The use of molecular probes is allowing us to gain new insights into fungal plant pathogens and to host responses to potential pathogens. We are currently developing real-time PCR primers for two downy mildews that are considered to be a threat to maize production if introduced into the US. We are also developing PCR-based tags genes for resistance to headsmut, anthracnose, downy mildew and grain mold in sorghum. These molecular tags will be useful for breeding cultivars with more durable resistance and for cloning specific resistance genes. We have also used PCR to clone segments of the cotton and sorghum equivalents of genes that function in known host defense pathways. These clones are being used to compare the rate and timing of induction of each gene in resistant and susceptible lines following inoculation with a pathogen. Genome wide association studies are being used to identify genes associated with disease response (susceptible or resistant) to several pathogens in sorghum.

selected publications
Academic Articles82
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  • Ahn, E., Hu, Z., Perumal, R., Prom, L. K., Odvody, G., Upadhyaya, H. D., & Magill, C. (2019). Genome wide association analysis of sorghum mini core lines regarding anthracnose, downy mildew, and head smut.. PLoS One. 14(5), e0216671-e0216671.
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  • Ahn, E., Prom, L. K., Odvody, G., & Magill, C. (2019). Defense responses against the sorghum anthracnose pathogen in leaf blade and midrib tissue of johnsongrass and sorghum. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology. 106, 81-86.
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  • Radwan, G. L., Prom, L. K., Odvody, G., & Magill, C. W. (2019). Mating type a locus alleles and genomic polymorphism in Sporisorium reilianum: comparison of sorghum isolates to those from maize. Australasian Plant Pathology. 48(2), 119-129.
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  • Magill, C. W. (2013). Bridging Classical and Molecular Genetics of Sorghum Disease Resistance. Genomics of the Saccharinae. 347-366. Springer New York.
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Conference Papers8
  • Perumal, R., Little, C. R., Erraitaimuthu, S. R., Prom, L. K., & Magill, C. W. (2011). Genetic diversity and pathotype determination of Colletotrichum sublineolum isolated causing anthracnose disease in sorghum. PHYTOPATHOLOGY. 101(6), S140-S141.
  • Perumal, R., Little, C. R., Erraittaimuthu, S. R., Prom, L. K., & Magill, C. W. (2011). Virulence and molecular genotyping studies of Sporisorium relianum isolates in sorghum. PHYTOPATHOLOGY. 101(6), S140-S140.
  • Radwan, G. L., Perumal, R., Isakeit, T., Prom, L. K., Little, C. R., & Magill, C. W. (2010). Screening of exotic and commercial sorghum accessions against a new virulent race (P6) of Peronosclerospora sorghi causing downy mildew disease. PHYTOPATHOLOGY. 100(6), S106-S106.
chaired theses and dissertations
First Name
Last Name
mailing address
Texas A&M University; Plant Pathology & Microbiology; 2132 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2132