Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Zivile Buivydaite

PhD Student

Zivile Buivydaite

Profile

PhD project: Mycoviruses in biocontrol of plant pathogens (MYBIO)

University: Aarhus University
Department: Department of Environmental Science

Section: Environmental Microbiology and Circular Resource flow – EMCIF

Research group:
Supervisor(s):  Anne Winding
Co-supervisor(s):

Rumakanta Sapkota, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Roskilde.

Lise Nistrup Jørgensen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus university, Flakkebjerg.

Martin Hansen, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Roskilde.

Project term: 01.09.2021 – 31.08.2024
Master’s degree:  MSc in Environmental and Molecular Biology, Roskilde University, Denmark.

Thesis: “Exploring soil biodiversity using environmental DNA techniques” conducted at the department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University.

 

BACKGROUND

Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is a fungal disease affecting wheat production by lowering the quality of the grains as well as contaminating them with mycotoxins. It is mainly caused by Fusarium graminearum, which can currently be managed by fungicide application, crop rotation and tilling. Additionally, fungal viruses, also called mycoviruses, were proposed as pathogen-specific environmentally friendly alternative in fighting FHB.

AIM

We aim to identify naturally present mycoviruses with hypovirulent properties that are able to reduce fungal growth and disease spread.

We will also investigate virus transmission mechanism through fungal spores and hyphae.

Lastly, we aim describe biocontrol potential of mycoviruses in vitro and in vivo for their suppression FHB.


RESEARCH OUTLINE

We will screen for mycoviruses in F. graminearum from culture collections and in fungi isolated from naturally growing wheat, by employing RNA sequencing.  This will provide us with the overall picture of mycoviruses present, as well as will generate a list of mycoviruses for studying fungal-virus interactions via in vitro experiments where fungal growth and phenotype will be measured. Finally, we will test F. graminearum isolates with and without mycoviruses in wheat grown in greenhouses to measure FHB disease development and control by mycoviruses.

ID: 164478687