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Stephen B Goodwin

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • USDA Professor
Lilly Hall Room 1-339


The goal of my research is to understand the genetic bases of plant host-pathogen interactions, at both the molecular and population levels. This information will be used to increase the level of resistance in cereal crops to foliar diseases caused by fungi.

Septoria disease of wheat, caused by the two fungi Mycosphaerella graminicola (anamorph Septoria tritici) and Phaeosphaeria (Septoria) nodorum, is an economically important disease that occurs throughout the world. Analyses of the population genetics of these pathogens in Indiana are being conducted to reveal the primary sources of inoculum, the extent of gene flow among populations and the modes of reproduction during epidemics. Methods for genetic analyses of P. nodorum have been developed recently and are being applied to elucidate the genetic basis of pathogenicity. The number of genes involved in pathogenicity and their mode of action are still not known. Molecular markers (including RFLP, RAPD, AFLP and microsatellite technologies) are being used to develop genetic maps and identify the chromosomal locations for pathogenicity genes and other traits of biological interest. Another aspect of my research is to use phylogenetic analyses to determine the evolutionary relationships among both septoria pathogens and their nearest relatives. Understanding the mechanisms of speciation in pathogenic fungi could indicate new approaches for developing improved disease management strategies.

Work with the host is focused on identifying genes for resistance in wheat, and on finding molecular markers that are closely linked to resistance genes. Molecular markers that tag known resistance genes will be used to facilitate the incorporation of resistance into wheat through plant breeding programs. Genetic analyses of resistance and of molecular markers will aid the eventual cloning and molecular characterization of plant genes for resistance to foliar fungal pathogens.

Awards & Honors

(2008) Fellow. American Phytopathological Society.

Selected Publications

Dunkle, L., & Crane, C. (2009). Development of simple sequence repeat markers from expressed sequence tags of the maize gray leaf spot pathogen, Cercospora zeae-maydis. Molecular Ecology Resources, 1755, 1755-0998.

Wittenberg, A. J., Van_der_Lee, T. J., M'Barek, S., Ware, S., Kilian, A., Visser, R. F., . . . Schouten, H. (2009). Meiosis drives extraordinary genome plasticity in the haploid fungal plant pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola. PLoS ONE, 4, e5863. Retrieved from;jsessionid=C866483C29C10C0B28288C574D3CC04B

Bluhm, B., Dhillon, B., Lindquist, E., Kema, G. J., & Dunkle, L. (2008). Analyses of expressed sequence tags from the maize foliar pathogen Cercospora zeae-maydis identify novel genes expressed during vegetative, infectious, and reproductive growth. BMC Genomics, 9(523). Retrieved from http://doe:10.1186/1471-2164-9-523

Ware, S., Verstappen, E. P., Breeden, J., Cavaletto, J., Goodwin, S., Waalwijk, C., . . . Kema, G. J. (2008). Discovery of a functional Mycosphaerella teleomorph in the presumed asexual barley pathogen Septoria passerinii. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 44, 389-397.

Adhikari, T., Ali, S., Burlakoti, R., Singh, P., & Mergoum, M. (2008). Genetic structure of Phaeosphaeria nodorum populations in the north-central and midwestern United States. Phytopathology, 98, 101-107.

Torriani, S., Goodwin, S., Kema, G. J., Pangilinan, J., & McDonald, B. (2008). Intraspecific comparison and annotation of two complete mitochondrial genome sequences from the plant pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 45, 628äóñ637.

Adhikari, T., Balaji, B., & Breeden, J. (2008). Resistance of wheat to Mycosphaerella graminicola involves early and late peaks of gene expression. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 71, 55 - 68.

Adhikari, T., Breeden, J., & Goodwin, S. (2005). Biomass estimation of Mycosphaerella graminicola with real-time quantitative PCR predicts symptom development in resistant and susceptible wheat. Phytopathology, 85.

Adhikari, T., Breeden, J., Cavaletto, J., & Goodwin, S. (2005). Expression of defense-related genes in wheat during compatible and incompatible interactions with Mycosphaerella graminicola. P759. Retrieved from

Botany and Plant Pathology, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4614

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