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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Chemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339996

Research Project: Disease Defense Responses Signaling in Maize

Location: Chemistry Research

Title: Seteria viridis as a model for pathogen resistance in the Poaceae

Author
item Hunter, Charles
item Christensen, Shawn
item Rering, Caitlin
item Block, Anna
item Alborn, Hans

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Seteria viridis is an effective model system for functional genetics in the C4 Poaceae grasses, which include important crops like maize, sorghum, and sugar cane. The small genome size, short stature, rapid life cycle, and the availability of genetic transformation protocols, make Seteria an attractive organism for molecular genetic studies. Here we assess the strength of Seteria as a model for studying fungal resistance in C4 grasses by comparing the chemical defense responses between Seteria and maize during pathogen infection. Chemical defenses amongst even closely-related plant species often vary widely. This is especially true for antimicrobial secondary metabolites such as the terpenoid phytoalexins and benzoxazinoids, some of which have only been identified in a single plant species. It is therefore imperative that we understand the similarities and differences between our primary species of interest and a proposed model species for conducting functional genetics. Here we tested whether the common maize pathogen, Cochliobolus heterostrophus (Southern Leaf Blight, SLB) would also infect Seteria. Under controlled conditions, SLB showed similar growth and infection rates on Seteria and maize. Using this system, we measured defense-related phytohormones and diverse direct defense metabolites in SLB-infected tissues of Seteria and maize. Here we discuss the similarities and differences in chemical defense responses to pathogen infection. Our findings suggest that Seteria will provide an effective model species for conducting functional genetics on many of the chemical defense pathways we examined. Funding acknowledgement: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)