I am Monika Vranic and I am a PhD student in Prof. Fiona Doohan’s group. The aim of the project I am working on is to characterise a novel wheat NAC transcription factor that is responsive to the economically important Fusarium head blight disease and mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON). Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most devastating wheat diseases, caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum. FHB reduces the yield and contaminates grain with harmful mycotoxins, most commonly DON. Contaminated grains cannot be used for human and animal consumption due to DON toxicity. To date, no wheat cultivars totally resistant to FHB have been produced and deeper understanding of complex nature of plant-pathogen interactions has to be accomplished. NAC transcription factors are one of the largest families of transcriptional regulators in plant kingdom shown to regulate various developmental processes and play a role in biotic and abiotic stress responses. In this project, further physiological, biochemical and bioinformatic analysis of a novel NAC will be done which will contribute to enhanced understanding of the signalling network involved in resistance to FHB disease. Ongoing studies are studying wheat mutants with altered gene expression in order to determine if the encoded protein alters plant disease resistance. I am using the glasshouse unit for studies on wheat mutants and the CONVIRON growth chambers for speed breeding of TILLING (Wheat Target Induced Local Lesions In Genome) mutants.