Scientists discover a protein that naturally enhances wheat resistance to head scabNews Title
American Phytopathological Society
Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), also known as scab, is a significant disease of small grain cereals, such as wheat and barley, that impacts farmers around the world. The disease has been reducing acreage and increasing the price of wheat production in the United States since the early 1990s, which in turn increases costs for downstream producers, such as millers and brewers.
The disease is caused by a fungus that produces heat-stable trichothecene mycotoxins, which help the disease spread. To stop the spread, plant breeders are working to develop cultivars with improved resistance to FHB. A team of plant pathologists primarily based at Rutgers University recently generated wheat overexpressing two non-specific lipid transfer proteins and found that this enhanced protection against the fungus and led to a reduction of one of the major mycotoxins.
Their research also highlights the need to better understand the connection between the induction of reactive oxygen species and mycotoxin production/accumulation in small grain cereals
“Our research shows that gain-of-function mutants can be used to enhance plant disease resistance, and our article shows some of the techniques involved to explore the mechanisms of disease resistance,” John McLaughlin added.
> Source: PHYS.ORG