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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower Improvement Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #396502

Research Project: Improvement of Sclerotinia Disease Resistance and Management

Location: Sunflower Improvement Research

Title: Role of WRKY transcription factors in quantitative resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.

item ZAMAN, ISRAT - North Dakota State University
item DEL RIO, LUIS - North Dakota State University
item Underwood, William

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary, a necrotrophic fungal pathogen that infects over 400 plant species worldwide. The annual losses caused by this pathogen in the US are over $200 million and the disease is difficult to control due to a lack of high-level resistance in important crops. Host plants exhibit quantitative disease resistance against S. sclerotiorum. To identify genes contributing to quantitative disease resistance, a GWAS was conducted using a panel of 325 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions inoculated with two Sclerotinia isolates & several WRKY transcription factors were identified as candidate resistance genes. Preliminary evaluations of T-DNA insertional mutants indicated that WRKY3 and WRKY4 mutants are hypersusceptible to Sclerotinia while WRKY27 mutants exhibited increased resistance. The goal of this project is to further characterize the role of WRKY3, 4, & 27 in resistance to Sclerotinia. Specific objectives are to: 1) develop transgenic Arabidopsis lines overexpressing WRKY4 in Zdr-6, Col-0, and Lm-2 genetic backgrounds and evaluate resistance to Sclerotinia; 2) conduct expression analysis of AtWRKY3, 4, & 27 at 0, 12, 24, & 48 (hpi) with Sclerotinia in resistant compared to susceptible ecotypes; 3) identify sunflower and canola orthologs of AtWRKY3, 4,& 27 and conduct a similar expression analysis in resistant compared to susceptible sunflower and canola lines. Successful completion of this study will provide fundamental information on the mechanisms of quantitative resistance to Sclerotinia and aid in identification of candidate resistance genes in susceptible crop hosts.