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 two significant pathogens of wheat, Parastagonospora nodorum and Zymoseptoria tritici. We use a variety of methods including next-generation sequencing, biochemistry and molecular biology to understand how these pathogens interact with their host and cause disease.