University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Plant Pathology

Les J. Szabo


Les J. Szabo
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Plant Pathology
University of Minnesota

495 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN, 55108

phone: 612-625-3780

Molecular Genetics of Rust Fungi
Cereal Disease Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service

The research program in my lab focuses on developing a better understanding of the host-parasite interactions and evolution of rust fungi. Currently, we are working on the following project: characterization of rust genomes, including the development of a genetic map, and a draft genome sequence for Puccinia graminis; identify and characterize fungal genes (avirulence) involved in mediating race-specific resistance; molecular phylogenetics; and the development of rapid detection methods for cereal rust fungi.

Selected Publications:

Anikster, Y., Szabo, L.J., Eliam, T., Manisterski, S.T. and Bushnell, W.R. 2004. Morphology, life cycle biology and DNA sequence analysis of rust fungi on garlic and chives from California. Phytopathology 94: (in press).

Szabo, L.J. and Bushnell, W.R. 2001. Hidden robbers: The role of fungal haustoria in parasitism of plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98:4654-7655.

Zambino, P.J., Kubelik, A.R. and Szabo, L.J. 2000. Gene action and linkage of avirulence genes to DNA markers inthe rust fungus, Puccinia graminis. Phytopathology 90:819-826.

Anikster, Y., Eilam, T., Mittelman, L., Szabo, L.J. and Bushnell, W.R. 1999. Pycnial nectar of rust fungi induces cap formation on pycniospores of opposite mating type. Mycologia 91:858-870.

Lin, K.C., Bushnell, W.R., Smith, A.G. and Szabo, L.J. 1998. Temporal accumulation patterns of defense response gene transcripts in relation to resistant reactions in oat inoculated with Puccinia graminis. Physiol. and Molec. Plant Pathol. 52:95-114.