Peter Balint-Kurti

Peter Balint-Kurti, Associate Professor/ USDA-ARS

Dr. Peter Balint-Kurti Department of Plant Pathology 2572 Thomas Hall North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 27695-7616 (919) 515-3516 (Office) (919) 515-7376 (Lab) (919) 856-4816 (Fax) Lab: 2574 Thomas Hall


Research Interests

Quantitative disease resistance, also known as partial disease resistance, confers a level of resistance that is less than complete but is usually effective in protecting yield. Quantitative resistance is poorly understood in plants in general despite the fact that it is the most durable and widely used form of genetic resistance deployed in agriculture.

I and my research group are interested in  quantitative disease resistance in maize.  Specifically we are interested in the genetic and mechanistic underpinnings of natural variation in maize quantitative resistance.  Maize is a model genetic system and many resources are available with which we can address this problem.  We hope that findings made in maize can be extrapolated to other plant systems

We also work in related areas including:

- Genetic analysis of the maize defense response.

- Resistance to maize root pathogens .

- Basal resistance in maize.

-Multiple disease resistance in maize.

-Developing a robust method for gene silencing in maize.

More details of our research can be found at our home page.


  • Ph.D. Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Institute, Norwich, UK, 1994. "Genetic mapping and analysis of two tomato genes for resistance to Cladosporium fulvum."
  • BA (Plant molecular biology) - Cambridge University, UK, 1990.

I co-teach the class "Plant Disease Resistance: Mechanisms & Application", offered every 2nd Spring semester (even years).  The most recent set of lectures are available at

Extension & Outreach: 

We have an active outreach program involving work with local elementary and middle schools and with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. For more details see my website, ARS Maize Disease Resistance Genetics .If you would like us to come to talk to your class or group please contact me at the address above.

Selected Publications: 

Refereed Journals


Manching, H. Balint-Kurti, P. and Stapleton, A. (2013) Nitrogen stress reduces fungal pathogen symptoms and dampens the correlation between disease and early-season bacterial epiphyte diversity in maize. Submitted to PLOS One

Santa-Cruz, J. H.,  Kump, K., Arellano, C. , Goodman, M., Krakowsky, M. , Holland, J.  , Balint-Kurti, P. .Evaluation of two southern leaf blight resistance QTL for their effect on yield and disease resistance in isogenic maize hybrids. (2013) Submitted to Crop Science

Benavente, L., Ding, X., Redinbaugh, M., Nelson, R., and Balint-Kurti, P. (2013) Virus-Induced Gene Silencing in Diverse Maize Lines Using the Brome Mosaic Virus-based silencing vector. Maydica, 57(3/4):206-214

Negeri, A.,  Wang, G-F, Benavente, L., Kibiti, C.,  Chaikam, V.,  Johal, G., Balint-Kurti, P. (2013) Characterization of temperature and light effects on the defense response phenotypes associated with the maize RP1-D21 gene.  BMC Plant Biology 13:106

Olukolu, B., Negeri, A.,  Dhawan, R. , Venkata, B. P. , Sharma, P., Garg,  A. , Gachomo, E. , Marla, S.,   Chu, K.,  Hasan,  A. , Ji, J. , Chintamanani,  S., Green, J. ,  Holland, J.,   Wisser, R. ,  Shyu, C.-R.,  Johal,  G., Balint-Kurti,  P. (2013) A connected set of genes associated with programmed cell death implicated in controlling the hypersensitive response in maize.  Genetics. 193:609-620


Green, J.M,  Appel, H.,  Rehrig, E. M., Harnsomburana, J., Chang, J-F., Balint-Kurti, P., Shyu, C-R., (2012)  PhenoPhyte: A flexible affordable method to quantify visual 2D phenotypes.  Plant Methods.  8:45 doi:10.1186/1746-4811-8-45.

Veturi, Y.,  Kump, K.,  Walsh, E.,  Oliver, O.,  Poland , J., Kolkman, J.,  Balint-Kurti, P.,   Holland,  J.,  Wisser , R.,  (2012) The longitudinal mixed linear model: an information-rich statistical technique for analyzing disease resistance data.  Phytopathology  102, 1016-1025

Belcher, A., Zwonitzer, J., Santa Cruz, J.,; Krakowsky, M., Chung, C-L; Nelson, R., Arellano, C., Balint-Kurti, P. (2012) Analysis of Quantitative Disease Resistance to Southern Leaf Blight and of Multiple Disease Resistance in Maize Using Near-Isogenic Lines. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 124:433-445..


Balint-Kurti, P., Pridgen, P. and Stapleton, A.. (2011). Application of an antibiotic resets the maize leaf phyllosphere community and increases resistance to southern leaf blight. Acta Hort. (Ishs) 905:57-62.

