production of biomass.

The study represents the first genome-wide characterization of any rust fungus, a diverse group of more than 6,000 species, according to Les Szabo, a lead researcher on this project. Szabo works at the ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn.

Rust fungi depend on living tissue of their hosts for survival. The pathogens secrete proteins that enable them to block the host plant's defenses and steal nutrients. The research uncovered evidence that both pathogens have large numbers of such "effector" proteins, an indication that they likely co-evolved with their host plants, according to the study authors.

Because they need a plant host to survive, the pathogens can't be cultured in a laboratory and are notoriously hard to study. But the genetic sequencing opens a window into the never-ending arms race between these pathogens and their hosts, Szabo said.

The team's sequence data has been released in GenBank, a genetic database administered by the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dennis O'Brien
dennis.obrien@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1624
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scripps researchers, UCSD chemists to create center devoted to chemistrys influence on climate
2. Novartis and collaborators discover novel antimalarial drug candidate
3. K-State researcher, collaborators study virulence of pandemic H1N1 virus
4. Clemson and collaborators receive $1.1 million to improve durability of concrete infrastructure
5. Scientists sequence genomes of 2 major threats to American food and fuel
6. High-profile panel to address causes, consequences of the politicization of science
7. First harmful algal bloom species genome sequenced
8. Brown tide culprit sequenced: Genome of the first of algal bloom species
9. Draft sequence of Neandertal genome wins the 2010 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, supported by Affymetrix
10. Oil in Gulf of Mexico: Biologists cite need for critical data to determine ecological consequences
11. Fishy consequences of transplanting trout, salmon, whitefishes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a ... Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment ... the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in ... Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed ... entered into a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The ... gene editing across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and ... researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. ... policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions ... over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected ... based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: