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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #392970

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Sorghum for Bioenergy, Feed, and Food Uses

Location: Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research

Title: Role of phenylpropanoid pathway genes in conferring resistance to Fusarium head blight of wheat

item SINGLA, SHIV - University Of Nebraska
item DILL-MACKEY, RUTH - University Of Minnesota
item O`Neill, Patrick
item Bernhardson, Lois
item Sattler, Scott
item WEGULO, STEPHEN - University Of Nebraska
item Funnell-Harris, Deanna

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fusarium graminearum is a destructive pathogen that causes Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat and contaminates the grain with the toxin deoxynivalenol (DON). Resistance to FHB is quantitative. In sorghum, modifications in lignin biosynthesis have improved resistance to Fusarium spp. We hypothesize that constitutive expression (CE) of sorghum genes encoding three enzymes (SbC3H, SbCCoAOMT, Sb4CL) and a transcriptional activator (SbMyb60) in lignin biosynthesis would provide resistance against F. graminearum in wheat. The genes were expressed in the moderately susceptible spring wheat, CB037, and the CE lines were screened for Type-I (initial infection) and Type-II resistance (spread of infection), DON accumulation, and Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK). DON levels were not significantly different between one Type-I resistance SbC3H line and moderately resistant control Sumai-3, and one SbMyb60 line had significantly fewer FDK than CB037. In the greenhouse, two SbC3H and two SbCCoAOMT CE lines had significantly fewer FDK and smaller Area Under the Disease Progress Curve (AUDPC) than CB037 for Type-II resistance, but not for Type-I. To elucidate the mechanism for Type-II resistance in SbC3H and SbCCoAOMT CE lines, a global gene expression study is underway. In the greenhouse, heads were collected at 12- and 72-hours post-inoculation, total RNA extracted, and high-throughput sequencing performed. We propose that changes in cell wall phenylpropanoids, including lignin, may inhibit the growth of F. graminearum mycelium within the rachis, leading to improved resistance in CE lines.