Chaikam, V. Negeri, A, Dhawan, D., Puchaka, B. , Ji, J., Chintamanani,, S., Gachomo, E.,  Zillmer, A., Doran, T., Weil, C., Balint-Kurti, P., Johal, G. (2011) Use of Mutant-Assisted Gene Identification and Characterization (MAGIC) to identify novel genetic loci that modify the maize hypersensitive response .  Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123(6):985-97.

Negeri, A ., Coles, N., Holland, J., Balint-Kurti, P.. (2011) Mapping QTL controlling southern leaf blight resistance by joint analysis of three related recombinant inbred line populations Crop Science 51:1571-1579

Wisser, R., Kolkman, J., Patzoldt, M., Holland, J., Yu, J., Krakowsky, M., Nelson, R., and Balint-Kurti, P. (2011) : Multivariate analysis of resistances to three diseases in maize suggests a pleiotropic genetic basis and implicates a glutathione S-transferase as a multiple disease resistance gene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:7339-7344

Kump, K., Bradbury, P.,  Buckler, E., Belcher, A., Oropeza-Rosas, M.,  Wisser, R., Zwonitzer, J., Kresovich, S., McMullen, M., Ware, D., Balint-Kurti, P., and Holland, J. (2011) Genome-wide association study of quantitative resistance to southern leaf blight in the maize nested association mapping population. Nature Genetics 43:163-168

Wisser, R., Balint-Kurti, P, Holland, J. (2011) A novel genetic framework for studying response to artificial selection. Plant Genetic Resources.  Published Online DOI:10.1017/S1479262111000359

Chung,C-L., Poland, J., Kump, K., Benson, J., Longfellow, J., Walsh, E., Balint-Kurti, P. and Nelson, R. (2011)Targeted discovery of quantitative trait loci for resistance to northern leaf blight and other diseases of maize.  Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123:307-326


Kump, K., Holland, J., Jung, M., Wolters, P., Balint-Kurti, P. (2010)  Joint analysis of near isogenic and recombinant inbred line populations yields precise positional estimates for QTL. Plant Genome 3:142–153

Zhang, J., Martin, J., Balint-Kurti, P., Huang, L., Giroux, M. (2010). The wheat puroindoline genes confer fungal resistance in transgenic corn. Journal of Phytopathology 159:188-190

Chung C-L, Longfellow, J.,  Walsh, E., Kerdieh, Z., Van Esbroeck, G.,  Balint-Kurti, P., Nelson, R. (2010). Resistance loci affecting distinct stages of fungal pathogenesis: use of introgression lines for QTL mapping and characterization in the maize - Setosphaeria turcica pathosystem . BMC Plant Biology 10:103.

Chintamanani, S, Hulbert,S.H.,, Johal, G.S., Balint-Kurti, P. (2010) Identification of a Maize Locus that Modulates the Hypersensitive Defense Response, Using Mutant-Assisted Gene Identification and Characterization (MAGIC). , Genetics 184: 813–825

Balint-Kurti, P., Yang, J., Esbroek, G.V. Jung, J. and Smith, E. (2010) Use of a maize Advanced Intercross Line population for Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci for northern leaf blight resistance and for the investigation of multiple disease resistance. Crop Science 50: 458-466.

Zwonitzer, J., Coles, N., Krakowsky, M., Holland, J., McMullen, M., Pratt, R. and Balint-Kurti, P. (2010) Mapping disease resistance QTL for three foliar diseases of maize in a recombinant inbred line population. -Evidence for Multiple Disease Resistance?  Phytopathology 100:72-79.

Coles, N., McMullen, M. , Balint-Kurti, P., Pratt, R.,, and Holland, J. (2010) Genetic Control of Photoperiod Sensitivity in Maize Revealed by Joint Multiple Population Analysis Genetics 184: 799–812

Balint-Kurti, P., Simmons, S., Blum J., Ballaré C. and A. Stapleton. (2010). Maize Leaf Epiphytic Bacteria Diversity Patterns Are Genetically Correlated with Resistance to Fungal Pathogen Infection. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 23: 473-484


Williams, W.,  Krakowsky, M., Windham, G.,  Balint-Kurti, P.,  Hawkins, L.,  Henry, W.. (2008). Identifying Maize Germplasm with Resistance To Aflatoxin Accumulation. Journal of Toxicology-Toxin Reviews 27:319-345.

Poland,  J. , Balint-Kurti, P. , Wisser, R., Pratt, R., Nelson, R. (2008).  Shades of gray: The world of quantitative disease resistance. Trends in Plant Science, 14:21-29

Zwonitzer, J., Bubeck, D., Bhattramakki, D., Goodman, M., Arellano, C., Balint-Kurti, P.( 2008). Use of backcross recurrent selection and QTL mapping to identify loci contributing to SLB resistance in a highly resistant maize line.  Theor. Appl. Genet. 118:911-25

Johal, G., Balint-Kurti, P., and Weil C. (2008). Mining and harnessing natural variation - current approaches and a little MAGIC.  Crop Science 48: 2066-2073.

