Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Amanda Peters Haugrud

Amanda Peters Haugrud, first author of Genetics of variable disease expression conferred by inverse gene-for-gene interactions in the wheat-Parastagonospora nodorum pathosystem

Current Position: PhD student, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University

Education: M.S. in Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND; B.A. in Biology, University of Minnesota-Morris, Morris, MN

Non-scientific Interests: Running, hiking, camping, reading books from a variety of genre

Brief bio: I am interested in studying genetic components that can improve wheat yields and disease resistance and how they can be utilized in breeding programs. I joined the lab of Dr. Justin Faris in 2015 to work on a Master of Science degree in Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University. For my thesis research, I studied the wheat-Parastagonospora nodorum pathosysyem using a recombinant inbred wheat population and multiple P. nodorum isolates. The results from this project are published in this manuscript. The objective of my research was to determine the effects of specific host gene-pathogen effector interactions alone and in various combinations on the level of disease expression. We used a biparental mapping population that segregated for three susceptibility genes, inoculations with pathogen isolates that produced different combinations of effectors, QTL analysis to evaluate significance of specific gene-for-gene interactions, and RNA-sequencing and RT-qPCR to evaluate gene expression. Interestingly, we observed that pathogen differences, mainly in expression of necrotrophic effectors, determined the level of disease expression conferred by each interaction. This work showed that this pathosystem is rather complex, and many of the mechanisms regulating the system remain unknown. Currently, my PhD research is focused on the mapping and characterization of genes governing yield components in tetraploid wheat. I also hope to continue my research on the wheat-P. nodorum pathosystem.