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Fungal toxicity in range plants

Principal Investigator: Rebecca Creamer, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science

Summary: Slafractonia leguminicola is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes black patch disease in legumes and produces two toxins, swainsonine and slaframine, that are harmful to livestock grazing of legume hay or pasture, causing locoism and slobbers, respectively. The mechanism of fungal secretion of the toxins is poorly understood. The swainsonine (SWN) biosynthetic pathway has been determined for a variety of fungi. One of the genes in the SWN cluster, swnT, encodes a transporter. We are studying the role of swnT in secretion of these two mycotoxins in S. leguminicola which will be done by silencing swnT through RNA interference (RNAi).