Balint-Kurti, P., R.J. Wisser, and J. Zwonitzer.(2008). Use of the IBM Population for Precise Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci for Gray Leaf Spot Resistance in Maize. Crop Science 48:1696-1704.

Balint-Kurti, P.J., J.C. Zwonitzer, M.E. Pe, G. Pea, M. Lee, and A.J. Cardinal. (2008). Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci for Resistance to Southern Leaf Blight and Days to Anthesis in Two Maize Recombinant Inbred Line Populations. Phytopathology 98:315-320.


Gao, X., Shim, W-B., Göbel, C., Kunze, S., Feussner, I., Meeley, R., Balint-Kurti  P., and Michael Kolomiets (2007) Disruption of a maize 9-lipoxygenase results in increased resistance to fungal pathogens and reduced levels of contamination with mycotoxin fumonisin.  Mol. Plant-Microbe Int. 20:922-933.

Balint-Kurti, P.J., Zwonitzer, J.C. Wisser, R.J., Carson, M.L., Oropeza-Rosas, M., Holland, J.B., and Szalma, S.J. (2007) Precise mapping of quantitative trait loci for resistance to southern leaf blight,  caused by Cochliobolus heterostrophus race O, and flowering time using advanced intercross maize lines. Genetics 176:645-657.


Jines, M.,  Balint-Kurti, P.,  Robertson-Hoyt, L., Molnar, T.,  Holland, J.,  and Goodman, M. (2006) Mapping Resistance to Southern Rust In a Tropical By Temperate Maize Recombinant Inbred Topcross Population. TAG 114:659-667.

Balint-Kurti, P.J., Krakowsky, M. D., Jines, M. P., Robertson, L. A., Molnár, T. L., Goodman M. M. and Holland J. B. (2006) Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci for Resistance  to Southern Leaf Blight and Days to Anthesis in a Maize Recombinant Inbred Line Population. Phytopathology 96:1067-1071

Robertson, L., Jines, M., Balint-Kurti, P., Kleinschmidt, C., White, D., Payne, G., Maragos, C. and Holland, J.(2006) Mapping of QTL for Ear Rot and Fumonisin Accumulation in Maize. Crop Science 46:1734-1743.

Wisser, R. J., Balint-Kurti, P. J. and Nelson R. J. (2006) The genetic architecture of disease resistance in maize: a synthesis of published studies. Phytopathology 96:120-129.

Carson, M. L.,  Balint-Kurti, P. J., Blanco, M., Millard, M., Duvick, S., Holley, R., Hudyncia, J., and Goodman, M. M. (2006) Registration of 9 high-yielding tropical by temperate maize germplasm lines adapted for the southern US. .  Crop Science 46:1825-1826.


Balint-Kurti, P. J., Blanco, M., Millard M., Duvick, S., Holland, J., Clements, M., Holley, R., Carson, M and Goodman, M. M. Registration of 20 GEM breeding families adapted for the southern US (2005). Crop Science 46:996-998

Balint-Kurti, P. J. and Carson, M. L. (2005) Analysis of quantitative trait loci for resistance to southern leaf blight in juvenile maize.  Phytopathology 96:221-225.


Brummell, D. A., Balint-Kurti, P. J., Harpster, M. H., Palys, J. M., Oeller, P.W. and Gutterson, N. (2003) Inverted repeat of a heterologous 3'-terminator for high efficiency, high-throughput gene silencing. Plant Journal 33: 793-800.

Balint-Kurti, P. J., Churchill, A.C.L. and May G.D. (2001). Development of a transformation system for Mycosphaerella pathogens of Banana: A tool for the study of host/pathogen interactions. FEMS Microbiol. Letters 195: 9-15.

Ganapathi T. R., Higgs N. S., Balint-Kurti P. J., Arntzen C. J., May G. D and Van Eck J. M. (2001) Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of embryogenic cell suspensions of the banana cultivar Rasthali (AAB). Plant Cell Reports 20:157-162.

Peumans, W., Zhang, W., Barre, A., Astoul, C., Balint-Kurti, P., Rovira, P., Rougè, P., May, G., Van Leuven, F., Truffa-Bachi, P. and Van Damme, E. (2000). Fruit-specific lectins from banana and plantain. Planta 211:546-554.

Balint-Kurti P. J., Clendennen S. K., Dolezelová M., Valárik M., Dolezel J., Beetham P. R. and. May G. D (2000) Identification and chromosomal localization of the monkey retrotransposon in Musa sp. Molec. and Gen. Genet. 263:908-915.

