facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Costly wheat fungus' genome mapped

June 13, 2011 at 7:28 PM   |   Comments

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., June 13 (UPI) -- One of the most destructive wheat viruses is genetically structured to evade detection before infecting its host, a U.S. study mapping the fungus' genome found.

Principle author Goodwin, a Purdue University research plant pathologist, said the fungus had fewer enzyme-producing genes that many fungi use to penetrate and digest plants' surfaces while infecting them. Goodwin worked on sequencing the genome of the fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola, which causes septoria tritici blotch, a disease that reduces yield and quality in wheat, the university said in a release.

"We're guessing that the low number of enzymes is to avoid detection by plant defenses," Goodwin said.

Enzymes typically break down plant cell walls and begin removing nutrients, leading to the plant's death, the researcher said. M. graminicola enters the plant through small pores in the surface of leaves.

Goodwin said the fungus apparently avoids detection by lying dormant between plant cells before infecting the plant.

With the sequenced genome, scientists hope to discover which genes cause toxicity in wheat and discover ways to either eliminate that toxicity or improve wheat's defenses, Goodwin said.

The study was published in the online edition of the journal PLoS Genetics.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise
2
Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus
3
"Man in the moon" likely caused by volcano, not astroid "Man in the moon" likely caused by volcano, not astroid
4
35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore 35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore
5
Lamborghini reveals Asterion LPI-910, hybrid supercar that hits 199 mph and gets 57 mpg Lamborghini reveals Asterion LPI-910, hybrid supercar that hits 199 mph and gets 57 mpg
Trending News
x
Feedback