Project Number: 5020-21220-013-01
Start Date: Aug 28, 2012
End Date: Aug 01, 2016
The primary objective for the USWBSI is to develop effective strategies to control Fusarium head blight (FHB). To accomplish this the researchers of the USWBSI Gene Discovery and Engineering Resistance (GDER) Research Area are working to understand the mechanistic events that determine whether interactions lead to disease or resistance. The contemporary model for plant defense holds that plants utilize two major pathways to provide resistance to biotic threats: basal or PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). Basal defense is believed to have evolved first and utilizes leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs), called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that recognize highly conserved molecular features shared among broad groups of pathogens. Although PTI and ETI activate many of the same responses, their activation has lower amplitude in PTI, so that cell death does not occur. Recognition of these conserved pathogen patterns by PRRs results in the activation of a wide range of host defense responses, including changes in ion flux, production of reactive oxygen (ROS), callose deposition, MAPK activation and large-scale reprogramming of transcription. Our recent work has established three very significant findings: 1) the plant hormone ethylene (ET) has a central role in the activating the basal defense pathway, 2) ET-induced basal defense makes a significant contribution to FHB resistance in wheat, and 3) stimulation of the ET-signaling in wheat can increase FHB resistance measured by type I and II disease assays.