A combined - omics approach to understanding pathogenicity and plant-resistance to Fusarium diseases of legume crops.
Legumes play a vital role in food security, a major protein source in diet and improving soil health through nitrogen fixation. However, plant disease is a major limiting factor to yield across legume species. The fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum shows host adaptation across legume crops, possessing accessory chromosomes that confer pathogenicity to particular plant hosts. Genome sequencing across a range of legume pathogens will be used to identify origin and evolution of Fusarium pathogenicity chromosomes. Transcriptomic and proteomic approaches will be used to identify key fungal proteins involved in infection and the plant resistance proteins distinguishing resistant from susceptible cultivars.