Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

James Jurgenson, Honors Thesis Advisor


Fusarium--Genetic engineering; CRISPR-associated protein 9;


Researchers make use of this system by creating RNA that will bind to both the DNA of the target cell and an enzyme (usually Cas9). This causes DNA to be cut at the location that was targeted. When a DNA cut such as this occurs, the cell naturally repairs the area by adding genetic material. The guide RNA, which was attached to the now-cut DNA, has the changes to genetic material desired by researchers coded into it. As the cell repairs itself, it creates new DNA that incorporates these changes. Using this system, researchers are able to induce genetic changes in organisms much more efficiently than with other techniques.

The genus Fusarium is notable even among filamentous fungi for its large role in many fungal infections that affect primarily food-producing crops. Fusarium verticillioidesis a producer of fumosin, a toxin which is known for causing frequent infections to cereals, as well as posing health hazards to many animals, including humans (Kamle, 2019). F. verticillioideshas been found to be the greatest source of infection to maize (Marasas, 2001). It is estimated that up to 25% of crops annually are contaminated by mycotoxins such as fumosin. As Fusarium is ubiquitous in nature, it is one of the largest sources of this toxin, resulting in both economic loss and the loss of human life each year. While the production of fumonisin is caused by the aptly named FUM1 gene, directed mutagenesis of FSR1 is the focus of this study. This is because FSR1 has been found to control both the virulence and fertility of Fusarium verticillioides (Shim, 2006). By silencing FSR1, researchers may be able to limit the pathogenicity of F. verticillioides, not just through the use of fumonisin, but also by decreasing any other virulent effects of the fungus.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (24 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download