Faculty Directory

Burt Bluhm

Burt Bluhm

Associate Professor

Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences

(PLPA)-Plant Pathology

Phone: 479-575-2677

Fax: 479-575-7601

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Molecular Plant Pathology
Expertise and Instrumentation: Fungal diseases of crop species, plant-fungal interactions, molecular genetics, functional genomics. metabolomics, mycology 

Complex, molecular-level interactions between plants and pathogens ultimately determine the extent to which disease develops.  Research in my lab takes systems-based approaches to characterize molecular mechanisms underlying diseases of crop species.   In general, our research addresses the following fundamental questions:

• How is pathogenesis regulated in fungi and what are the links between diverse components
of pathogenesis, e.g., morphological differentiation, conidiation, and secondary metabolism?
• What are the environmental cues that trigger pathogenesis in fungi and how are they
perceived?
• To what extent is the genetic regulation of pathogenesis conserved among fungal
pathogens?
• How do plants respond to pathogens at the molecular level and what genes are involved?

We blend a wide range of techniques and approaches in our research, including conventional and molecular genetics, functional, comparative, and evolutionary genomics, analytical chemistry, and metabolomics to explore the basis of both fungal pathogenesis and host resistance.  Areas of particular interest include kernel-rotting diseases caused by mycotoxigenic fungi, such as Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium verticillioides, and Fusarium graminearum; foliar diseases caused by species of Cercospora, including C. zeae-maydis and C. kikuchii; and diseases caused by necrotrophic fungi, such as Botrytis cinerea.  

