Selective Forces Impacting Fusarium Graminearum Species Causing Gibberella Ear Rot in Maize

Grants and Contracts Details


PROJECT SUMMARY Instructions: The summary is limited to 250 words. The names and affiliated organizations of all Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PI) should be listed in addition to the title of the project. The summary should be a self-contained, specific description of the activity to be undertaken and should focus on: overall project goal(s) and supporting objectives; plans to accomplish project goal(s); and relevance of the project to the goals of the program. The importance of a concise, informative Project Summary cannot be overemphasized. Title: Selective Forces Impacting Fusarium Graminearum Species Causing Gibberella Ear Rot In Maize PD: Lisa Vaillancourt Institution: University Of Kentucky CO-PD: Kiersten Wise Institution: University Of Kentucky CO-PD: Mark Farman Institution: University Of Kentucky CO-PD: Christopher Toomajian Institution: Kansas State University CO-PD: David Schmale III Institution: Virginia Tech CO-PD: Emerson Del Ponte Institution: Universidade Federal de Vicosa CO-PD: Franklin Machado Institution: Universidade Federal de Vicosa Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) on wheat and Gibberella Ear Rot (GER) on maize, both caused by the Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC), cost U.S. farmers more than $750M from 2020-2022. After devastating epidemics in the 1990s, improved management options were developed for FHB. However, few similar resources exist for GER, even though infested maize stubble is the primary FHB inoculum source, and the same pathogen population affects both hosts. Fungal strains vary in aggressiveness and fitness, but current FHB treatments do not account for pathogen diversity. We know little about the role of maize versus wheat in structuring pathogen populations. We aim to improve pathogen surveillance and disease prediction by studying the influence of host on fungal population selection. This addresses the program area priorities of “advancing knowledge of invasive or established plant pests…leading to innovative and biologically-based strategies to manage pests”; “questions of intra- and interspecies interactions relevant to pest management”; and “factors that contribute to invasiveness and movement and dispersal dynamics of pests”. Objectives are: (1) Analyze genome sequences of a geographically diverse collection of FGSC isolates from maize and wheat to identify loci experiencing differential host selection. 2) Characterize and compare population shifts among a diverse collection of FGSC isolates in continuous maize vs. continuous wheat vs. crop rotations in the field in two locations, or after multiple generations on maize ears under two different temperature regimes 3) Use controlled crosses between maize and wheat isolates to characterize loci conditioning high levels of aggressiveness to each host. This file MUST be converted to PDF prior to attachment in the electronic application package.
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date7/1/246/30/28


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $686,010.00


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