NEW YORK, July 15 (GenomeWeb News) - The US Department of Agriculture has awarded a three-year, $980,000 grant to a researcher at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virgina Tech to identify the ways in which the plant pathogen Phytopthora sojae overcomes the defenses of its host soybean.
P. sojae causes serious damage to soybean crops. In 2003, it cost soybean growers $1 billion worldwide, according to the VBI. In addition, other Phytophthora species and related pathogens cause tens of billions of dollars of damage every year to a range of both agriculturally and ornamentally important plants.
Brett Tyler, the recipient of the grant, hopes to control Phytophthora species infection by understanding how the pathogens break down plants' defenses.
Last year, Tyler and his colleagues successfully mapped the genomes of P. sojae and its sister pathogen, P. ramorum, which kills oak trees.