Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

On tap: Genomic sequence of an enemy of beer and bread

22.07.2003


A team of scientists - including one from Michigan State University - has announced a genomic sequence for the rest of us: mapping the DNA of a grain fungus that wreaks havoc with beer brewing.

The genomic sequence of the fungal plant pathogen, Fusarium graminearum, has been completed, providing scientists a roadmap to combating a fungus that infects wheat and barley crops, rendering them unusable.

"We have enough to do a tremendous amount of good work," said Frances Trail, MSU associate professor of plant biology. "Now we can begin to unravel mechanisms to combat this fungus which is a devastating problem in Michigan, the Midwest and all over the world."



This fungus is a serious pathogen of wheat and barley in Michigan and throughout the Midwest. It causes Fusarium head blight, which reduces grain yields, and taints grain with mycotoxins that have been found to be detrimental to human and animal health.

Fusarium graminearum also is a pox to beer producers. Malting creates a fungus friendly environment, and barley infected with the fungus produces beer with a vast excess of foam. As a result, the malting barley industry has a zero tolerance for this fungus.

The fungus comes with a steep price tag – rendering crops worthless. For example, head blight outbreaks in the 1990s cost U.S. agriculture $3 billion.

Fusarium graminearum begins its blighting ways as pinprick-sized pods that spit spores into the air. The spores float over grain fields, landing on flowering wheat and barley. The spores grow into the wheat flowers. The often cool, wet weather of the U.S. Midwest provides an ideal environment for the fungus to take hold.

The result:: fields of blight, identified by withered, bleached heads of grain. At harvest, many of the grains are shrunken and white, and harbor the mycotoxins.

"Classical control methods for blight just aren’t working," Trail said. "Sequencing this fungus can be the beginning of designing new methods of control."

The Fusarium graminearum sequencing project represents a partnership between MSU and the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, H. Corby Kistler at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS Cereal Disease Lab of University of Minnesota and Jin-Rong Xu at Purdue University.

Researchers now will work to understand and annotate specific gene function within the sequence. In Trail’s lab, work already has begun on specific genes that appear to control the firing mechanisms of the spore pods.

Frances Trail | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.genome.wi.mit.edu/annotation/fungi/fusarium/index.html
http://www.msu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>