Balint-Kurti, P.J., Ginsburg, G., Liu, J. and Kimmel, A.R. (1998). Non-autonomous regulation of a graded, PKA-mediated transcriptional activation signal for cell patterning. Development 125:3947-3954.

Balint-Kurti, P.J., Ginsburg, G., Rivero-Lezcano, O. and Kimmel, A.R. (1997). rZIP, a RING-leucine zipper protein that regulates cell fate determination during Dictyostelium development. Development 124:1203-1213.

 Thomas, C., Jones, D., Parniske, M., Harrison, K., Balint-Kurti, P., Hatzixanthis, K. and Jones, J. (1997). Characterization of the tomato Cf-4 gene for resistance to C. fulvum identifies sequences that determine recognitional specificity in Cf-4 and Cf-9. Plant Cell 9:2209-2224.

 Balint-Kurti, P.J., Jones, D.A. and Jones, J.D.G., (1995). Integration of the classical and molecular maps of the short arm of tomato chromosome 1. TAG 90:17-26.

 Jones, D.A., Thomas, C.M., Hammond-Kosack, K.E., Balint-Kurti, P.J. and Jones J.D.G. (1994). Isolation of the tomato Cf-9 gene for resistance to Cladosporium fulvum by transposon tagging. Science 266:789-793.

 Balint-Kurti , P.J., Dixon, M.S., Jones, D.A.., Norcott, K.A.. and Jones, J.D.G. (1994). RFLP linkage analysis of the tomato Cf-4 and Cf-9 genes for resistance to Cladosporium fulvum. TAG 88:691-700.

 Jones, D.A,. Dickinson, M.J., Balint-Kurti, P.J., Dixon, M.S. and Jones J.D.G. (1993). Two complex resistance loci revealed in tomato by classical and RFLP mapping of the Cf-2, Cf-4, Cf-5 and Cf-9 genes for resistance to C. fulvum. Molec. Plant-Microbe Int. 6: 348-357.


Book Chapters, Reports to Co-operatives etc.


Balint-Kurti, P., Shew, D. and Cowger, C. (2012)  Host Resistance.  In Press. Chapter in “Plant Pathology: Concepts and Laboratory Exercises”  Ed.s Ownley, B,. and Trigiano, R.

Jamann, T.,  Nelson, R.  and Balint-Kurti, P. (2012). Maize Disease Resistance.  In Press. Chapter in  “Genomics Applications in Plant Breeding” Eds. Roberto Tuberosa and Rajeev Varshney

Balint-Kurti, P.J., and G.S. Johal. (2011). Use of Mutant-assisted Gene Identification and Characterization (MAGIC) to Identify Useful Alleles for Crop Improvement ISB News Reports January 2011:pp.1-3.

Balint-Kurti, P.J. and Johal (2008).  Maize Disease Resistance.  Chapter in “The Maize Handbook”,: Its Biology” (Springer).pp229-250. eds. Sarah Hake, Jeff Bennetzen.

 Balint-Kurti, P.  and Churchill, A. (2004) Towards a molecular understanding of Mycosphaerella/banana interactions. In Banana Improvement: Cell. and Molec. Biology, and Induced Mutations. pp.147-160.  S.M. Jain (Editor) Kluwer.

Rogers, K.C., Ginsburg, G.T., Mu, X., Gollop, R., Balint-Kurti, P.J., Louis, J.M. and Kimmel, A.R. (1997), The cAMP gene family of D. discoideum: expression, regulation, function. Dictyostelium-A Model System for Cell and Devel. Biol. (Universal Acad. Press, Inc.) 163-172.

Balint-Kurti, Firoozabady, Moy, Y., Mercier, R., Fong,., Wong, and Gutterson. (2001) Better bananas – the biotech way. Infomusa 10:vi..

 Balint-Kurti, P.J. (1994). The cloned tomato peroxidase genes pTAP1 and pTAP2 correspond to the linked isozymes Prx2 and Prx3. Tomato Genetics Co-op. Report 44:5.

Balint-Kurti, P., Jones, D. and Jones, J. (1994). Dominance of Lapageria (Lpg) is reversed in crosses with Lycopersicon pennellii. Tomato genetics Co-op. Report 44:5.

 Jones, D.A., Balint-Kurti, P.J., Dickinson, M.J., Dixon, M.S. and Jones, J.D.G. (1992). Locations of genes for resistance to C. fulvum on the classical and RFLP maps of tomato. Tomato Genetics Co-op Report 42

Mercier, J., Howie W.J., and Balint-Kurti P. (2001). A detached leaf assay to evaluate the resistance of banana to Mycosphaerella fijiensis. Phytopathology 91:S61. (Abstract)