Fighting Head Blight in
Wheat and Barley
Fusarium graminearum is a fungal
plant pathogen that causes head blight (scab)
of wheat and barley. Head blight is the plant
disease that had the greatest impact on U.S.
agriculture and society in the last decade.
Approximately $3 billion was lost to U.S.
agriculture during the wheat scab epidemics
in the 1990s. The Fusarium fungus
also produces mycotoxins that pose a serious
food safety hazard.
NIFA funded a project at the Whitehead
Institute for Biomedical
Research to sequence and annotate F.
graminearum. The Fusarium
graminearum Genome Project,
represents a partnership between the Center
for Genome Research (CGR) and the International Gibberella
zeae Genomics Consortium (IGGR).
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