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FUCOMYR
Novel tools for developing fusarium-resistant and toxin-free wheat for Europe

Fusarium fungi cause a great problem in the complete cereal food and feed chain because they contaminate the grain with mycotoxins, which cause serious illness and immuno-repression in humans and animals. This mycotoxin problem is the result of events at the start of the food chain, due to fungal infestation during crop growth, while the negative effects are found at the end of the chain, in food and feed products. Improving plant health by using the most advanced technology will solve this problem. The output of this research will lead to improved high quality wheat cultivars for European farmers, thus supporting sustainable cereal production in Europe and strengthening the competitiveness of the European cereal industry on domestic and world markets. The results will lessen the risk of mycotoxin entering the feed and food chain, thus contributing significantly to a safer end product.

Objectives
The objective of the project is to reduce the mycotoxin contamination in wheat at the start of the production chain by means of improved plant resistance, leading to the eradication of this disease on wheat. To improve plant resistance, new, more efficient selection tools will be developed, such as molecular markers for resistance genes and in-vitro selection strategies for resistant germplasm, to speed up the breeding of resistant cultivars with a low risk of mycotoxin contamination. The pathogenesis-related proteins that not only inhibit fungal growth, but also mycotoxin formation, will be characterised as well.

Progress to Date
The accessions in nurseries containing advanced germplasm and mapping populations were planted during Autumn 2004 and spring 2005 for evaluation for their FHB resistance during Summer 2005.
Fusarium fungi infect the grain of wheat and produce dangerous mycotoxins. Improving plant health using most advanced technology will solve this problem. We develop new effective selection tools such as molecular markers for resistance genes and in vitro selection strategies for resistant germplasm, thus accelerate resistance breeding. DNA markers for candidate resistance genes are developed and pathogenesis related proteins are being characterized that do not only inhibit fungal growth but also mycotoxin formation. The output of this research will lead to improved high quality wheat cultivars for European farmers, thus supporting sustainable cereal production in Europe and strengthening the competitiveness of the European cereal industry on domestic and world markets. The results will lessen the risk of mycotoxin entering the feed and food chain, thus contributing significantly to a healthy diet for the consumers.

Classified in FOOD, ANIMALS, CEREALS, ARABLE CROPS, CROP PESTS AND DISEASES, HUMAN HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Scientist responsible for the project

Mr RUDOLF BRAUN
Konrad Lorenz Str. 20
3430 Tulln
Austria - AT

Phone: +43 227266280501
Fax: +43 227266280503
E-mail: braun@ifa-tulln.ac.at

References

Project ID QLRT-2000-02044
Organisation IFA- TULLN, INSTITUTE FOR AGROBIOTECHNOLOGY,DEPARTMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN PLANT PRODUCTION
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 October 2001
Duration (months) 48
Total cost 2 531 031 €
Total EC contribution   1 934 618 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project   http://www.boku.ac.at/fucomyr

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