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.