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Wheat infected with Zymoseptoria tritici solomon anu

Photo by Dr. Megan McDonald

Fungal diseases are the cause of millions of tonnes in yield losses annually in both agriculture and horticulture. This is a serious issue not only in terms of financial losses, but also when considering food security and stability. Using today's prices, wheat yield losses from fungi in Australia exceed $1 billion dollars per annum, and that is using effective control measures; without these losses would exceed $5 billion dollars.Thus there are many good reasons to better understand how these pathogens cause disease! Our laboratory focuses on several critical pathogens of both wheat and barley. We use a variety of methods including next-generation sequencing, proteins biochemistry and molecular biology to understand how these pathogens interact with their host and cause disease.

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