  • B.S. Botany, University of Oklahoma
  • B.S. Chemistry, University of Oklahoma
  • M.S. Plant Pathology, Purdue University
  • Ph.D. Plant Pathology, Purdue University
  •  Feng C, Bluhm BH, Correll J.  Construction of a spinach bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library as a resource for gene identification and marker development. (Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, in press).
  • Gomes Soares AP, Gillin EA, Borges LL, Silva ACT Almeida AMR, Grijalba PE, Gottlieb AM, Bluhm BH, Oliveira L.  2015. More Cercospora species Infect Soybeans across the Americas than Meets the Eye. PLoS One 10(8)e0133495. doi:10.371/journal.pone.0133495.
  • Zeng F, Arnao E, Zhang G, Olaya G, Wullschleger J, Sierotzki H, Ming R, Bluhm BH, Bond JP, Fakhoury AM, Bradley CA.  2015.  Characterization of quinone outside inhibitor fungicide resistance in Cercospora sojina and development of diagnostic tools for its identification.  Plant Disease 99:544-550
  • Feng C, Mansouri S, Bluhm BH, du Toit L, Correll J.  2014.  Multiplex real-time PCR assays for detection of four seedborne spinach pathogens.  Journal of Applied Microbiology 117:472-484.  
  • Ridenour JB, Bluhm BH.  2014.  The HAP complex in Fusarium verticillioides is a key regulator of growth, morphogenesis, and secondary metabolism.  Fungal Genetics and Biology 69:52-64.  
  • Smith JE, Mengesha B, Mengiste T, Bluhm BH.  2014.  Resistance in Solanum lycopersicoides against Botrytis cinerea involves widespread transcriptional reprogramming.  BMC Genomics 15:334. 
  • Ridenour JB, Smith JE, Hirsch RL, Horevaj P, Kim H, Sharma S, Bluhm BH.  2014.  UBL1 of Fusarium verticillioides encodes a putative E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in growth, conidiation, virulence, amylolysis and secondary metabolism.  Environmental Microbiology 16: 2004-22. 
  • Srivastava SK, Brar HK, Fakhoury AM, Bluhm BH, Huang X, Bhattacharyya M.  2014.  Analyses of the genome sequence of Fusarium virguliforme, the fungal pathogen that causes sudden death syndrome in soybean.  PLoS ONE 9(1): e81832. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081832
  • Kim H, Newell A, Fakhoury A, Rupe J, and Bluhm BH.  2013.  Mating-type distribution and genetic diversity of the soybean pathogen Cercospora sojina in Arkansas.  Phytopathology 103:1045-1051. 
  • Malapi-Wight M, Smith J, Campbell J, Bluhm BH, Shim WB.  2013.  Sda1, a Cys2-His2 Zinc Finger Transcription Factor, is involved in Polyol Metabolism and Fumonisin B1 Production in Fusarium verticillioides.  PLoS ONE 8(7): e67656. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067656. 
  • Li S, Ridenour J, Kim H, Hirsch L, Rupe J, and Bluhm BH.  2013Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of the soybean pathogen Phomopsis longicolla.  Journal of Microbiological Methods 92:244-245. 
  • Smith JE, Lay JO, and Bluhm BH.  2012.  Metabolic fingerprinting reveals a new genetic linkage between ambient pH and metabolites associated with desiccation tolerance in Fusarium verticillioides.  Metabolomics 8:376-385. 
  • Molecular Ecology Resources Primer Development Consortium, Andris M, Arias MC, Barthel BL, Bluhm BH, Bried J, Canal D, Chen XM, Cheng P, Chiappero MB, Coelho MM, Collins AB, Dash M, Davis MC, Duarte M, Dubois MP, Françoso E, Galmes MA, Gopal K, Jarne P, Kalbe M, Karczmarski L, Kim H, Martella MB, Mcbride RS, Negri V, Negro JJ, Newell AD, Piedade AF, Puchulutegui C, Raggi L, Samonte IE, Sarasola JH, See DR, Seyoum S, Silva M, Solaro C, Tolley KA, Tringali M, Vasemägi A, Xu LS, Zanón-Martínez J.  2012. Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 February 2012 – 31 March 2012.  Molecular Ecology Resources 12:779–781.  
  • Horevaj P, and Bluhm BH.  2012.  BDM1 of Fusarium graminearum regulates virulence during infection of wheat and maize.  Molecular Plant Pathology 13: 431-444. 
  • Kim H, Smith JE, Ridenour JB, Woloshuk CP, and Bluhm BH.  2011.  HXK1 regulates carbon metabolism, fungal development, fumonisin B1 production, and pathogenesis in Fusarium verticillioides. Microbiology-SGM 157:2658-2669. 
  • Goodwin SB, Ben M’Barek S, Dhillon B, Wittenberg AHJ, Crane CF, Van der Lee TAJ, Grimwood J, Aerts A, Antoniw J, Bailey A, Bluhm B, Bowler J, Bristow J, Canto-Canche B, Churchill A, Conde-Ferraez L, Cools H, Coutinho PM, Csukai M, Dehal P, De Wit P, Donzelli B, Foster AJ, Hammond-KOsack K, Hane J, Henrissat B, Kilian A, Koopmann E, Kourmpetis Y, Kuzniar A, Lindquist E, Lombard V, Maliepaard C, Martins N, Mehrabi R, Oliver R, Ponomarenko A, Rudd J, Salamov A, Schmutz J, Schouten JH, Shapiro H, Stergiopoulos I, Torriani SFF, Tu H, de Vries RP, Wiebenga A, Zwiers LH, Grigoriev IV, Kema GHJ.  Finished Genome of Mycosphaerella graminicola Reveals Stealth Pathogenesis and Extreme Plasticity.  2011.  PLOS Genetics 7(6): e1002070.  doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002070. 
  • Horevaj P, Milus EA, and Bluhm BH.  2011.  A real-time qPCR assay to quantify Fusarium graminearum biomass in wheat kernels.  Journal of Applied Microbiology 111:396-406. 
  • Kim H, Ridenour JB, Dunkle LD, and Bluhm BH.  2011.  Regulation of Stomatal Tropism and Infection by Light in Cercospora zeae-maydis: Evidence for Coordinated Host/Pathogen Responses to Photoperiod?  PLOS Pathogens 7 e1002113. 
  • Kim H, Ridenour JB, Dunkle LD, and Bluhm BH.  2011.  Regulation of pathogenesis by light in Cercospora zeae-maydis: an updated perspective.  Plant Pathology Journal 27:103-109. 
