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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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

PI: David F. Garvin

Structural and Functional Genomics of Grain Crop Improvement

Domesticated grasses are the most important agricultural commodities on earth and are the nutritional drivers for human existence. As for all crops, diseases pose a serious threat to grass crop productivity and quality. This research seeks to identify strategies to improve disease resistance and grain quality in wheat and other crops such as oat, both through traditional and molecular modification. The diseases of primary interest are Fusarium head blight and stem rust. The researchers are employing the model grass Brachypodium distachyon for functional dissection of non-host resistance to stem rust, and are also using the genome sequence of this model system as a surrogate genome scaffold for identifying candidate genes associated with oat grain nutritional quality. The researchers use MSI for bioinformatic analysis of NGS data obtained during the process of mapping and cloning possible non-host stem rust resistance genes in Brachypodium, for assembly of NGS sequence data obtained as part of a project to characterize transcriptome changes in developing oat seeds, and for genome-scale alignments between oat and Brachypodium to identify candidate genes associated with improved nutritional quality.

Group Member

Juan Gutierrez, Research Associate