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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Plant Pathology

PI: Dean K. Malvick

Identification of Unique DNA Sequences for Detection of Plant-infecting Fungi

The goal of this project is to understand the composition and significance of fungal root and stem infection complexes of plants, with a focus on soybean and other legumes grown in Minnesota. Fungal diseases of plants are typically associated with a complex of different fungi, rather than a single species. Traditional culture-based isolation methods are limited in their abilities to detect and characterize the complex of organisms in infected plant tissues. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques based on unique DNA sequences offer much potential for dissecting and identifying the components of infection complexes. The researchers aim to identify species-specific DNA sequences to be used in standard and real-time quantitative PCR assays to detect, identify, and characterize the components of fungal disease complexes. A long-term goal is to understand the environmental, agronomic, and ecological factors that influence the composition and biological effects of fungal infection complexes in plants.

Group Members

John Bienapfi, Graduate Student
Crystal Floyd, Staff
Ann Impullitti, Graduate Student
Tammy Kolander, Graduate Student
Lindsey Otto-Hansen, Staff