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Crop Biotech Update

Research Team Identifies Fungal Endophyte Gene for Disease Suppression

July 8, 2015

A research team at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) led by Dr. Jennifer T. Niones have identified vibA as the gene responsible for an endophyte's plant host disease resistance-enhancing ability. In her research paper, Dr. Niones described an endophytic fungal isolate protecting its host (grass) from disease by producing an anti-fungal compound.

She explained that, "Without the vibA gene, we observed that the endophyte was unable to  produce an anti-fungal compound, and, hence  could not protect the plant (grass) from infecting pathogens." Dr. Niones also observed that the overexpression of the vibA gene enhanced the effectiveness of the endophyte's inhibitory compound.

For more information, read the news release at the PhilRice website.