Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: August 3, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Cereal crops pose a substantial challenge to gene discovery. Excepting rice and sorghum, most have large, complex genomes, the bulk of which consist of repetitive sequences and retrotransposons. Thus, much of the early research relating to the molecular study of plant disease resistance has occurred in species with small genomes, such as Arabidopsis, rice, and tomato. The knowledge acquired from these model species has facilitated similar efforts in cereal crops. The kinds of research described here will provide a molecular foundation necessary for the detailed understanding of resistance to pathogens. Such knowledge is critical for effective utilization of genetic resistance to control plant diseases. The goal of this report is to summarize the current tools available and to outline selected examples where these approaches have been useful in the investigation of disease resistance in barley. This invited review will facilitate research by scientists who work in the area of evolution of resistance genes and molecular breeding.
Technical Abstract: Major efforts have been devoted to the incorporation of genetic resistance in cereal-breeding programs to offset yield loss caused by pathogens. To be able to control diseases that affect cereal crops, it is necessary to know how pathogens cause disease and also how the host can mount a defense against them. New technologies now are available for these investigations to be carried out at the molecular level. Disease-susceptible mutants provide germplasm to address the mechanisms of how pathogen recognition triggers an active host-defense response. Genome-wide expression profiles provide a foundation from which to determine mechanisms that are important in resistance signaling.