Dr. Howlett uses a ‘genome to paddock (field)’ approach to her research into virulence mechanisms of the blackleg fungus. She is mining the genome of the fungus to identify genes involved in disease and also is developing disease management strategies for farmers. Her research group has developed molecular markers from the fungal sequence to monitor frequency of virulence in fungal populations and predict whether disease outbreaks will occur on canola crops. She also analyzes regulation of biosynthesis of secondary metabolite toxins in a range of filamentous fungi, including animal and plant pathogens.
Her research is described at www.botany.unimelb.edu.au/blackleg/index.html