Author

Maisa Khoj

Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Narayanaswamy Bharathan

Second Advisor

Seema Bharathan

Third Advisor

Robert Major

Abstract

Rhizoctonia solani is a soil-borne plant pathogen that infects crops. Recently, 14 different anastomosis groups (AGs) have been recognized based on the ability to anastomose. R. solani isolates are infected with several viruses that contain double-stranded (ds)RNA. Data from specific protocols developed for dsRNA extractions and purifications from filamentous fungi, along with characterization of cloned plasmids, will be presented. DsRNA was extracted and DNA plasmids were purified from selected R. solani isolates Rhs 113 and Rhs 114 that are heterokaryons and belong to AG-4. Using real-time PCR techniques, Ct values, amplification, and specificity of nucleic acid hybridization were analyzed to study the relationships of two or more viruses infecting these isolates of R. solani. The results indicate a Ct value of 5.20 from plasmid DNA of Rhs 114 and around 23 – 28 from plasmid DNA of Rhs 113, suggesting a distant relationship between dsRNA from these two R. solani isolates.

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