  • Bluhm BH, Burnham AM, Dunkle LD.  2010.  A circadian rhythm regulating hyphal melanization in Cercospora kikuchii.  Mycologia 102:1221-1228. 
  • Correll JC, Bluhm BH, Feng C, Lamour K, du Toit LG, Koike ST.  2010.  Spinach: Better management of downy mildew and white rust through genomics.  European Journal of Plant Pathology 129:193-205. 
  • Ma, L-J., Charlotte van der Does, H., Borkovich, K.A., Coleman, J.J., Daboussi, M-J., Pietro, A.D., Dufresne, M., Freitag, M., Grabherr, M., Henrissat, B., Houterman, P.M., Kang, S., Shim, W-B., Woloshuk, C., Xie, X., Xu, J-R., Antoniw, J., Baker, S.E., Bluhm, B.H., Breakspear, A., Brown, D.W., Butchko, R.A.E., Chapman, S., Coulson, R., Coutinho, P.M., Danchin, E.G.J., Diener, A., Gale, L.R., Gardiner, D.M., Goff, S., Hammond-Kosack, K.E., Hilburn, K., Hua-Van, A., Jonkers, W., Karzan, K., Kodira, C.D., Koehrsen, M., Kumar, L., Lee, Y-H., Li, L., Manners, J.M., Miranda-Saavedra, D., Mukherjee, M., Park, G., Park, J., Park, S-Y., Proctor, R.H., Regev, A., Ruiz-Roldan, M.C., Sain, D., Sakthikumar, S., Sykes, S., Schwartz, D.C., Turgeon, B.G., Wapinski, I., Yoder, O., Young, S., Zeng, Q., Zhou, S., Galagan, J., Cuomo, C.A., Kistler, H.C., Rep, M.  2010. Comparative genomics reveals mobile pathogenicity chromosomes in Fusarium.  Nature  464:367-373. 
  • Hirsch RL, TeBeest DO, Bluhm BH, West CP.  2010. First Report of Rust Caused by Puccinia emaculata on Switchgrass in Arkansas.  Plant Disease 94:381. 
  • Bluhm BH, Dhillon B, Lindquist EA, Kema GHJ, Goodwin SB, Dunkle LD.  2008.  Expressed sequence tags derived from the maize foliar pathogen Cercospora zeae-maydis identify novel genes differentially expressed during vegetative, infectious, and reproductive growth.  BMC Genomics 9:523. 
  • Bluhm BH, Dunkle LD.  2008.  PHL1 of Cercospora zeae-maydis encodes a member of the photolyase/cryptochrome family involved in UV protection and fungal development.  Fungal Genetics and Biology 45:1364-1372. 
  • Bluhm BH, Kim H, Butchko RA, Woloshuk CP.  2008.  Involvement of ZFR1 of Fusarium verticillioides in kernel colonization and the regulation of FST1, a putative sugar transporter gene required for fumonisin biosynthesis on maize kernels.  Molecular Plant Pathology 9:203-211. 
  • Bluhm BH, Zhao X, Flaherty JE, Xu JR, Dunkle L.  2007.  RAS2 regulates growth and pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum.  Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 20:627-636. 
  • AbuQamar S, Chen X, Dhawan R, Bluhm B, Salmeron J, Lam S, Dietrich RA, Mengiste T.  2006.  Expression profiling and mutant analysis reveals complex regulatory networks involved in Arabidopsis response to Botrytis infection.  Plant Journal 48:28-44. 
  • Bluhm BH, Woloshuk CP.  2006.  Fck1, a C-type cyclin-dependent kinase, interacts with Fcc1 to regulate development and secondary metabolism in Fusarium verticillioides. (Cover article).  Fungal Genetics and Biology 43:146-154.  
  • Veronese P, Nakagami H, Bluhm B, AbuQamar S, Chen X, Salmeron J, Dietrich RA, Hirt H, Mengiste T.  2006.  The membrane-anchored BOTRYTIS-INDUCED KINASE1 plays distinct roles in Arabidopsis resistance to necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogens.  Plant Cell 18:257-273. 
  • Bluhm BH, Woloshuk CP.  2005.  Amylopectin induces fumonisin B-1 production by Fusarium verticillioides during colonization of maize kernels.  Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 18:1333-1339. 
  • Cooley C, Bluhm BH, Reuhs BL, Woloshuk CP.  2005.  Glass-fiber disks provide suitable medium to study polyol production and gene expression in Eurotium rubrum.  Mycologia 97:743-750. 
  • Veronese P, Chen X, Bluhm B, Salmeron J, Dietrich R, Mengiste T.  2004.  The BOS loci of Arabidopsis are required for resistance to Botrytis cinerea infection.  Plant Journal 40:558-574. 
  • Bluhm BH, Cousin MA, Woloshuk CP.  2004.  Multiplex real-time PCR detection of fumonisin-producing and trichothecene-producing groups of Fusarium species.  Journal of Food Protection 67:536-543.  
  • Flaherty JE, Pirttila AM, Bluhm BH, Woloshuk CP.  2003.  PAC1, a pH-regulatory gene from Fusarium verticillioides.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69:5222-5227. 
  • Bluhm BH, Flaherty JE, Cousin MA, Woloshuk CP.  2002.  Multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay for the differential detection of trichothecene- and fumonisin-producing species of Fusarium in cornmeal.  Journal of Food Protection 65:1955-1961. 

 Books edited

  • Xu, JR, Bluhm BH (Editors).  2011.  Methods in Molecular Microbiology: Fungal Genomics.  Humana Press: Totowa, NJ, USA

 Book Chapters and Reviews

  • Ridenour J, Hirsch RL, Bluhm BH.  2012.  Functional genomics in Fusarium verticillioides.  In: Methods in Molecular Biology: Plant Fungal Pathogens.  M. Bolton and B. Thomma, Eds. Humana Press: Totowa, NJ, USA.
  • Smith JE, Bluhm BH.  2011.  Fungal secondary metabolomics.  In: Methods in Molecular Microbiology: Fungal Genomics. J.R. Xu and B.H. Bluhm, Eds. Humana Press: Totowa, NJ, USA. 
  • Bluhm BH, Zhao X.  2010.  Measuring protein kinase and sugar kinase activity in filamentous fungi.  In: Methods in Molecular Microbiology: Molecular and Cell Biology Methods for Fungi. A. Sharon, Ed. Humana Press: Totowa, NJ, USA.
  • Bluhm BH.  2010.  Molecular aspects of plant disease resistance (Book review).  Journal of Environmental Quality 39:1533.