Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/6/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: RNA interference (RNAi) technology provides a novel tool to study gene function and plant protection strategies. Fusarium graminearum is the causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB), which reduces crop yield and quality by producing trichothecene mycotoxins including 3-acetyl deoxynivalenol (3-ADON) and 15-acetyl deoxynivalenol (15-ADON). In this study, we designed and synthesized dsRNA targeting the transcription factor tri6, which is a key regulator of DON biosynthesis. Wheat heads were excised, point-inoculated with F. graminearum, and treated with a solution of tri6-dsRNA or a water control. FHB spread was scored after 8 days, and wheat heads were then collected to evaluate gene expression and DON production. Our results showed that tri6-dsRNA reduced disease spread and DON production in infected wheat heads in comparison to water treated controls. Furthermore, the expression of tri6 was significantly reduced in tri6-dsRNA treated wheat heads. Our study suggests that dsRNA application is a promising strategy for plant disease control. Further investigation will be focused on identifying the most effective dsRNA target and optimizing efficient delivery methods.