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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVEMENT OF HARD RED SPRING AND DURUM WHEAT FOR DISEASE RESISTANCE AND QUALITY USING GENETICS AND GENOMICS

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Identification and Characterization of a Novel Host-Toxin Interaction in the Wheat - Stagonospora Nodorum Pathosystem

Authors
item Abeysekara, Nilwala -
item FRIESEN, TIMOTHY
item Keller, Beat -
item FARIS, JUSTIN

Submitted to: Theoretical and Applied Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 11, 2009
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
Citation: Abeysekara, N., Friesen, T.L., Keller, B., Faris, J.D. 2009. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Host-Toxin Interaction in the Wheat - Stagonospora Nodorum Pathosystem. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 120:117-126

Interpretive Summary: Stagonospora nodorum is a fungal pathogen of wheat that produces numerous toxins, which interact with specific genes in the wheat host to cause disease. Here, we identified and characterized a new toxin produced by the S. nodorum pathogen and the corresponding gene in wheat that confers sensitivity to the toxin. The toxin was designated as SnTox4 and the corresponding wheat gene as Snn4. SnTox4 was determined to be a protein in the size range of 10-30 kDa. The wheat Snn4 gene mapped to the short arm of chromosome 1A. A compatible Snn4-SnTox4 interaction was dependent on light, and it accounted for 41% of the variation in disease development indicating that this host-toxin interaction is a highly important factor in determining susceptibility. These results provide further knowledge of the wheat-S. nodorum pathosystem and important information for the development of strategies to develop S. nodorum resistant wheat varieties.

Technical Abstract: Stagonospora nodorum, casual agent of Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) of wheat, produces a number of host-selective toxins (HSTs) known to be important in disease. To date, four HSTs and corresponding host sensitivity genes have been reported, and all four host-toxin interactions are significant factors in the development of disease. Here, we describe the identification and partial characterization of a fifth S. nodorum-produced HST designated SnTox4. The toxin, estimated to be 10-30 kDa in size, was found to be proteinaceous in nature. Sensitivity to SnTox4 is governed by a single dominant gene, designated Snn4, which mapped to the short arm of wheat chromosome 1A in a recombinant inbred population. The compatible Snn4-SnTox4 interaction is light dependent and results in a mottled necrotic reaction, which is different from the severe necrosis that results from other host-toxin interactions in the wheat-S. nodorum pathosystem. QTL analysis in a population of 200 recombinant inbred lines derived from the Swiss winter wheat varieties Arina and Forno revealed a major QTL for SNB susceptibility that coincided with the Snn4 locus. This QTL, designated QSnb.fcu-1AS, explained 41.0% of the variation in disease on leaves of seedlings indicating that a compatible Snn4-SnTox4 interaction plays a major role in the development of SNB in this population. Additional minor QTL detected on the short arms of chromosomes 2A and 3A accounted for 5.4 and 6.0% of the variation, respectively. The effects of the three QTL were largely additive, and together they explained 50% of the total phenotypic variation. These results provide further evidence that the wheat – S. nodorum pathosystem is a toxin-based inverse gene-for-gene system.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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