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Microbial Genomics

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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