Grant recipient

Nanna Bjarnholt

CerealGSTs - Glutathione transferases for fungal disease resistance and increased food safety of cereal crops
Grant amount: DKK 9.998.705

Fungal diseases devastate crops worldwide and challenge global food security. They are unpredictable and difficult to manage, which is exacerbated by climate change. Cereal staple crops are strongly affected by Fusarium species, which both decrease yields and introduce harmful toxins to infected grain. The main toxin, DON, can be detoxified by plants, sometimes contributing to resistance to the fungi, but the detoxification can be unstable in the guts of humans and animals that may still suffer adverse effects from eating infected grain. A new mechanism for Fusarium resistance via DON detoxification was recently discovered in a wild grass, but it is unknown if it is stable. The key hypothesis of CerealGSTs is that GST mediated detoxification indeed can lead to stable DON inactivation and that especially oat is a promising source of new genomic tools to achieve this. The aim is to identify the involved genes and provide sustainable solutions to improve global food security and safety.

Nanna Bjarnholt
Nanna Bjarnholt,
Associate Professor, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark