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  • Research Seminar - Responses of Sorghum and Wheat Modified in Phenylpropanoid Metabolism to Fungal Pathogens

Research Seminar - Responses of Sorghum and Wheat Modified in Phenylpropanoid Metabolism to Fungal Pathogens

Presented by Dr. Deanna Funnell-Harris, Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

Date: 12 July 2019
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Venue: Toowoomba - P20, or via Zoom
Contact: For more information, please contact the Centre for Crop Health.
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Lignin and other phenylpropanoid metabolites have long been implicated in plant defense as induced or extant physical barriers within plant cell walls to limit pathogen ingress and as antimicrobial or signaling molecules directly or indirectly inhibiting pathogen progression. Using brown midrib (bmr; reduced lignin) mutants of sorghum and overexpression of sorghum monolignol biosynthesis genes in sorghum and wheat, we have been able to elucidate possible roles that soluble and cell wall-bound phenolics may play in plant defense against specific fungal pathogens. Global expression analysis and metabolomics of products of the phenylpropanoid pathway have indicated expansive effects of sorghum bmr mutations in response to pathogen attack and the abiotic stress, drought.

Dr. Deanna Funnell-Harris is a Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA-ARS, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and an Adjunct Professor with University of Nebraska. She is a team member of the project titled “Genetic improvement of sorghum for bioenergy, feed, and food uses.” Dr. Funnell-Harris is team leader formulating and guiding research to identify specific interactions between fungal pathogens and sorghum germplasm, especially those with altered lignin and carbohydrate compositions and concentrations, in order to define specific resistance mechanisms and to identify and help develop resistant germplasm.
Directions to USQ’s Agricultural Science & Engineering Precinct
Travel south along West Street. Turn right into Baker Street. 
P20 is located on the left hand side beside Mirambeena Child Care Centre. 
Parking is available off McGregor Lane.