NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - DuPont said today that it is donating genomic sequence information about a fungal pathogen that affects corn plants to the GenBank sequence database run by the National Institutes of Health.
DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred business is releasing sequences of Colletotrichum graminicola. The fungus causes anthracnose leaf blight and stalk rot, which cause reduced corn yield worldwide due to premature death and weakened stalk strength, the company said.
Making this information publicly available will help researchers complete the genomic sequence of the pathogen, which could help to speed up disease-resistance studies, the company said.
DuPont said Pioneer already is selling anthracnose-resistant corn hybrids in Latin America, and it plans to incorporate an anthracnose-resistant gene into hybrids that could grow in the Northern Hemisphere.
"Defining and donating the gene sequences of C. graminicola will accelerate the scientific community's study of this important corn pathogen, creating knowledge that universities and ultimately companies can use to protect corn yields around the world," William Niebur, VP of crop genetics research and development at DuPont, said in a statement.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service currently is mapping and sequencing a different strain of the pathogen through a collaboration with the Broad Institute.