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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Cereal Disease Lab » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #266973

Title: The transcriptome of Fusarium graminearum during the infection of wheat

item LYSOE, ERIK - Bioforsk
item SEONG, K - University Of Minnesota
item Kistler, Harold

Submitted to: Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2011
Publication Date: 9/1/2011
Citation: Lysoe, E., Seong, K., Kistler, H.C. 2011. The transcriptome of Fusarium graminearum during the infection of wheat. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 24:995-1000.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium Head Blight is a serious disease of wheat and barley caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum. The fungus not only causes disease loss due to low test weight kernels but also may contaminate grain with mycotoxins that reduce value of the crop. Increased knowledge on how toxins are produced within these crops will be important for generating new strategies for control. In this publication we identify fungal genes that are specifically expressed during wheat infection, where toxins are produced, but not expressed by the fungus when it grows in a petri plate, where toxins are not produced. The genes that are specifically expressed in plants appear to contain numerous genes that could account for toxin accumulation in grain but not in culture. This publication will be useful to plant improvement specialists for devising novel methods for reducing toxin levels in harveted grain.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium graminearum causes head blight disease in wheat and barley. To help understand the infection process on wheat we studied global gene expression of F. graminearum in a time series from 24 to 196 hours after inoculation, compared to a water control. The infection is rapid and already after 48h over 4000 fungal genes are expressed. The number of genes expressed increased over time up to 96h (>8000 genes), and then declined 144h and 192h post inoculation. After subtraction of genes found expressed on complete medium, during carbon or nitrogen starvation, and on barley, only 355 were found exclusively expressed in wheat, mostly ones with unknown function (72.6%). These were mainly found in SNP enriched islands on the chromosomes, suggesting a higher evolutionary selection pressure of wheat specific genes. The annotated genes found were enriched in functional groups predicted to be involved in allantoin and allantoate transport, detoxification, nitrogen, sulfur and selenium metabolism, secondary metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and degradation of polysaccharides and ester compounds. Several putative secreted virulence factors were also found expressed in wheat.