Wise Lab Receives New NIFA Grant

NIFA Plant-Biotic Interactions program


Temporal Control of Immunity to Powdery Mildew in Barley”

New 3-year $815,500 grant awarded to Roger Wise, Nancy Boury, and Nick Peters from the joint NIFA/NSF Plant-Biotic Interactions (PBI) program

Obligate fungal pathogens, notably mildews and rusts, are among the greatest deterrents to crop production worldwide. The project will focus on the barley-powdery mildew, host-microbe interaction; building on resources established with previous federal funds to examine interdependent signaling between disease agents and their hosts. The team will utilize both computational and functional approaches to investigate transcription factor networks and the regulation of immunity to powdery mildew in barley. The grant also has a substantial outreach component.  Leveraging previous successes with the iTAG (inheritance of Traits and Genes; https://faculty.sites.iastate.edu/rpwise/outreach ) education program for high school teachers and their students, the team will establish iPath, a set of inquiry-based classroom exercises, whiteboard videos, and Research Experiences for Teachers to educate secondary school students on the relationships between genes, phenotypes and plant disease.
The goal of the PBI [ https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20576/nsf20576.htm ] is to extend fundamental mechanisms to translational efforts, with the latter seeking to put into agricultural practice insights gained from basic research on the mechanisms that govern plant biotic interactions. This will ensure the long-term development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce.