Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Narayanaswamy Bharathan

Second Advisor

Seema Bharathan

Third Advisor

Cuong Diep

Abstract

Fungal diseases have been one of the leading causes of crop losses ever since humans began to cultivate plants. Researchers have proposed that some fungal species, like Rhizoctonia solani, have shown a decline in their ability to cause diseases in crop plants due to viral infection. Reduced virulence could be attributed to the genetic material of double-stranded (ds) RNA viruses. In literature, however, only a limited number of viruses have been characterized at the molecular and biological levels from other fungi like Aspergillus and Fusarium. Nevertheless, it is not well known how the dsRNA genetic mechanisms control the fungal characteristics and the pathogenicity of Rhizoctonia. We used modern techniques in detection technology in order to characterize Rhizoctonia solani mycoviruses. We designed primers and probe for the cloned sequence to test for viral detection and improving the efficiency of RT-PCR.

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