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SPECIAL SESSION: Genomics and Phenomics to Characterize Host Resistance

Dissecting the Disease Triangle: Host, Pathogen and the Environment
Rebecca Bart - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

Over the last several years, the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas has caused significant yield losses in many important crops that have historically not been affected by bacterial diseases, including corn and cotton. It is currently unclear what factors have led to the emergence of these diseases. Xanthomonas pathogens have been described for sorghum, though similar to corn and cotton, only minor impacts on yield have historically been observed. Sorghum’s resilience to bacterial pathogens is likely to be compromised by breeding for biofuel production traits such as alterations in cell wall and sugar content as well as growing sorghum on marginal lands. Here, we present our unpublished data that dissects the disease triangle consisting of Sorghum, Xanthomonas and the environment. Using dual RNAseq, we describe transcriptomic changes that occur in both plant and pathogen during disease. Further, we report on phenotypic variability among diverse sorghum varieties and across variable temperatures.