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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399912

Research Project: Improvement of Biotic Stress Resistance in Durum and Hard Red Spring Wheat Using Genetics and Genomics

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Host-induced gene silencing of the fungal gene FgGCN5 in barley for improving resistance to Fusarium head blight

item ALHASHEL, ABDULLAH - North Dakota State University
item DANGI, SANDESH - North Dakota State University
item NAVASCA, ABBEAH - North Dakota State University
item ZHONG, SHAOBIN - North Dakota State University
item BALDWIN, THOMAS - North Dakota State University
item Yang, Shengming

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2023
Publication Date: 12/7/2023
Citation: Alhashel, A., Dangi, S., Navasca, A., Zhong, S., Baldwin, T., Yang, S. 2022. Host-induced gene silencing of the fungal gene FgGCN5 in barley for improving resistance to Fusarium head blight. Meeting abstract. 2022 National FHB Forum. Poster No. 93.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fusarium head blight (FHB) caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum is one of the most devastating diseases in barley. However, effective resistance has not been identified in barley germplasm. To enhance barley resistance to FHB, we used host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) to target the F. graminearum histone acetyltransferase gene FgGCN5 in the present study. In the loss-of-function Fggcn5 mutant ('FgGCN5), acetylation levels of histone H3 were significantly decreased at several specific lysins, leading to a genome-wide differential expression and impaired metabolic processes affecting pathogenicity of F. graminearum. Using Agrobacterium-mediated gene transformation, we have generated transgenic plants and selected homozygous transformants in the late generations. Despite demonstrated production of small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) homologous to FgGCN5 in the transgenic barley; the disease severity, DON accumulation, and fungal biomass showed no significant difference from wild-type. In line with these observations, quantitative revere transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis showed the expression levels of FgSCN5 were not affected by the HIGS construct in the transgenic plants, indicating an inefficiency of the generated siRNAs on silencing the target gene. This research allows for more in-depth analysis for the use of HIGS against FHB. Follow-up investigations with more independent transgenic lines are ongoing to address the incompetence of HIGS targeting FgSCN5 to provide FHB resistance.