Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Seema Bharathan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Narayanaswamy Bharathan, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Cuong Diep, Ph.D.

Abstract

Rhizoctonia solani is a soil-borne plant pathogenic fungus with a wide host-range. The fungus primarily infects the seeds, hypocotyls, and roots, but is also capable of infecting other plant parts such as fruits, leaves and stems. Viruses infecting these fungal isolates contain double-stranded (ds) RNA genomes that have been implicated in transmissible cytoplasmic hypovirulence (TCH), which could be used as a biopesticide to control infection due to the fungus. The proposed project will establish sequence-independent in vitro amplification of Middle (M)-size viral dsRNA's implicated in TCH and subsequent characterization involving sequencing, and nucleic acid hybridization regulation of gene expression. It is hypothesized that the specific segments of dsRNA in some isolates might be involved in reduced infection. The goals of this research are to develop an optimized method to synthesize cDNA and characterize the proteins associated with the virus infecting the fungi and R. solani isolates and the fungus.

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