W. Paul Williams

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Many agricultural species and their pathogens have sequenced genomes and more are in progress. Agricultural species provide food, fiber, xenotransplant tissues, biopharmaceuticals and biomedical models. Moreover, many agricultural microorganisms are human zoonoses. However, systems biology from functional genomics data is hindered in agricultural species(More)
In plants, ethylene and jasmonate control the defense responses to multiple stressors, including insect predation. Among the defense proteins known to be regulated by ethylene is maize insect resistance 1-cysteine protease (Mir1-CP). This protein is constitutively expressed in the insect-resistant maize (Zea mays) genotype Mp708; however, its abundance(More)
Analysis of functional genomics (transcriptomics and proteomics) datasets is hindered in agricultural species because agricultural genome sequences have relatively poor structural and functional annotation. To facilitate systems biology in these species we have established the curated, web-accessible, public resource 'AgBase' (www.agbase.msstate.edu). We(More)
Plants respond to insect feeding with a number of defense mechanisms. Using maize genotypes derived from Antiquan germ plasm that are resistant to Lepidoptera, we have demonstrated that a unique 33-kD cysteine proteinase accumulates in the whorl in response to larval feeding. The abundance of the proteinase increased dramatically at the site of larval(More)
Resistance to mycotoxin contamination was compared in field samples harvested from 45 commercial corn (maize) hybrids and 5 single-cross aflatoxin-resistant germplasm lines in years with high and moderate heat stress. In high heat stress, mycotoxin levels were (4.34 +/- 0.32) x 10(3) microg/kg [(0.95-10.5 x 10(3) microg/kg] aflatoxins and 11.2 +/- 1.2 mg/kg(More)
The toxic metabolic product aflatoxin produced by the opportunistic fungus Aspergillus flavus (Link:Fr) in maize (Zea mays L.) can cause disease and economic harm when levels exceed very minute quantities. The selection of resistant germplasm has great potential to reduce the problem, but the highly quantitative nature of the trait makes this a difficult(More)
BACKGROUND Aspergillus flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination of maize pose negative impacts in agriculture and health. Commercial maize hybrids are generally susceptible to this fungus. Significant levels of host plant resistance have been observed in certain maize inbred lines. This study was conducted to identify maize genes associated with host(More)
The fungus Aspergillus flavus (Link:Fr) causes ear rot of maize (Zea mays L.) and produces the toxic metabolic product aflatoxin. One particularly effective method of controlling the fungus is via host plant resistance, but while several resistant breeding lines have been identified, transferring the resistance genes from these lines into elite cultivars(More)
ern corn borer resistance. Few plant breeders have access to insect rearing facilities, which are necessary to Southwestern corn borer (Diatraea grandiosella Dyar) and fall maximize selection efficiency. Negative traits tend to armyworm [Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith)] damage ratings were measured on an F2-derived maize (Zea mays L.) population(More)
Protein patterns of callus from corn (Zea mays L.) inbreds that are either resistant or susceptible to fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda [J.E. Smith]) were analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis. Fall armyworm larvae reared on callus initiated from resistant inbreds were significantly smaller than those reared on callus of susceptible inbreds. A(More)