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Department of Plant Pathology

Molecular genetics/genomics

Disease Resistance

Bernd Friebe - transfer of agronomically important genes from wild wheat relatives to cultivated wheats; development, molecular cytogenetic characterization, and maintenance of genetic wheat stocks; analysis of karyotype evolution within the triticeae.

Bikram Gill - Molecular mapping of useful genes, wheat genome physical mapping and sequencing

Frank White - The research of Prof. Frank White utilizes molecular genetic and genomic techniques for functional analyses of plant disease and mechanisms of resistance. Complete genome sequencing of plant pathogenic bacteria is used for gene discovery. Targeted mutagenesis techniques are subsequently used for functional analysis. Transcriptional profiling is for gene discovery in rice, sorghum and wheat. RNA-meditated gene silencing and insertional mutanagenesis techniques are employed in the analysis of host/pathogen interactions. Our principle organisms are rice and sorghum with related work in other species including wheat.

Pathogen and Microbe

Richard Todd - Genetics and functional genomics of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, a model for plant pathogenic fungi and industrial fungi. Emphasis on molecular mechanisms of gene function, regulation of transcription factor activity in response to nutrient availability, comparative genomics of fungal transcription regulators and comparative functional genomics of nitrogen regulatory gene networks in plant pathogenic fungi.

Chris Toomajian - Population and evolutionary genetics and genomics of plants and plant pathogens. Analyzes genome-scale DNA polymorphism datasets in order to infer the relative importance of processes such as mutation, recombination, genetic drift, migration and natural selection in creating observed patterns of polymorphisms. Develops methods to infer recent instances of natural selection at the DNA level in order to identify adaptive genetic variation. Is interested in methods and datasets that allow for the statistical mapping of quantitative trait loci (complex traits) back to the genome in samples of unrelated individuals.