Submitted to: National Fusarium Head Blight Forum Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/7/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Wheat head blight is a plant disease that is caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum. This fungus produces a trichothecene toxin called deoxynivalenol (DON) that acts as a protein synthesis inhibitor and is thought to be correlated with the severity of the disease. It is reasoned that if plants could detoxify DON, then they may exhibit increased resistance to fungal invasion. The wheat cultivar Frontana exhibits limited resistance to infection by Fusarium graminearum, and it is possible that this resistance is due to the expression of toxin resistant genes. Several cDNA libraries were made from both infected and non-infected wheat heads at differing time periods post-infection, as well as tissue cultures grown with or without DON for varying time periods. For screening, these cDNA libraries were put into a yeast vector and transformed into a yeast strain that is sensitive to the trichothecene toxins. Selection for resistant colonies was then done on toxin media. The resulting inserts were sequenced and compared by BLAST for homology with other sequences in GenBank. Only the fungal gene TRI101 was isolated from the cDNA libraries made from Fusarium-infected wheat heads. This gene codes for an acetyltransferase which has been shown to detoxify a number of trichothecene toxins, including DON. Analyses are continuing on the remaining libraries.