Dr. Bing Yang, GDCB Assistant Professor, will collaborate with Dr. Blake Meyers of the University of Delaware on the USDA NIFA sponsored project, entitled “The Role of the Rice OsHEN1 in Small RNA Modifications and in Responses to Bacterial Blight.” Dr. Yang, Co-PI on the award will receive $198,379 in funding over a three-year period for this research project.
Dr. Yang’s research group will work on generating transgenic rice with the altered expression of some microRNAs and testing those plants for disease susceptibility and resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). The transgenic rice materials will also be used for data analysis and validation experiments involving microRNA by Dr. Meyers’ research lab. The objective of this research is to better understand how the bacterial pathogen Xoo uses the TAL effector to manipulate the rice HEN1 gene which subsequently affects the host small RNA dynamics for bacterial virulence.