Karl Wetterhorn Thesis Review
Monday, December 3, 2018 - 12:30pm

Enzymatic inactivation of trichothecene mycotoxins in Fusarium head blight of wheat

Fusarium head blight is a devastating fungal disease that infects cereal crops like wheat and barley by producing harmful toxins and reducing crop yields. In addition to helping Fusarium fungi infect crops, these toxins are a major health concern for animal and human consumers. Fusarium head blight results in billions of dollars in lost profits for farmers each year in the Midwest and around the world. Karl Wetterhorn in the Rayment Lab has spent his Ph.D. researching ways to combat the disease. He took a native enzyme from rice that can detoxify a small subset of the fungal toxins and used its structural information to design an enzyme capable of protecting crops against a wider range of toxins. He also developed a protocol by which scientists could find enzymes capable of permanently detoxifying the fungal toxins.

Learn more about his work at his Thesis Review at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 in Room 1211 of the HFD Biochemical Sciences Building.

Wetterhorn thesis defense poster