Comparing powdery mildew genomes towards understanding the evolution of plant pathogens.
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- Project Offer-Number:
- UROP International
- Organisation unit:
- Institute for Biology I, Unit for Plant Molecular Cell Biology
- Language Skills:
- fluency in English
The powdery mildew disease is a ubiquitous plant disease that causes severe losses in agriculture. The fungus is an obligate biotrophic pathogen and can only survive by infecting its host plant. Cereal powdery mildews, called Blumeria graminis, infect crops such as wheat, rye, and barley, while dicot-infecting powdery mildews colonize fruits and vegetables such as grapevine. Research focused on crop powdery mildews for decades while neglecting powdery mildew in non-agronomical environments. However, studying all the powdery mildew lineages is needed to understand their ability to infect so many plant species. We collect powdery mildew-infected field samples of lineages not previously studied and generate whole-genome shotgun sequencing data. We assembled novel draft genomes to perform comparative genomic analysis with published powdery mildew genomes. Our work will uncover how these fungi co-evolved with their host plants.
The student will isolate DNA from field samples of powdery mildew for whole-genome sequencing. They will use the genome sequencing data to generate draft genome assemblies, annotate the genomes, and perform a detailed comparison with other powdery mildew genomes available.
Basic experience in methodologies of molecular biology (laboratory work). Basic knowledge of Unix command line usage is useful but not required (will be taught).