The use of molecular probes is allowing us to gain new insights into fungal plant pathogens and to host responses to potential pathogens. We are currently developing real-time PCR primers for two downy mildews that are considered to be a threat to maize production if introduced into the US. We are also developing PCR-based tags genes for resistance to headsmut, anthracnose, downy mildew and grain mold in sorghum. These molecular tags will be useful for breeding cultivars with more durable resistance and for cloning specific resistance genes. We have also used PCR to clone segments of the cotton and sorghum equivalents of genes that function in known host defense pathways. These clones are being used to compare the rate and timing of induction of each gene in resistant and susceptible lines following inoculation with a pathogen. Genome wide association studies are being used to identify genes associated with disease response (susceptible or resistant) to several pathogens in sorghum.
Perumal, R., Magill, C. W., Peterson, G. C., Prom, L. K., Bashir, E. M., Tesso, T. T., Serba, D. D., & Little, C. R.
(2018).Sorghum breeding for biotic stress tolerance. ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE CULTIVATION OF SORGHUM, VOL 1: GENETICS, BREEDING AND PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES.
Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing.