In JoVE (1)

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Articles by Beat Keller in JoVE

Other articles by Beat Keller on PubMed

Comparative Genomics in the Grass Family: Molecular Characterization of Grass Genome Structure and Evolution

Annals of Botany. Jan, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12096816

The genomes of grasses are very different in terms of size, ploidy level and chromosome number. Despite these significant differences, it was found by comparative mapping that the linear order (colinearity) of genetic markers and genes is very well conserved between different grass genomes. The potential of such conservation has been exploited in several directions, e.g. in defining rice as a model genome for grasses and in designing better strategies for positional cloning in large genomes. Recently, the development of large insert libraries in species such as maize, rice, barley and diploid wheat has allowed the study of large stretches of DNA sequence and has provided insight into gene organization in grasses. It was found that genes are not distributed randomly along the chromosomes and that there are clusters of high gene density in species with large genomes. Comparative analysis performed at the DNA sequence level has demonstrated that colinearity between the grass genomes is retained at the molecular level (microcolinearity) in most cases. However, detailed analysis has also revealed a number of exceptions to microcolinearity, which have given insight into mechanisms that are involved in grass-genome evolution. In some cases, the use of rice as a model to support gene isolation from other grass genomes will be complicated by local rearrangements. In this Botanical Briefing, we present recent progress and future prospects of comparative genomics in grasses.

Genetic Mapping of the Lr20-Pm1 Resistance Locus Reveals Suppressed Recombination on Chromosome Arm 7AL in Hexaploid Wheat

Genome. Aug, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12175077

The Lr20-Sr15-Pm1 resistance locus in hexaploid wheat confers resistance to three different fungal wheat pathogens (leaf rust, stem rust, and powdery mildew). It was previously localized in the distal region of chromosome arm 7AL. As a first step towards the isolation of this complex locus, we performed molecular mapping of the Lr20 and Pm1 genes in three F2 populations. In two populations, a cluster of 8 and 12 markers, respectively, cosegregated with the resistance genes. In a third population based on a cross between a susceptible lr20 mutant and a resistant cultivar, all clustered markers were monomorphic. However, in this population the recombination frequency proximal to the Lr20 gene was up to 60 times higher, indicating that the complete genetic linkage of the clustered markers is not due to a close physical linkage of the probes but is caused by suppressed recombination. This was supported by the analysis of Triticum monococcum BAC clones where no physical linkage between cosegregating probes was observed. Suppressed recombination at the Lr20-Pm1 locus is likely the result of an alien introgression of chromatin from an unidentified wild relative species or is due to chromosomal rearrangements.

ACTIN2 is Essential for Bulge Site Selection and Tip Growth During Root Hair Development of Arabidopsis

Plant Physiology. Aug, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12177460

Root hairs develop as long extensions from root epidermal cells. After the formation of an initial bulge at the distal end of the epidermal cell, the root hair structure elongates by tip growth. Because root hairs are not surrounded by other cells, root hair formation provides an excellent system for studying the highly complex process of plant cell growth. Pharmacological experiments with actin filament-interfering drugs have provided evidence that the actin cytoskeleton is an important factor in the establishment of cell polarity and in the maintenance of the tip growth machinery at the apex of the growing root hair. However, there has been no genetic evidence to directly support this assumption. We have isolated an Arabidopsis mutant, deformed root hairs 1 (der1), that is impaired in root hair development. The DER1 locus was cloned by map-based cloning and encodes ACTIN2 (ACT2), a major actin of the vegetative tissue. The three der1 alleles develop the mutant phenotype to different degrees and are all missense mutations, thus providing the means to study the effect of partially functional ACT2. The detailed characterization of the der1 phenotypes revealed that ACT2 is not only involved in root hair tip growth, but is also required for correct selection of the bulge site on the epidermal cell. Thus, the der1 mutants are useful tools to better understand the function of the actin cytoskeleton in the process of root hair formation.

The Tomato Fer Gene Encoding a BHLH Protein Controls Iron-uptake Responses in Roots

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Oct, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12370409

Iron deficiency is among the most common nutritional disorders in plants. To cope with low iron supply, plants with the exception of the Gramineae increase the solubility and uptake of iron by inducing physiological and developmental alterations including iron reduction, soil acidification, Fe(II) transport and root-hair proliferation (strategy I). The chlorotic tomato fer mutant fails to activate the strategy I. It was shown previously that the fer gene is required in the root. Here, we show that fer plants exhibit root developmental phenotypes after low and sufficient iron nutrition indicating that FER acts irrespective of iron supply. Mutant fer roots displayed lower Leirt1 expression than wild-type roots. We isolated the fer gene by map-based cloning and demonstrate that it encodes a protein containing a basic helix-loop-helix domain. fer is expressed in a cell-specific pattern at the root tip independently from iron supply. Our results suggest that FER may control root physiology and development at a transcriptional level in response to iron supply and thus may be the first identified regulator for iron nutrition in plants.

The Arabidopsis Male-sterile Mutant Dde2-2 is Defective in the ALLENE OXIDE SYNTHASE Gene Encoding One of the Key Enzymes of the Jasmonic Acid Biosynthesis Pathway

Planta. Nov, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12430030

The Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. mutant delayed-dehiscence2-2 (dde2-2) was identified in an En1/Spm1 transposon-induced mutant population screened for plants showing defects in fertility. The dde2-2 mutant allele is defective in the anther dehiscence process and filament elongation and thus exhibits a male-sterile phenotype. The dde2-2 phenotype can be rescued by application of methyl jasmonate, indicating that the mutant is affected in jasmonic acid biosynthesis. The combination of genetic mapping and a candidate-gene approach identified a frameshift mutation in the ALLENE OXIDE SYNTHASE (AOS) gene, encoding one of the key enzymes of jasmonic acid biosynthesis. Expression analysis and genetic complementation of the dde2-2 phenotype by overexpression of the AOS coding sequence confirmed that the male-sterile phenotype is indeed caused by the mutation in the AOS gene.

Activation Tagging of the Two Closely Linked Genes LEP and VAS Independently Affects Vascular Cell Number

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Dec, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12472696

The complex dominant Arabidopsis thaliana mutant lettuce (let) shows the conversion of the leaf petiole into a leaf blade caused by an ectopic leaf blade formation. This is the result of the activation tagging of the LEAFY PETIOLE (LEP) gene encoding an AP2/EREBP-like transcription factor. Here, we report that in addition to this leafy petiole phenotype, the size of the vascular bundles is increased in all aerial organs in let as a result of an increase in the number of xylem, phloem (pro)cambial and pericycle cells. This vascular phenotype is caused by activation tagging of the two genes VASCULAR TISSUE SIZE (VAS) and LEP. These genes are closely linked and arranged in tandem. Activation tagging of LEP only caused a specific increase in the number of xylem cells. This increased xylem cell number, together with the ectopic leaf blade formation, indicates that LEP functions as a cell division-promoting factor. The activation tagging of VAS only resulted in a specific increase in phloem (pro)cambial and pericycle cells. We conclude that activation tagging of LEP and VAS results in additive phenotypes. Insertional mutants for LEP and VAS display wild-type vascular development, indicating the relevance of activation tagging for functional analysis of novel genes involved in plant development.

Whole-genome Comparison of Leucine-rich Repeat Extensins in Arabidopsis and Rice. A Conserved Family of Cell Wall Proteins Form a Vegetative and a Reproductive Clade

Plant Physiology. Mar, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12644681

We have searched the Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa) genomes for homologs of LRX1, an Arabidopsis gene encoding a novel type of cell wall protein containing a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) and an extensin domain. Eleven and eight LRX (LRR/EXTENSIN) genes have been identified in these two plant species, respectively. The LRX gene family encodes proteins characterized by a short N-terminal domain, a domain with 10 LRRs, a cysteine-rich motif, and a variable C-terminal extensin-like domain. Phylogenetic analysis performed on the conserved domains indicates the existence of two major clades of LRX proteins that arose before the eudicot/monocot divergence and then diversified independently in each lineage. In Arabidopsis, gene expression studies by northern hybridization and promoter::uidA fusions showed that the two phylogenetic clades represent a specialization into "reproductive" and "vegetative" LRXs. The four Arabidopsis genes of the "reproductive" clade are specifically expressed in pollen, whereas the seven "vegetative" genes are predominantly expressed in various sporophytic tissues. This separation into two expression classes is also supported by previous studies on maize (Zea mays) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) LRX homologs and by information on available rice ESTs. The strong conservation of the amino acids responsible for the putative recognition specificity of the LRR domain throughout the family suggests that the LRX proteins interact with similar ligands.

Rapid Genome Divergence at Orthologous Low Molecular Weight Glutenin Loci of the A and Am Genomes of Wheat

The Plant Cell. May, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12724543

To study genome evolution in wheat, we have sequenced and compared two large physical contigs of 285 and 142 kb covering orthologous low molecular weight (LMW) glutenin loci on chromosome 1AS of a diploid wheat species (Triticum monococcum subsp monococcum) and a tetraploid wheat species (Triticum turgidum subsp durum). Sequence conservation between the two species was restricted to small regions containing the orthologous LMW glutenin genes, whereas >90% of the compared sequences were not conserved. Dramatic sequence rearrangements occurred in the regions rich in repetitive elements. Dating of long terminal repeat retrotransposon insertions revealed different insertion events occurring during the last 5.5 million years in both species. These insertions are partially responsible for the lack of homology between the intergenic regions. In addition, the gene space was conserved only partially, because different predicted genes were identified on both contigs. Duplications and deletions of large fragments that might be attributable to illegitimate recombination also have contributed to the differentiation of this region in both species. The striking differences in the intergenic landscape between the A and A(m) genomes that diverged 1 to 3 million years ago provide evidence for a dynamic and rapid genome evolution in wheat species.

CACTA Transposons in Triticeae. A Diverse Family of High-copy Repetitive Elements

Plant Physiology. May, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12746511

In comparison with retrotransposons, which comprise the majority of the Triticeae genomes, very few class 2 transposons have been described in these genomes. Based on the recent discovery of a local accumulation of CACTA elements at the Glu-A3 loci in the two wheat species Triticum monococcum and Triticum durum, we performed a database search for additional such elements in Triticeae spp. A combination of BLAST search and dot-plot analysis of publicly available Triticeae sequences led to the identification of 41 CACTA elements. Only seven of them encode a protein similar to known transposases, whereas the other 34 are considered to be deletion derivatives. A detailed characterization of the identified elements allowed a further classification into seven subgroups. The major subgroup, designated the "Caspar " family, was shown by hybridization to be present in at least 3,000 copies in the T. monococcum genome. The close association of numerous CACTA elements with genes and the identification of several similar elements in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and rice (Oryza sativa) led to the conclusion that CACTA elements contribute significantly to genome size and to organization and evolution of grass genomes.

Cytological and Molecular Analysis of the Hordeum Vulgare-Puccinia Triticina Nonhost Interaction

Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI. Jul, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12848428

Cultivated barley, Hordeum vulgare L., is considered to be a nonhost or intermediate host species for the wheat leaf rust fungus Puccinia triticina. Here, we have investigated, at the microscopic and molecular levels, the reaction of barley cultivars to wheat leaf rust infection. In the nonhost resistant cultivar Cebada Capa, abortion of fungal growth occurred at both pre- and posthaustorial stages, suggesting that defense genes are expressed throughout the development of the inappropriate fungus during the nonhost resistance reaction. In the two barley lines L94 and Bowman, a low level of prehaustorial resistance to P. triticina was observed and susceptibility was comparable to that of wheat control plants. Suppression subtractive hybridization was used to identify genes that are differentially expressed during the nonhost resistance reaction in Cebada Capa as well as during the successful establishment of the inappropriate wheat leaf rust fungus in L94. Northern analysis indicated that two candidate genes, including a barley ortholog of the rice resistance gene Xa21, are putatively involved in nonhost and non-race-specific resistance reactions. In addition, a new gene that is specifically induced during the successful development of the inappropriate fungus P. triticina in barley has been identified.

Map-based Isolation of the Leaf Rust Disease Resistance Gene Lr10 from the Hexaploid Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) Genome

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Dec, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 14645721

More than 50 leaf rust resistance (Lr) genes against the fungal pathogen Puccinia triticina have been identified in the wheat gene pool, and a large number of them have been extensively used in breeding. Of the 50 Lr genes, all are known only from their phenotype and/or map position except for Lr21, which was cloned recently. For many years, the problems of molecular work in the large (1.6 x 10(10) bp), highly repetitive (80%), and hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genome have hampered map-based cloning. Here, we report the isolation of the Lr gene Lr10 from hexaploid wheat by using a combination of subgenome map-based cloning and haplotype studies in the genus Triticum. Lr10 is a single-copy gene on chromosome 1AS. It encodes a CC-NBS-LRR type of protein with an N-terminal domain, which is under diversifying selection. When overexpressed in transgenic wheat plants, Lr10 confers enhanced resistance to leaf rust. Lr10 has similarities to RPM1 in Arabidopsis thaliana and to resistance gene analogs in rice and barley, but is not closely related to other wheat Lr genes based on Southern analysis. We conclude that map-based cloning of genes of agronomic importance in hexaploid wheat is now feasible, opening perspectives for molecular bread wheat improvement trough transgenic strategies and diagnostic allele detection.

Genome Analysis at Different Ploidy Levels Allows Cloning of the Powdery Mildew Resistance Gene Pm3b from Hexaploid Wheat

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Feb, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14756761

In wheat, race-specific resistance to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici) is controlled by the Pm genes. There are 10 alleles conferring resistance at the Pm3 locus (Pm3a to Pm3j) on chromosome 1AS of hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The genome of hexaploid wheat has a size of 1.6 x 1010 bp and contains more than 80% of repetitive sequences, making positional cloning difficult. Here, we demonstrate that the combined analysis of genomes from wheat species with different ploidy levels can be exploited for positional cloning in bread wheat. We have mapped the Pm3b gene in hexaploid wheat to a genetic interval of 0.97 centimorgan (cM). The diploid T. monococcum and the tetraploid T. turgidum ssp. durum provided models for the A genome of hexaploid wheat and allowed to establish a physical contig spanning the Pm3 locus. Although the haplotypes at the Pm3 locus differed markedly between the three species, a large resistance gene-like family specific to wheat group 1 chromosomes was consistently found at the Pm3 locus. A candidate gene for Pm3b was identified using partial sequence conservation between resistant line Chul and T. monococcum cv. DV92. A susceptible Pm3b mutant, carrying a single-base pair deletion in the coding region of the candidate gene was isolated. When tested in a single cell transformation assay, the Pm3b candidate gene conferred race-specific resistance to powdery mildew. These results demonstrate that the candidate gene, a member of the coiled-coil nucleotide binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) type of disease resistance genes, is the Pm3b gene.

In Silico Comparative Analysis Reveals a Mosaic Conservation of Genes Within a Novel Colinear Region in Wheat Chromosome 1AS and Rice Chromosome 5S

Functional & Integrative Genomics. Mar, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14767678

Comparative RFLP mapping has revealed extensive conservation of marker order in different grass genomes. However, microcolinearity studies at the sequence level have shown rapid genome evolution and many exceptions to colinearity. Most of these studies have focused on a limited size of genomic fragment and the extent of microcolinearity over large distances or across entire genomes remains poorly characterized in grasses. Here, we have investigated the microcolinearity between the rice genome and a total of 1,500 kb from physical BAC contigs on wheat chromosome 1AS. Using ESTs mapped in wheat chromosome bins as an additional source of physical data, we have identified 27 conserved orthologous sequences between wheat chromosome 1AS and a region of 1,210 kb located on rice chromosome 5S. Our results extend the orthology described earlier between wheat chromosome group 1S and rice chromosome 5S. Microcolinearity was found to be frequently disrupted by rearrangements which must have occurred after the divergence of wheat and rice. At the Lr10 orthologous loci, microrearrangements were due to the insertion of mobile elements, but also originated from gene movement, amplification, deletion and inversion. These mechanisms of genome evolution are at the origin of the mosaic conservation observed between the orthologous regions. Finally, in silico mapping of wheat genes identified an intragenomic colinearity between fragments from rice chromosome 1L and 5S, suggesting an ancestral segmental duplication in rice.

A New Structural Element Containing Glycine-rich Proteins and Rhamnogalacturonan I in the Protoxylem of Seed Plants

Journal of Cell Science. Mar, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14996940

The water pipes of elongating plant organs are the result of programmed cell death and are formed by the walls of dead and empty protoxylem elements. These protoxylem elements are passively elongated many times by the surrounding tissue before they are replaced and collapse. Well-known adaptations for this unique task include the characteristic secondary wall thickenings, forming rings and helices. A new, clearly distinct structural element containing glycine-rich proteins is now visualized for the first time, using confocal laser scanning microscopy in the mature protoxylem of elongating organs of seed plants. This structural element is arranged along the longitudinal axis of the protoxylem elements. It interconnects the secondary wall thickenings within and between protoxylem elements, as well as the protoxylem with other cell types such as xylem parenchyma cells and metaxylem elements. The structural element is stable against detergent extractions, proteinase, pectinase and cellulase hydrolysis, and is closely associated with rhamnogalacturonan-I, a pectic polysaccharide. The results clearly demonstrate that the cell wall of protoxylem cells is a highly dynamic and complex structure. The typical polysaccharide-rich primary wall of living and elongating plant cells is progressively modified and finally replaced by a protein-rich wall in the dead and passively stretched protoxylem elements. These glycine-rich walls originated early in the evolution of the seed plants as confirmed by the analysis of genomic information.

Ancestral Genome Duplication in Rice

Genome. Jun, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15190378

The recent availability of the pseudochromosome sequences of rice allows for the first time the investigation of the extent of intra-genomic duplications on a large scale in this agronomically important species. Using a dot-matrix plotter as a tool to display pairwise comparisons of ordered predicted coding sequences along rice pseudochromosomes, we found that the rice genome contains extensive chromosomal duplications accounting for 53% of the available sequences. The size of duplicated blocks is considerably larger than previously reported. In the rice genome, a duplicated block size of >1 Mb appears to be the rule and not the exception. Comparative mapping has shown high genetic colinearity among chromosomes of cereals, promoting rice as a model for studying grass genomes. Further comparative genome analysis should allow the study of the conservation and evolution of these duplication events in other important cereals such as rye, barley, and wheat.

Identification and Genetic Characterization of an Aegilops Tauschii Ortholog of the Wheat Leaf Rust Disease Resistance Gene Lr1

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Oct, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15258740

Aegilops tauschii (goat grass) is the progenitor of the D genome in hexaploid bread wheat. We have screened more than 200 Ae. tauschii accessions for resistance against leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) isolates,which are avirulent on the leaf rust resistance gene Lrl. Approximately 3.5% of the Ae. tauschii accessions displayed the same low infection type as the tester line Thatcher Lrl. The accession Tr.t. 213, which showed resistance after artificial infection with Lrl isolates both in Mexico and in Switzerland, was chosen for further analysis. Genetic analysis showed that the resistance in this accession is controlled by a single dominant gene,which mapped at the same chromosomal position as Lrl in wheat. It was delimited in a 1.3-cM region between the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers ABC718 and PSR567 on chromosome 5DL of Ae.tauschii. The gene was more tightly linked to PSR567(0.47 cM) than to ABC718 (0.79 cM). These results indicate that the resistance gene in Ae. tauschii accession Tr.t. 213 is an ortholog of the leaf rust resistance gene Lrlof bread wheat, suggesting that Lrl originally evolved in diploid goat grass and was introgressed into the wheat D genome during or after domestication of hexaploidwheat. Compared to hexaploid wheat, higher marker polymorphism and recombination frequencies were ob-served in the region of the Lrl ortholog in Ae. tauschii. The identification of LrlAe, the orthologous gene of wheatLrl, in Ae. tauschii will allow map-based cloning of Lrlfrom this genetically simpler, diploid genome.

A Workshop Report on Wheat Genome Sequencing: International Genome Research on Wheat Consortium

Genetics. Oct, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15514080

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a wheat genome sequencing workshop was held November 10-11, 2003, in Washington, DC. It brought together 63 scientists of diverse research interests and institutions, including 45 from the United States and 18 from a dozen foreign countries (see list of participants at http://www.ksu.edu/igrow). The objectives of the workshop were to discuss the status of wheat genomics, obtain feedback from ongoing genome sequencing projects, and develop strategies for sequencing the wheat genome. The purpose of this report is to convey the information discussed at the workshop and provide the basis for an ongoing dialogue, bringing forth comments and suggestions from the genetics community.

Large Intraspecific Haplotype Variability at the Rph7 Locus Results from Rapid and Recent Divergence in the Barley Genome

The Plant Cell. Feb, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15659632

To study genome evolution and diversity in barley (Hordeum vulgare), we have sequenced and compared more than 300 kb of sequence spanning the Rph7 leaf rust disease resistance gene in two barley cultivars. Colinearity was restricted to five genic and two intergenic regions representing <35% of the two sequences. In each interval separating the seven conserved regions, the number and type of repetitive elements were completely different between the two homologous sequences, and a single gene was absent in one cultivar. In both cultivars, the nonconserved regions consisted of approximately 53% repetitive sequences mainly represented by long-terminal repeat retrotransposons that have inserted <1 million years ago. PCR-based analysis of intergenic regions at the Rph7 locus and at three other independent loci in 41 H. vulgare lines indicated large haplotype variability in the cultivated barley gene pool. Together, our data indicate rapid and recent divergence at homologous loci in the genome of H. vulgare, possibly providing the molecular mechanism for the generation of high diversity in the barley gene pool. Finally, comparative analysis of the gene composition in barley, wheat (Triticum aestivum), rice (Oryza sativa), and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) suggested massive gene movements at the Rph7 locus in the Triticeae lineage.

Direct Targeting and Rapid Isolation of BAC Clones Spanning a Defined Chromosome Region

Functional & Integrative Genomics. Apr, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15666175

To isolate genes of interest in plants, it is essential to construct bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries from specific genotypes. Construction and organisation of BAC libraries is laborious and costly, especially from organisms with large and complex genomes. In the present study, we developed the pooled BAC library strategy that allows rapid and low cost generation and screening of genomic libraries from any genotype of interest. The BAC library is constructed, directly organised into a few pools and screened for BAC clones of interest using PCR and hybridisation steps, without requiring organization into individual clones. As a proof of concept, a pooled BAC library of approximately 177,000 recombinant clones has been constructed from the barley cultivar Cebada Capa that carries the Rph7 leaf rust resistance gene. The library has an average insert size of 140 kb, a coverage of six barley genome equivalents and is organised in 138 pools of about 1,300 clones each. We rapidly established a single contig of six BAC clones spanning 230 kb at the Rph7 locus on chromosome 3HS. The described low-cost cloning strategy is fast and will greatly facilitate direct targeting of genes and large-scale intra- and inter-species comparative genome analysis.

Ancient Haplotypes Resulting from Extensive Molecular Rearrangements in the Wheat A Genome Have Been Maintained in Species of Three Different Ploidy Levels

Genome Research. Apr, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15805493

Plant genomes, in particular grass genomes, evolve very rapidly. The closely related A genomes of diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid wheat are derived from a common ancestor that lived <3 million years ago and represent a good model to study molecular mechanisms involved in such rapid evolution. We have sequenced and compared physical contigs at the Lr10 locus on chromosome 1AS from diploid (211 kb), tetraploid (187 kb), and hexaploid wheat (154 kb). A maximum of 33% of the sequences were conserved between two species. The sequences from diploid and tetraploid wheat shared all of the genes, including Lr10 and RGA2 and define a first haplotype (H1). The 130-kb intergenic region between Lr10 and RGA2 was conserved in size despite its activity as a hot spot for transposon insertion, which resulted in >70% of sequence divergence. The hexaploid wheat sequence lacks both Lr10 and RGA2 genes and defines a second haplotype, H2, which originated from ancient and extensive rearrangements. These rearrangements included insertions of retroelements and transposons deletions, as well as unequal recombination within elements. Gene disruption in haplotype H2 was caused by a deletion and subsequent large inversion. Gene conservation between H1 haplotypes, as well as conservation of rearrangements at the origin of the H2 haplotype at three different ploidy levels indicate that the two haplotypes are ancient and had a stable gene content during evolution, whereas the intergenic regions evolved rapidly. Polyploidization during wheat evolution had no detectable consequences on the structure and evolution of the two haplotypes.

The Arabidopsis Root Hair Mutants Der2-der9 Are Affected at Different Stages of Root Hair Development

Plant & Cell Physiology. Jul, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15863435

Root hairs are an excellent model system to study cell developmental processes as they are easily accessible, single-celled, long tubular extensions of root epidermal cells. In a genetic approach to identify loci important for root hair development, we have isolated eight der (deformed root hairs) mutants from an ethylmethanesulfonate (EMS)-mutagenized Arabidopsis population. The der lines represent five new loci involved in root hair development and show a variety of abnormalities in root hair morphology, indicating that different root hair developmental stages are affected. A double mutant analysis with the short root hair actin2 mutant der1-2 confirmed that the der mutants are disturbed at different time points of root hair formation. Auxin and ethylene are known to be important for trichoblast cell fate determination and root hair elongation. Here, we show that they are able to suppress the phenotype of two der mutants. As the auxin- and ethylene-responsive der mutants are affected at different stages of root hair formation, our results demonstrate that the function of auxin and ethylene is not limited to cell differentiation and root hair elongation but that the two hormones are effective throughout the whole root hair developmental process.

Specific Patterns of Changes in Wheat Gene Expression After Treatment with Three Antifungal Compounds

Plant Molecular Biology. Mar, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15988564

The two fungicides azoxystrobin and fenpropimorph are used against powdery mildew and rust diseases in wheat (Triticum aestivumL). Azoxystrobin, a strobilurin, inhibits fungal mitochondrial respiration and fenpropimorph, a morpholin, represses biosynthesis of ergosterol, the major sterol of fungal membranes. Although the fungitoxic activity of these compounds is well understood, their effects on plant metabolism remain unclear. In contrast to the fungicides which directly affect pathogen metabolism, benzo(1,2,3) thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methylester (BTH) induces resistance against wheat pathogens by the activation of systemic acquired resistance in the host plant. In this study, we monitored gene expression in spring wheat after treatment with each of these agrochemicals in a greenhouse trial using a microarray containing 600 barley cDNA clones. Defence-related genes were strongly induced after treatment with BTH, confirming the activation of a similar set of genes as in dicot plants following salicylic acid treatment. A similar gene expression pattern was observed after treatment with fenpropimorph and some defence-related genes were induced by azoxystrobin, demonstrating that these fungicides also activate a defence reaction. However, less intense responses were triggered than with BTH. The same experiments performed under field conditions gave dramatically different results. No gene showed differential expression after treatment and defence genes were already expressed at a high level before application of the agrochemicals. These differences in the expression patterns between the two environments demonstrate the importance of plant growth conditions for testing the impact of agrochemicals on plant metabolism.

Complex Organization and Evolution of the Tomato Pericentromeric Region at the FER Gene Locus

Plant Physiology. Jul, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16009996

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is a model species for molecular biology research and a candidate for large-scale genome sequencing. Pericentromeric heterochromatin constitutes a large portion of the tomato chromosomes. However, the knowledge of the structure, organization, and evolution of such regions remains very limited. Here, we report the analysis of a 198-kb sequence near the FER gene, located in a distal part of pericentromeric heterochromatin on the long arm of tomato chromosome 6. Nine genes, one pseudogene, and 55 transposable elements (TEs) were identified, showing a low gene density (19.8 kb/gene) and a high content of transposable elements (>45% of the sequence). Six genes (56 B23_g3, g5, g7, g8, g9, and g10) have perfect matches (>98% identity) with tomato expressed sequence tags. Two genes (56 B23_g1 and g6), which share <98% sequence identity with expressed sequence tags, were confirmed for transcriptional activity by reverse transcription-PCR. The genes were not uniformly distributed along the sequence and grouped into gene islands separated by stretches of retrotransposons, forming a pattern similar to that found in the gene-rich regions of the large genomes of maize (Zea mays) and Triticeae. Long terminal repeat retrotransposons account for 60% of the TE sequence length. Sixteen of 55 TEs were completely new and remain unclassified. Surprisingly, five of the seven identified DNA transposons were closely associated with coding regions. The action of transposable elements and DNA rearrangements form the molecular basis of the dynamic genome evolution at the FER locus. Multiple rounds of genome duplication in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and subsequent gene loss have generated a mosaic pattern of conservation between tomato and Arabidopsis orthologous sequences. Our data show that the distal parts of pericentromeric heterochromatin may contain many valuable genes and that these regions form an evolutionary active part of the tomato genome.

Map-based Isolation of Disease Resistance Genes from Bread Wheat: Cloning in a Supersize Genome

Genetical Research. Apr, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16174327

The genome of bread wheat is hexaploid and contains 1.6 x 10 10 bp of DNA, of which more than 80% is repetitive sequences. Its size and complexity represent a challenge for the isolation of agronomically important genes, for which we frequently know only their position on the genetic map. Recently, new genomic resources and databases from genome projects have simplified the molecular analysis of the wheat genome. The first genes to be isolated from wheat by map-based cloning include three resistance genes against the fungal diseases powdery mildew and leaf rust. In this review, we will describe the approaches and resources that have contributed to this progress, and discuss genomic strategies that will simplify positional cloning in wheat in the near future.

Allelic Series of Four Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes at the Pm3 Locus in Hexaploid Bread Wheat

Plant Physiology. Oct, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16183849

At the Pm3 locus in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum), 10 alleles conferring race-specific resistance to powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici) are known. A cluster of genes encoding coiled-coil-nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat proteins spans the Pm3 locus on wheat chromosome 1A, and one member of this gene family has recently been identified as the Pm3b resistance gene. Using molecular markers closely linked to Pm3b, we performed haplotype analysis of 10 lines carrying different Pm3 alleles. All these lines have a conserved genomic region delimited by markers cosegregating with Pm3b and including a structurally conserved Pm3b-like gene. A polymerase chain reaction-based strategy allowed the amplification of one Pm3b-like sequence from lines carrying Pm3a, Pm3d, and Pm3f alleles. These candidate genes for Pm3a, Pm3d, and Pm3f conferred AvrPm3a-, AvrPm3d-, and AvrPm3f-dependent resistance, respectively, to wheat powdery mildew in a single cell transient transformation assay. A high level of amino acid similarity (97.8%) was found between the PM3A, PM3B, PM3D, and PM3F proteins. The coiled-coil domain was 100% conserved, whereas, in the nucleotide binding site region, sequence exchange was detected, indicating intragenic recombination or gene conversion between alleles. All these results indicate that Pm3a, Pm3b, Pm3d, and Pm3f form a true allelic series. The low level of sequence divergence between the four characterized alleles as well as the finding of a conserved Pm3 haplotype are in agreement with the hypothesis of a recent evolution of Pm3-based resistance, suggesting that some or most of the diversity found at the Pm3 locus in modern wheat has evolved after wheat domestication.

A New Role for the Arabidopsis AP2 Transcription Factor, LEAFY PETIOLE, in Gibberellin-induced Germination is Revealed by the Misexpression of a Homologous Gene, SOB2/DRN-LIKE

The Plant Cell. Jan, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16339853

Gibberellic acid (GA) promotes germination, stem/hypocotyl elongation, and leaf expansion during seedling development. Using activation-tagging mutagenesis, we identified a mutation, sob2-D (for suppressor of phytochromeB-4 [phyB-4]#2 dominant), which suppresses the long-hypocotyl phenotype of a phyB missense allele, phyB-4. This mutant phenotype is caused by the overexpression of an APETALA2 transcription factor, SOB2, also called DRN-like. SOB2/DRN-like transcript is not detectable in wild-type seedling or adult tissues via RT-PCR analysis, suggesting that SOB2/DRN-like may not be involved in seedling development under normal conditions. Adult sob2-D phyB-4 plants have curled leaves and club-like siliques, resembling plants that overexpress a closely related gene, LEAFY PETIOLE (LEP). Hypocotyls of a LEP-null allele, lep-1, are shorter in the light and dark, suggesting LEP involvement in seedling development. This aberrant hypocotyl phenotype is due at least in part to a delay in germination. In addition, lep-1 is less responsive to GA and more sensitive to the GA biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol, indicating that LEP is a positive regulator of GA-induced germination. RT-PCR shows that LEP transcript accumulates in wild-type seeds during imbibition and germination, and the transcript levels of REPRESSOR OF ga1-3-LIKE2 (RGL2), a negative regulator of GA signaling during germination, is unaffected in lep-1. These results suggest LEP is a positive regulator of GA-induced germination acting independently of RGL2. An alternative model places LEP downstream of RGL2 in the GA-signaling cascade.

Rapid Generation of New Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes After Wheat Domestication

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Jul, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16740148

Plant defence against pathogens is controlled by disease resistance (R) gene products that directly or indirectly detect specific pathogen effectors. Plant-pathogen interactions have been proposed to follow a co-evolutionary arms-race model where R genes are recent and evolve rapidly in response to structural changes in matching pathogen effectors. However, the longevity and extensive polymorphism of R genes studied were more consistent with balancing selection maintaining ancient and diverse R genes or alleles. In bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), the Pm3 locus confers race-specific resistance to wheat powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f.sp. triticii). Here we describe recently generated Pm3 resistance alleles that all derive from one susceptible allele, Pm3CS, which is widespread among hexaploid bread-wheat lines. One group of four Pm3 resistance alleles shows few, clearly delimited, polymorphic sequence blocks of ancient origin, embedded in sequences identical to Pm3CS and possibly derived from gene conversion. A second group of three alleles differs from Pm3CS by only two to five mutations, all non-synonymous, and all in the leucine-rich repeat-encoding region. Transient transformation experiments confirmed that Pm3 resistance specificities are based on one or few amino acid changes. The Pm3CS allele was found in wild tetraploid wheat, the ancestor of hexaploid bread wheat, specifically from southern Turkey, a region proposed to be the site of wheat domestication. Based on these data, we propose that the Pm3 resistance alleles were generated in agricultural ecosystems after domestication of wheat 10,000 years ago. The evolution of Pm3 alleles in wheat is best described by the model of evolved recycling, where novel genetic variation is integrated in plant populations together with recycling of old variation.

RNA Interference-based Gene Silencing As an Efficient Tool for Functional Genomics in Hexaploid Bread Wheat

Plant Physiology. Sep, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16861570

Insertional mutagenesis and gene silencing are efficient tools for the determination of gene function. In contrast to gain- or loss-of-function approaches, RNA interference (RNAi)-induced gene silencing can possibly silence multigene families and homoeologous genes in polyploids. This is of great importance for functional studies in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum), where most of the genes are present in at least three homoeologous copies and conventional insertional mutagenesis is not effective. We have introduced into bread wheat double-stranded RNA-expressing constructs containing fragments of genes encoding Phytoene Desaturase (PDS) or the signal transducer of ethylene, Ethylene Insensitive 2 (EIN2). Transformed plants showed phenotypic changes that were stably inherited over at least two generations. These changes were very similar to mutant phenotypes of the two genes in diploid model plants. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed a good correlation between decreasing mRNA levels and increasingly severe phenotypes. RNAi silencing had the same quantitative effect on all three homoeologous genes. The most severe phenotypes were observed in homozygous plants that showed the strongest mRNA reduction and, interestingly, produced around 2-fold the amount of small RNAs compared to heterozygous plants. This suggests that the effect of RNAi in hexaploid wheat is gene-dosage dependent. Wheat seedlings with low mRNA levels for EIN2 were ethylene insensitive. Thus, EIN2 is a positive regulator of the ethylene-signaling pathway in wheat, very similar to its homologs in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and rice (Oryza sativa). Our data show that RNAi results in stably inherited phenotypes and therefore represents an efficient tool for functional genomic studies in polyploid wheat.

Development of Simple Sequence Repeat Markers Specific for the Lr34 Resistance Region of Wheat Using Sequence Information from Rice and Aegilops Tauschii

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Oct, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16896711

Hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) originated about 8,000 years ago from the hybridization of tetraploid wheat with diploid Aegilops tauschii Coss. containing the D-genome. Thus, the bread wheat D-genome is evolutionary young and shows a low degree of polymorphism in the bread wheat gene pool. To increase marker density around the durable leaf rust resistance gene Lr34 located on chromosome 7DS, we used molecular information from the orthologous region in rice. Wheat expressed sequence tags (wESTs) were identified by homology with the rice genes in the interval of interest, but were monomorphic in the 'Arina' x 'Forno' mapping population. To derive new polymorphic markers, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones representing a total physical size of approximately 1 Mb and belonging to four contigs were isolated from Ae. tauschii by hybridization screening with wheat ESTs. Several BAC clones were low-pass sequenced, resulting in a total of approximately 560 kb of sequence. Ten microsatellite sequences were found, and three of them were polymorphic in our population and were genetically mapped close to Lr34. Comparative analysis of marker order revealed a large inversion between the rice genome and the wheat D-genome. The SWM10 microsatellite is closely linked to Lr34 and has the same allele in the three independent sources of Lr34: 'Frontana', 'Chinese Spring', and 'Forno', as well in most of the genotypes containing Lr34. Therefore, SWM10 is a highly useful marker to assist selection for Lr34 in breeding programs worldwide.

Common and Distinct Gene Expression Patterns Induced by the Herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid, Cinidon-ethyl and Tribenuron-methyl in Wheat

Pest Management Science. Dec, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17054088

In wheat, herbicides are used to control weeds. Little is known about the changes induced in the metabolism of tolerant plants after herbicide treatment. The impact of three herbicides [2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), cinidon-ethyl and tribenuron-methyl] on the wheat transcriptome was studied using cDNA microarrays. Gene expression of plants grown in a controlled environment or in the field was studied between 24 h and 2 weeks after treatment. Under controlled conditions, 2,4-D induced genes of the phenylpropanoid pathway soon after treatment. Cinidon-ethyl triggered peroxidase and defence-related gene expression under controlled conditions, probably because reactive oxygen species are released by photo-oxidation of protoporphyrin-IX. The same genes were upregulated in the field as under controlled conditions, albeit at a weaker level. These results show that cinidon-ethyl specifically induces genes involved in plant defence. Under controlled conditions, tribenuron-methyl did not change the expression profile immediately after treatment, but defence-related genes were upregulated after 1 week. Sulfonylurea compounds such as tribenuron-methyl specifically inhibit acetolactate synthase and are rapidly detoxified, but the activity of some of the resulting metabolites could explain later changes in gene expression. Finally, overexpression of the isopropylmalate synthase gene, involved in branched-chain amino acid synthesis, and of defence-related genes was observed in the field after sulfonylurea treatment.

454 Sequencing Put to the Test Using the Complex Genome of Barley

BMC Genomics. Oct, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17067373

During the past decade, Sanger sequencing has been used to completely sequence hundreds of microbial and a few higher eukaryote genomes. In recent years, a number of alternative technologies became available, among them adaptations of the pyrosequencing procedure (i.e. "454 sequencing"), promising an approximately 100-fold increase in throughput over Sanger technology--an advancement which is needed to make large and complex genomes more amenable to full genome sequencing at affordable costs. Although several studies have demonstrated its potential usefulness for sequencing small and compact microbial genomes, it was unclear how the new technology would perform in large and highly repetitive genomes such as those of wheat or barley.

Nuclear Activity of MLA Immune Receptors Links Isolate-specific and Basal Disease-resistance Responses

Science (New York, N.Y.). Feb, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17185563

Plant immune responses are triggered by pattern recognition receptors that detect conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or by resistance (R) proteins recognizing isolate-specific pathogen effectors. We show that in barley, intracellular mildew A (MLA) R proteins function in the nucleus to confer resistance against the powdery mildew fungus. Recognition of the fungal avirulence A10 effector by MLA10 induces nuclear associations between receptor and WRKY transcription factors. The identified WRKY proteins act as repressors of PAMP-triggered basal defense. MLA appears to interfere with the WRKY repressor function, thereby de-repressing PAMP-triggered basal defense. Our findings reveal a mechanism by which these polymorphic immune receptors integrate distinct pathogen signals.

Hypersensitivity Reaction Against Patent Blue During Sentinel Lymph Node Removal in Three Melanoma Patients

American Journal of Surgery. Jan, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17188103

In order to identify the sentinel lymph node (SLN) in melanoma patients intradermal injection of a radiocolloid tracer and a blue dye are commonly used. Life-threatening side effects such as allergic reactions to the injected dye have been described. We report 3 cases with systemic allergic reactions.

Comparison of Orthologous Loci from Small Grass Genomes Brachypodium and Rice: Implications for Wheat Genomics and Grass Genome Annotation

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Feb, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17270010

Brachypodium sylvaticum and Brachypodium distachyon were recently proposed as new model plants because of their small genomes and their phylogenetic position between rice and Triticeae crops. We sequenced a 371-kb region in B. sylvaticum, the largest genomic sequence available so far from this species, providing quantitative data on gene conservation, collinearity and phylogeny. We compared it with orthologous regions from rice and wheat. Brachypodium and wheat show perfect macro-collinearity of genetic markers, whereas rice contains an approximately 220-kb inversion. Rice contains almost twice as many genes as Brachypodium in the region studied, whereas wheat has about 40% more. Through comparative annotation, we identified alternative transcripts and improved the annotation for several rice genes, indicating that approximately 15% of rice genes might require re-annotation. Surprisingly, our data suggest that 10-15% of functional sequences in small grass genomes may not encode any proteins. From available genomic and expressed sequence tag sequences, we estimated Brachypodium to have diverged from wheat about 35-40 Mya, significantly more recently than the divergence of rice and wheat. However, our data also indicate that orthologous regions from Brachypodium and wheat differ considerably in gene content, thus the Brachypodium genome sequence probably cannot replace genomic studies in the large Triticeae genomes.

Physical Mapping and Identification of a Candidate for the Leaf Rust Resistance Gene Lr1 of Wheat

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Jul, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17479240

Lr1 is a dominant leaf rust resistance gene located on chromosome 5DL of bread wheat and the wild species Aegilops tauschii. In this study, three polymorphic markers (WR001, WR002, and WR003) were developed from resistance gene analogs (RGAs) clustering around the Lr1 locus. Using these and other markers, Lr1 was mapped to a genetic interval of 0.79 cM in Ae. tauschii and 0.075 cM in wheat. The CAPS marker WR003, derived from LR1RGA1, co-segregated with Lr1 in both mapping populations of wheat and Ae. tauschii. For isolation of Lr1, two genomic BAC libraries (from Ae. tauschii and hexaploid wheat) were screened using the tightly flanking marker PSR567F and a set of nested primers derived from the conserved region of the RGA sequences. Approximately 400 kb BAC contig spanning the Lr1 locus was constructed. The LR1RGA1 encoding a CC-NBS-leucine-rich repeat (LRR) type of protein was the only one of the four RGAs at the Lr1 locus, which co-segregated with leaf rust resistance. Therefore, it represents a very good candidate for Lr1. The allelic sequences of LR1RGA1 from resistant and susceptible lines revealed a divergent DNA sequence block of approximately 605 bp encoding the LRR repeats 9-15, whereas the rest of the sequences were mostly identical. Within this sequence block, the 48 non-synonymous changes resulted in 44 amino acid differences. This indicates that LR1RGA1 likely evolved through one or more recombination or gene conversion events with unknown genes.

Genome-wide Comparative Analysis of Copia Retrotransposons in Triticeae, Rice, and Arabidopsis Reveals Conserved Ancient Evolutionary Lineages and Distinct Dynamics of Individual Copia Families

Genome Research. Jul, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17556529

Although copia retrotransposons are major components of all plant genomes, the evolutionary relationships between individual copia families and between elements from different plant species are only poorly studied. We used 20 copia families from the large-genome plants barley and wheat to identify 46 families of homologous copia elements from rice and 22 from Arabidopsis, two plant species with much smaller genomes. In total, 599 copia elements were analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis showed that copia elements from the four species can be classified into six ancient lineages that existed before the divergence of monocots and dicots. The six lineages show a surprising degree of conservation in sequence organization and other characteristics across species. Additionally, the phylogenetic data suggest at least one case of horizontal gene transfer between the Arabidopsis and rice lineages. Insertion time estimates for 522 high-copy elements showed that retrotransposons from rice were active at different times in waves of activity lasting 0.5-2 million years, depending on the family, whereas elements from wheat and barley had longer periods of activity. We estimated that half of the rice copia elements are truncated or otherwise rearranged after approximately 790,000 yr, which is almost twice the half-life of Arabidopsis elements. In contrast, wheat and barley copia elements appear to have a massively longer half-life, beyond our ability to estimate from the available data. These findings suggest that genome size can be explained by the specific rate of DNA removal from the genome and the length of active periods of retrotransposon families.

An Integrated Molecular Linkage Map of Diploid Wheat Based on a Triticum Boeoticum X T. Monococcum RIL Population

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Aug, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17565482

Diploid A genome species of wheat harbour immense variability for biotic stresses and productivity traits, and these could be transferred efficiently to hexaploid wheat through marker assisted selection, provided the target genes are tagged at diploid level first. Here we report an integrated molecular linkage map of A genome diploid wheat based on 93 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from Triticum boeoticum x Triticum monococcum inter sub-specific cross. The parental lines were analysed with 306 simple sequence repeat (SSR) and 194 RFLP markers, including 66 bin mapped ESTs. Out of 306 SSRs tested for polymorphism, 74 (24.2%) did not show amplification (null) in both the parents. Overall, 171 (73.7%) of the 232 remaining SSR and 98 (50.5%) of the 194 RFLP markers were polymorphic. Both A and D genome specific SSR markers showed similar transferability to A genome of diploid wheat species. The 176 polymorphic markers, that were assayed on a set of 93 RILs, yielded 188 polymorphic loci and 177 of these as well as two additional morphological traits mapped on seven linkage groups with a total map length of 1,262 cM, which is longer than most of the available A genome linkage maps in diploid and hexaploid wheat. About 58 loci showed distorted segregation with majority of these mapping on chromosome 2A(m). With a few exceptions, the position and order of the markers was similar to the ones in other maps of the wheat A genome. Chromosome 1A(m) of T. monococcum and T. boeoticum showed a small paracentric inversion relative to the A genome of hexaploid wheat. The described linkage map could be useful for gene tagging, marker assisted gene introgression from diploid into hexaploid wheat as well as for map based cloning of genes from diploid A genome species and orthologous genes from hexaploid wheat.

Illegitimate Recombination is a Major Evolutionary Mechanism for Initiating Size Variation in Plant Resistance Genes

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Aug, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17573804

Current models for the evolution of plant disease resistance (R) genes are based on mechanisms such as unequal crossing-over, gene conversion and point mutations as sources for genetic variability and the generation of new specificities. Size variation in leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domains was previously mainly attributed to unequal crossing-over or template slippage between LRR units. Our analysis of 112 R genes and R gene analogs (RGAs) from 16 different gene lineages from monocots and dicots showed that individual LRR units are mostly too divergent to allow unequal crossing-over. We found that illegitimate recombination (IR) is the major mechanism that generates quasi-random duplications within the LRR domain. These initial duplications are required as seeds for subsequent unequal crossing-over events which cause the observed rapid increase or decrease in LRR repeat numbers. Ten of the 16 gene lineages studied contained such duplications, and in four of them the duplications served as a template for subsequent repeat amplification. Our analysis of Pm3-like genes from rice and three wheat species showed that such events can be traced back more than 50 million years. Thus, IR represents a major new evolutionary mechanism that is essential for the generation of molecular diversity in evolution of RGAs.

Leaf Rust Resistance Gene Lr1, Isolated from Bread Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) is a Member of the Large Psr567 Gene Family

Plant Molecular Biology. Sep, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17611798

In hexaploid wheat, leaf rust resistance gene Lr1 is located at the distal end of the long arm of chromosome 5D. To clone this gene, an F(1)-derived doubled haploid population and a recombinant inbred line population from a cross between the susceptible cultivar AC Karma and the resistant line 87E03-S2B1 were phenotyped for resistance to Puccinia triticina race 1-1 BBB that carries the avirulence gene Avr1. A high-resolution genetic map of the Lr1 locus was constructed using microsatellite, resistance gene analog (RGA), BAC end (BE), and low pass (LP) markers. A physical map of the locus was constructed by screening a hexaploid wheat BAC library from cultivar Glenlea that is known to have Lr1. The locus comprised three RGAs from a gene family related to RFLP marker Xpsr567. Markers specific to each paralog were developed. Lr1 segregated with RGA567-5 while recombinants were observed for the other two RGAs. Transformation of the susceptible cultivar Fielder with RGA567-5 demonstrated that it corresponds to the Lr1 resistance gene. In addition, the candidate gene was also confirmed by virus-induced gene silencing. Twenty T (1) lines from resistant transgenic line T (0)-938 segregated for resistance, partial resistance and susceptibility to Avr1 corresponding to a 1:2:1 ratio for a single hemizygous insertion. Transgene presence and expression correlated with the phenotype. The resistance phenotype expressed by Lr1 seemed therefore to be dependant on the zygosity status. T (3)-938 sister lines with and without the transgene were further tested with 16 virulent and avirulent rust isolates. Rust reactions were all as expected for Lr1 thereby providing additional evidence toward the Lr1 identity of RGA567-5. Sequence analysis of Lr1 indicated that it is not related to the previously isolated Lr10 and Lr21 genes and unlike these genes, it is part of a large gene family.

Contrasting Rates of Evolution in Pm3 Loci from Three Wheat Species and Rice

Genetics. Oct, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17720914

The Pm3 gene from wheat confers resistance against powdery mildew and recent studies have shown that it is a member of a multigene family in the wheat genome. We compared genomic sequences ranging from 178 to 332 kb containing six Pm3-like genes and five gene fragments from orthologous loci in the A genome of wheat at three different ploidy levels. We found that the wheat Pm3 loci display an extremely dynamic evolution where sequence conservation is minimal between species and basically limited to very short sequences containing the genetic markers that define the orthology. The Pm3-like genes and their up- and downstream regions were reshuffled by multiple rearrangements, resulting in a complex mosaic of conserved and unique sequences. Comparison with rice showed that the known wheat Pm3-like genes represent only one branch of a large superfamily with several clusters in rice and suggests the presence of additional similar genes in the wheat genome. Estimates of divergence times and transposable-element insertions indicate that the Pm3 locus in wheat has undergone more drastic changes in its recent evolution than its counterpart in rice. This indicates that loci containing homologous resistance gene analogs can evolve at highly variable speeds in different species.

Mapping of Adult Plant Stripe Rust Resistance Genes in Diploid A Genome Wheat Species and Their Transfer to Bread Wheat

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Feb, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 17989954

Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis West. f.sp. tritici, is one of the most damaging diseases of wheat worldwide. Forty genes for stripe rust resistance have been catalogued so far, but the majority of them are not effective against emerging pathotypes. Triticum monococcum and T. boeoticum have excellent levels of resistance to rusts, but so far, no stripe rust resistance gene has been identified or transferred from these species. A set of 121 RILs generated from a cross involving T. monococcum (acc. pau14087) and T. boeoticum (acc. pau5088) was screened for 3 years against a mixture of pathotypes under field conditions. The parental accessions were susceptible to all the prevalent pathotypes at the seedling stage, but resistant at the adult plant stage. Genetic analysis of the RIL population revealed the presence of two genes for stripe rust resistance, with one gene each being contributed by each of the parental lines. A linkage map with 169 SSR and RFLP loci generated from a set of 93 RILs was used for mapping these resistance genes. Based on phenotypic data for 3 years and the pooled data, two QTLs, one each in T. monococcum acc. pau14087 and T. boeoticum acc. pau5088, were detected for resistance in the RIL population. The QTL in T. monococcum mapped on chromosome 2A in a 3.6 cM interval between Xwmc407 and Xwmc170, whereas the QTL from T. boeoticum mapped on 5A in 8.9 cM interval between Xbarc151 and Xcfd12 and these were designated as QYrtm.pau-2A and QYrtb.pau-5A, respectively. Based on field data for 3 years, their R2 values were 14 and 24%, respectively. T. monococcum acc. pau14087 and three resistant RILs were crossed to hexaploid wheat cvs WL711 and PBW343, using T. durum as a bridging species with the objective of transferring these genes into hexaploid wheat. The B genome of T. durum suppressed resistance in the F1 plants, but with subsequent backcrossing one resistance gene could be transferred from one of the RILs to the hexaploid wheat background. This gene was derived from T. boeoticum acc. pau5088 as indicated by co-introgression of T. boeoticum sequences linked to stripe rust resistance QTL, QYrtb.pau-5A. Homozygous resistant progenies with 40-42 chromosomes have been identified.

Exophytic Ulcerated Tumors in HIV Patients: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Problems

Dermatology (Basel, Switzerland). 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18032901

Two HIV-positive male patients with a rarely documented form of genital herpes are described. In both cases the atypical clinical presentation suggested neoplastic rather than infectious lesions. This tumorous genital herpes may occur in HIV-infected patients while on antiretroviral therapy. Since therapeutic failure to nucleoside analogues is common in these cases even in the absence of phenotypical resistance, other treatment options are discussed.

Independent Evolution of Functional Pm3 Resistance Genes in Wild Tetraploid Wheat and Domesticated Bread Wheat

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 18980638

The Pm3 alleles of cultivated bread wheat confer gene for gene resistance to the powdery mildew fungus. They represent a particular case of plant disease resistance gene evolution, because of their recent origin and possible evolution after the formation of hexaploid wheat. The Pm3 locus is conserved in tetraploid wheat, thereby allowing the comparative evolutionary study of the same resistance locus in a domesticated species and in one of its wild ancestors. We have identified 61 Pm3 allelic sequences from wild and domesticated tetraploid wheat subspecies. The Pm3 sequences corresponded to 24 different haplotypes. They showed low sequence diversity, differing by only a few polymorphic sequence blocks that were further reshuffled between alleles by gene conversion and recombination. Polymorphic sequence blocks are different from the blocks found in functional Pm3 alleles of hexaploid wheat, indicating an independent evolution of the Pm3 loci in the two species. A new functional gene was identified in a wild wheat accession from Syria. This gene, Pm3k, conferred intermediate race-specific resistance to powdery mildew, and consists of a mosaic of gene segments derived from non-functional alleles. This demonstrates that Pm3-based resistance is not very frequent in wild tetraploid wheat, and that the evolution of functional resistance genes occurred independently in wild tetraploid and bread wheat. The Pm3 sequence variability and geographic distribution indicated that diversity was higher in wild emmer wheat from the Levant area, compared with the accessions from Turkey. Further screens for Pm3 functional genes in wild wheat should therefore focus on accessions from the Levant region.

Down-regulation of Gene Expression by RNA-induced Gene Silencing

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19009447

Down-regulation of endogenous genes via post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) is a key to the characterization of gene function in plants. Many RNA-based silencing mechanisms such as post-transcriptional gene silencing, co-suppression, quelling, and RNA interference (RNAi) have been discovered among species of different kingdoms (plants, fungi, and animals). One of the most interesting discover ies was RNAi, a sequence-specific gene-silencing mechanism initiated by the introduction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), homologous in sequence to the silenced gene, which triggers degradation of mRNA. Infection of plants with modified viruses can also induce RNA silencing and is referred to as virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). In contrast to insertional mutagenesis, these emerging new reverse genetic approaches represent a powerful tool for exploring gene function and for manipulating gene expression experimentally in cereal species such as barley and wheat. We examined how RNAi and VIGS have been used to assess gene function in barley and wheat, including molecular mechanisms involved in the process and available methodological elements, such as vectors, inoculation procedures, and analysis of silenced phenotypes.

Analysis of Intraspecies Diversity in Wheat and Barley Genomes Identifies Breakpoints of Ancient Haplotypes and Provides Insight into the Structure of Diploid and Hexaploid Triticeae Gene Pools

Plant Physiology. Jan, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19011002

A large number of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) varieties have evolved in agricultural ecosystems since domestication. Because of the large, repetitive genomes of these Triticeae crops, sequence information is limited and molecular differences between modern varieties are poorly understood. To study intraspecies genomic diversity, we compared large genomic sequences at the Lr34 locus of the wheat varieties Chinese Spring, Renan, and Glenlea, and diploid wheat Aegilops tauschii. Additionally, we compared the barley loci Vrs1 and Rym4 of the varieties Morex, Cebada Capa, and Haruna Nijo. Molecular dating showed that the wheat D genome haplotypes diverged only a few thousand years ago, while some barley and Ae. tauschii haplotypes diverged more than 500,000 years ago. This suggests gene flow from wild barley relatives after domestication, whereas this was rare or absent in the D genome of hexaploid wheat. In some segments, the compared haplotypes were very similar to each other, but for two varieties each at the Rym4 and Lr34 loci, sequence conservation showed a breakpoint that separates a highly conserved from a less conserved segment. We interpret this as recombination breakpoints of two ancient haplotypes, indicating that the Triticeae genomes are a heterogeneous and variable mosaic of haplotype fragments. Analysis of insertions and deletions showed that large events caused by transposable element insertions, illegitimate recombination, or unequal crossing over were relatively rare. Most insertions and deletions were small and caused by template slippage in short homopolymers of only a few base pairs in size. Such frequent polymorphisms could be exploited for future molecular marker development.

A New Family of Ty1-copia-like Retrotransposons Originated in the Tomato Genome by a Recent Horizontal Transfer Event

Genetics. Apr, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19153256

Rider is a novel and recently active Ty1-copia-like retrotransposon isolated from the T3238fer mutant of tomato. Structurally, it is delimited by a duplication of target sites and contains two long terminal direct repeats and an internal open reading frame, which encodes a Ty1-copia-type polyprotein with characteristic protein domains required for retrotransposition. The family of Rider elements has an intermediate copy number and is scattered in the chromosomes of tomato. Rider family members in the tomato genome share high sequence similarity, but different structural groups were identified (full-size elements, deletion derivatives, and solo LTRs). Southern blot analysis in Solanaceae species showed that Rider was a Lycopersicon-specific element. Sequence analysis revealed that among other plants, two Arabidopsis elements (named as Rider-like 1 and Rider-like 2) are most similar to Rider in both the coding and noncoding regions. RT-PCR analysis indicates that Rider is constitutively expressed in tomato plants. The phylogeny-based parsimony analysis and the sequence substitution analyses of these data suggest that these Rider-like elements originated from a recent introgression of Rider into the tomato genome by horizontal transfer 1-6 million years ago. Considering its transcriptional activity and the recent insertion of the element into at least two genes, Rider is a recently active retrotransposon in the tomato genome.

The Sorghum Bicolor Genome and the Diversification of Grasses

Nature. Jan, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19189423

Sorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial analysis of the approximately 730-megabase Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing approximately 98% of genes in their chromosomal context using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice. Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the approximately 75% larger genome size of sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since palaeopolyploidization approximately 70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum-rice divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old. About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may contribute to sorghum's drought tolerance.

Formation of Supported Lipid Bilayers on Indium Tin Oxide for Dynamically-patterned Membrane-functionalized Microelectrode Arrays

Lab on a Chip. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19224023

Supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) are ideal platforms for the study of membrane proteins and function. Assembly of functional SLBs in an array format would lead to a breakthrough in high-throughput screening of membrane-associated processes, e.g., drugs binding to transmembrane proteins. We report the formation of SLBs from the rupture of anionic vesicles in the presence of Ca(2+) ions on ITO-coated surfaces and characterise the assembly and SLB properties. Furthermore, the formation, manipulation and regeneration of SLBs adsorbed on ITO microelectrode array spots using an electric potential switch are demonstrated. This platform enables addressable assembly and the study of electrochemically mediated membrane processes in a microarray format which can be regenerated in situ.

A Putative ABC Transporter Confers Durable Resistance to Multiple Fungal Pathogens in Wheat

Science (New York, N.Y.). Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19229000

Agricultural crops benefit from resistance to pathogens that endures over years and generations of both pest and crop. Durable disease resistance, which may be partial or complete, can be controlled by several genes. Some of the most devastating fungal pathogens in wheat are leaf rust, stripe rust, and powdery mildew. The wheat gene Lr34 has supported resistance to these pathogens for more than 50 years. Lr34 is now shared by wheat cultivars around the world. Here, we show that the LR34 protein resembles adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporters of the pleiotropic drug resistance subfamily. Alleles of Lr34 conferring resistance or susceptibility differ by three genetic polymorphisms. The Lr34 gene, which functions in the adult plant, stimulates senescence-like processes in the flag leaf tips and edges.

A Whole-genome Snapshot of 454 Sequences Exposes the Composition of the Barley Genome and Provides Evidence for Parallel Evolution of Genome Size in Wheat and Barley

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Sep, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19453446

The genomes of barley and wheat, two of the world's most important crops, are very large and complex due to their high content of repetitive DNA. In order to obtain a whole-genome sequence sample, we performed two runs of 454 (GS20) sequencing on genomic DNA of barley cv. Morex, which yielded approximately 1% of a haploid genome equivalent. Almost 60% of the sequences comprised known transposable element (TE) families, and another 9% represented novel repetitive sequences. We also discovered high amounts of low-complexity DNA and non-genic low-copy DNA. We identified almost 2300 protein coding gene sequences and more than 660 putative conserved non-coding sequences. Comparison of the 454 reads with previously published genomic sequences suggested that TE families are distributed unequally along chromosomes. This was confirmed by in situ hybridizations of selected TEs. A comparison of these data for the barley genome with a large sample of publicly available wheat sequences showed that several TE families that are highly abundant in wheat are absent from the barley genome. This finding implies that the TE composition of their genomes differs dramatically, despite their very similar genome size and their close phylogenetic relationship.

Unlocking Wheat Genetic Resources for the Molecular Identification of Previously Undescribed Functional Alleles at the Pm3 Resistance Locus

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19470492

The continuous improvement of crop plants is essential for agriculture in the coming decades and relies on the use of genetic variability through breeding. However, domestication and modern breeding have reduced diversity in the crop germplasm. Global gene banks conserve diversity, but these resources remain underexplored owing to a lack of efficient strategies to isolate important alleles. Here we describe a large-scale allele-mining project at the molecular level. We first selected a set of 1,320 bread wheat landraces from a database of 16,089 accessions, using the focused identification of germplasm strategy. On the basis of a hierarchical selection procedure on this set, we then isolated 7 resistance alleles of the powdery mildew resistance gene Pm3, doubling the known functional allelic diversity at this locus. This targeted approach for molecular utilization of gene bank accessions reveals landraces as a rich resource of new functional alleles. This strategy can be implemented for other studies on the molecular diversity of agriculturally important genes, as well as for molecular breeding.

Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci for Grain Iron and Zinc Concentration in Diploid A Genome Wheat

The Journal of Heredity. Nov-Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19520762

Micronutrients, especially iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), are deficient in the diets of people in underdeveloped countries. Biofortification of food crops is the best approach for alleviating the micronutrient deficiencies. Identification of germplasm with high grain Fe and Zn and understanding the genetic basis of their accumulation are the prerequisites for manipulation of these micronutrients. Some wild relatives of wheat were found to have higher grain Fe and Zn concentrations compared with the cultivated bread wheat germplasm. One accession of Triticum boeoticum (pau5088) that had relatively higher grain Fe and Zn was crossed with Triticum monococcum (pau14087), and a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population generated from this cross was grown at 2 locations over 2 years. The grains of the RIL population were evaluated for Fe and Zn concentration using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The grain Fe and Zn concentrations in the RIL population ranged from 17.8 to 69.7 and 19.9 to 64.2 mg/kg, respectively. A linkage map available for the population was used for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) for grain Fe and Zn accumulation. The QTL analysis led to identification of 2 QTL for grain Fe on chromosomes 2A and 7A and 1 QTL for grain Zn on chromosome 7A. The grain Fe QTL were mapped in marker interval Xwmc382-Xbarc124 and Xgwm473-Xbarc29, respectively, each explaining 12.6% and 11.7% of the total phenotypic variation and were designated as QFe.pau-2A and QFe.pau-7A. The QTL for grain Zn, which mapped in marker interval Xcfd31-Xcfa2049, was designated as QZn.pau-7A and explained 18.8% of the total phenotypic variation.

Gene-specific Markers for the Wheat Gene Lr34/Yr18/Pm38 Which Confers Resistance to Multiple Fungal Pathogens

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Sep, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19578829

The locus Lr34/Yr18/Pm38 confers partial and durable resistance against the devastating fungal pathogens leaf rust, stripe rust, and powdery mildew. In previous studies, this broad-spectrum resistance was shown to be controlled by a single gene which encodes a putative ATP-binding cassette transporter. Alleles of resistant and susceptible cultivars differed by only three sequence polymorphisms and the same resistance haplotype was found in the three independent breeding lineages of Lr34/Yr18/Pm38. Hence, we used these conserved sequence polymorphisms as templates to develop diagnostic molecular markers that will assist selection for durable multi-pathogen resistance in breeding programs. Five allele-specific markers (cssfr1-cssfr5) were developed based on a 3 bp deletion in exon 11 of the Lr34-gene, and one marker (cssfr6) was derived from a single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 12. Validation of reference genotypes, well characterized for the presence or absence of the Lr34/Yr18/Pm38 resistance locus, demonstrated perfect diagnostic values for the newly developed markers. By testing the new markers on a larger set of wheat cultivars, a third Lr34 haplotype, not described so far, was discovered in some European winter wheat and spelt material. Some cultivars with uncertain Lr34 status were re-assessed using the newly derived markers. Unambiguous identification of the Lr34 gene aided by the new markers has revealed that some wheat cultivars incorrectly postulated as having Lr34 may possess as yet uncharacterised loci for adult plant leaf and stripe rust resistance.

Two Different CC-NBS-LRR Genes Are Required for Lr10-mediated Leaf Rust Resistance in Tetraploid and Hexaploid Wheat

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19769576

Comparative study of disease resistance genes in crop plants and their relatives provides insight on resistance gene function, evolution and diversity. Here, we studied the allelic diversity of the Lr10 leaf rust resistance gene, a CC-NBS-LRR coding gene originally isolated from hexaploid wheat, in 20 diploid and tetraploid wheat lines. Besides a gene in the tetraploid wheat variety 'Altar' that is identical to the hexaploid wheat Lr10, two additional, functional resistance alleles showing sequence diversity were identified by virus-induced gene silencing in tetraploid wheat lines. In contrast to most described NBS-LRR proteins, the N-terminal CC domain of LR10 was found to be under strong diversifying selection. A second NBS-LRR gene at the Lr10 locus, RGA2, was shown through silencing to be essential for Lr10 function. Interestingly, RGA2 showed much less sequence diversity than Lr10. These data demonstrate allelic diversity of functional genes at the Lr10 locus in tetraploid wheat, and these new genes can now be analyzed for agronomic relevance. Lr10-based resistance is highly unusual both in its dependence on two, only distantly, related CC-NBS-LRR proteins, as well as in the pattern of diversifying selection in the N-terminal domain. This indicates a new and complex molecular mechanism of pathogen detection and signal transduction.

Identification and Characterization of a Novel Host-toxin Interaction in the Wheat-Stagonospora Nodorum Pathosystem

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19816671

Stagonospora nodorum, casual agent of Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) of wheat, produces a number of host-selective toxins (HSTs) known to be important in disease. To date, four HSTs and corresponding host sensitivity genes have been reported, and all four host-toxin interactions are significant factors in the development of disease. Here, we describe the identification and partial characterization of a fifth S. nodorum produced HST designated SnTox4. The toxin, estimated to be 10-30 kDa in size, was found to be proteinaceous in nature. Sensitivity to SnTox4 is governed by a single dominant gene, designated Snn4, which mapped to the short arm of wheat chromosome 1A in a recombinant inbred (RI) population. The compatible Snn4-SnTox4 interaction is light dependent and results in a mottled necrotic reaction, which is different from the severe necrosis that results from other host-toxin interactions in the wheat-S. nodorum pathosystem. QTL analysis in a population of 200 RI lines derived from the Swiss winter wheat varieties Arina and Forno revealed a major QTL for SNB susceptibility that coincided with the Snn4 locus. This QTL, designated QSnb.fcu-1A, explained 41.0% of the variation in disease on leaves of seedlings indicating that a compatible Snn4-SnTox4 interaction plays a major role in the development of SNB in this population. Additional minor QTL detected on the short arms of chromosomes 2A and 3A accounted for 5.4 and 6.0% of the variation, respectively. The effects of the three QTL were largely additive, and together they explained 50% of the total phenotypic variation. These results provide further evidence that host-toxin interactions in the wheat-S. nodorum pathosystem follow an inverse gene-for-gene model.

Diversity at the Mla Powdery Mildew Resistance Locus from Cultivated Barley Reveals Sites of Positive Selection

Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20192836

The Mla locus in barley (Hordeum vulgare) conditions isolate-specific immunity to the powdery mildew fungus (Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei) and encodes intracellular coiled-coil (CC) domain, nucleotide-binding (NB) site, and leucine-rich repeat (LRR)-containing receptor proteins. Over the last decades, genetic studies in breeding material have identified a large number of functional resistance genes at the Mla locus. To study the structural and functional diversity of this locus at the molecular level, we isolated 23 candidate MLA cDNAs from barley accessions that were previously shown by genetic studies to harbor different Mla resistance specificities. Resistance activity was detected for 13 candidate MLA cDNAs in a transient gene-expression assay. Sequence alignment of the deduced MLA proteins improved secondary structure predictions, revealing four additional, previously overlooked LRR. Analysis of nucleotide diversity of the candidate and validated MLA cDNAs revealed 34 sites of positive selection. Recombination or gene conversion events were frequent in the first half of the gene but positive selection was also found when this region was excluded. The positively selected sites are all, except two, located in the LRR domain and cluster in predicted solvent-exposed residues of the repeats 7 to 15 and adjacent turns on the concave side of the predicted solenoid protein structure. This domain-restricted pattern of positively selected sites, together with the length conservation of individual LRR, suggests direct binding of effectors to MLA receptors.

Comparative Gene Expression Analysis of Susceptible and Resistant Near-isogenic Lines in Common Wheat Infected by Puccinia Triticina

DNA Research : an International Journal for Rapid Publication of Reports on Genes and Genomes. Aug, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20360266

Gene expression after leaf rust infection was compared in near-isogenic wheat lines differing in the Lr10 leaf rust resistance gene. RNA from susceptible and resistant plants was used for cDNA library construction. In total, 55 008 ESTs were sequenced from the two libraries, then combined and assembled into 14 268 unigenes for further analysis. Of these ESTs, 89% encoded proteins similar to (E value of < or =10(-5)) characterized or annotated proteins from the NCBI non-redundant database representing diverse molecular functions, cellular localization and biological processes based on gene ontology classification. Further, the unigenes were classified into susceptible and resistant classes based on the EST members assembled from the respective libraries. Several genes from the resistant sample (14-3-3 protein, wali5 protein, actin-depolymerization factor and ADP-ribosylation factor) and the susceptible sample (brown plant hopper resistance protein, caffeic acid O-methyltransferase, pathogenesis-related protein and senescence-associated protein) were selected and their differential expression in the resistant and susceptible samples collected at different time points after leaf rust infection was confirmed by RT-PCR analysis. The molecular pathogenicity of leaf rust in wheat was studied and the EST data generated made a foundation for future studies.

Wheat Gene Bank Accessions As a Source of New Alleles of the Powdery Mildew Resistance Gene Pm3: a Large Scale Allele Mining Project

BMC Plant Biology. May, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20470444

In the last hundred years, the development of improved wheat cultivars has led to the replacement of landraces and traditional varieties by modern cultivars. This has resulted in a decline in the genetic diversity of agriculturally used wheat. However, the diversity lost in the elite material is somewhat preserved in crop gene banks. Therefore, the gene bank accessions provide the basis for genetic improvement of crops for specific traits and and represent rich sources of novel allelic variation.

Patching Gaps in Plant Genomes Results in Gene Movement and Erosion of Colinearity

Genome Research. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20530251

Colinearity of genes in plant genomes generally decreases with increasing evolutionary distance while the actual number of genes remains more or less constant. To characterize the molecular mechanisms of this "gene movement," we identified non-colinear genes by three-way comparison of the genomes of Brachypodium, rice, and sorghum. We found that genomic fragments of up to 50 kb containing the non-colinear genes are duplicated to acceptor sites elsewhere in the genome. Apparent movement of genes may usually be the result of subsequent deletions of genes in the donor region. Often, the duplicated fragments are precisely bordered by transposable elements (TEs) at the acceptor site. Highly diagnostic sequence motifs at these borders strongly suggest that these gene movements were the result of double-strand break (DSB) repair through synthesis-dependent strand annealing. In these cases, a copy of the foreign DNA fragment is used as filler DNA to repair the DSB linked with the transposition of TEs. Interestingly, most TEs we found associated with gene movement have a very low copy number in the genome and for several we did not find autonomous copies. This suggests that some of these elements spontaneously arose from unspecific interaction with TE proteins that are encoded by autonomous elements. Additionally, we found evidence that gene movements can also be caused when DSBs are repaired after template slippage or unequal crossing-over events. The observed frequency of gene movements can explain the erosion of gene colinearity between plant genomes during evolution.

Megabase Level Sequencing Reveals Contrasted Organization and Evolution Patterns of the Wheat Gene and Transposable Element Spaces

The Plant Cell. Jun, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20581307

To improve our understanding of the organization and evolution of the wheat (Triticum aestivum) genome, we sequenced and annotated 13-Mb contigs (18.2 Mb) originating from different regions of its largest chromosome, 3B (1 Gb), and produced a 2x chromosome survey by shotgun Illumina/Solexa sequencing. All regions carried genes irrespective of their chromosomal location. However, gene distribution was not random, with 75% of them clustered into small islands containing three genes on average. A twofold increase of gene density was observed toward the telomeres likely due to high tandem and interchromosomal duplication events. A total of 3222 transposable elements were identified, including 800 new families. Most of them are complete but showed a highly nested structure spread over distances as large as 200 kb. A succession of amplification waves involving different transposable element families led to contrasted sequence compositions between the proximal and distal regions. Finally, with an estimate of 50,000 genes per diploid genome, our data suggest that wheat may have a higher gene number than other cereals. Indeed, comparisons with rice (Oryza sativa) and Brachypodium revealed that a high number of additional noncollinear genes are interspersed within a highly conserved ancestral grass gene backbone, supporting the idea of an accelerated evolution in the Triticeae lineages.

Transgene X Environment Interactions in Genetically Modified Wheat

PloS One. Jul, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20635001

The introduction of transgenes into plants may cause unintended phenotypic effects which could have an impact on the plant itself and the environment. Little is published in the scientific literature about the interrelation of environmental factors and possible unintended effects in genetically modified (GM) plants.

Skin Cancers in Renal Transplant Recipients: a Description of the Renal Transplant Cohort in Bern

Swiss Medical Weekly. Jul, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20652847

Skin tumours, in particular squamous-cell carcinomas (SCC), are the most common malignant conditions developing in transplant recipients. The aim of this study is to investigate the frequency and type of skin cancer in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy after organ transplantation.

Intragenic Allele Pyramiding Combines Different Specificities of Wheat Pm3 Resistance Alleles

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Nov, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20804457

Some plant resistance genes occur as allelic series, with each member conferring specific resistance against a subset of pathogen races. In wheat, there are 17 alleles of the Pm3 gene. They encode nucleotide-binding (NB-ARC) and leucine-rich-repeat (LRR) domain proteins, which mediate resistance to distinct race spectra of powdery mildew. It is not known if specificities from different alleles can be combined to create resistance genes with broader specificity. Here, we used an approach based on avirulence analysis of pathogen populations to characterize the molecular basis of Pm3 recognition spectra. A large survey of mildew races for avirulence on the Pm3 alleles revealed that Pm3a has a resistance spectrum that completely contains that of Pm3f, but also extends towards additional races. The same is true for the Pm3b and Pm3c gene pair. The molecular analysis of these allelic pairs revealed a role of the NB-ARC protein domain in the efficiency of effector-dependent resistance. Analysis of the wild-type and chimeric Pm3 alleles identified single residues in the C-terminal LRR motifs as the main determinant of allele specificity. Variable residues of the N-terminal LRRs are necessary, but not sufficient, to confer resistance specificity. Based on these data, we constructed a chimeric Pm3 gene by intragenic allele pyramiding of Pm3d and Pm3e that showed the combined resistance specificity and, thus, a broader recognition spectrum compared with the parental alleles. Our findings support a model of stepwise evolution of Pm3 recognition specificities.

Relationships Among the A Genomes of Triticum L. Species As Evidenced by SSR Markers, in Iran

International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Nov, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 21151440

The relationships among 55 wheat accessions (47 accessions collected from Iran and eight accessions provided by the Institute of Plant Biology of the University of Zurich, Switzerland) belonging to eight species carrying A genome (Triticum monococcum L., T. boeoticum Boiss., T. urartu Tumanian ex Gandilyan, T. durum Desf., T. turgidum L., T. dicoccum Schrank ex Schübler, T. dicoccoides (Körn. ex Asch. & Graebner) Schweinf. and T. aestivum L.) were evaluated using 31 A genome specific microsatellite markers. A high level of polymorphism was observed among the accessions studied (PIC = 0.77). The highest gene diversity was revealed among T. durum genotypes, while the lowest genetic variation was found in T. dicoccoides accessions. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed a significant genetic variance (75.56%) among these accessions, representing a high intra-specific genetic diversity within Triticum taxa in Iran. However, such a variance was not observed among their ploidy levels. Based on the genetic similarity analysis, the accessions collected from Iran were divided into two main groups: diploids and polyploids. The genetic similarity among the diploid and polyploid species was 0.85 and 0.89 respectively. There were no significant differences in A genome diversity from different geographic regions. Based on the genetic diversity analyses, we consider there is value in a greater sampling of each species in Iran to discover useful genes for breeding purposes.

Rapid Linkage Disequilibrium Decay in the Lr10 Gene in Wild Emmer Wheat (Triticum Dicoccoides) Populations

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Jan, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 20859611

Recombination is a key evolutionary factor enhancing diversity. However, the effect of recombination on diversity in inbreeding species is expected to be low. To estimate this effect, recombination and diversity patterns of Lr10 gene were studied in natural populations of the inbreeder species, wild emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccoides). Wild emmer wheat is the progenitor of most cultivated wheats and it harbors rich genetic resources for disease resistance. Lr10 is a leaf rust resistance gene encoding three domains: a coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding site, and leucine-rich repeat (CC-NBS-LRR).

Comparative Sequence Analysis of Wheat and Barley Powdery Mildew Fungi Reveals Gene Colinearity, Dates Divergence and Indicates Host-pathogen Co-evolution

Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B. Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 20955813

The two fungal pathogens Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (B.g. tritici) and hordei (B.g. hordei) cause powdery mildew specifically in wheat or barley. They have the same life cycle, but their growth is restricted to the respective host. Here, we compared the sequences of two loci in both cereal mildews to determine their divergence time and their relationship with the evolution of their hosts. We sequenced a total of 273.3kb derived from B.g. tritici BAC sequences and compared them with the orthologous regions in the B.g. hordei genome. Protein-coding genes were colinear and well conserved. In contrast, the intergenic regions showed very low conservation mostly due to different integration patterns of transposable elements. To estimate the divergence time of B.g. tritici and B.g. hordei, we used conserved intergenic sequences including orthologous transposable elements. This revealed that B.g. tritici and B.g. hordei have diverged about 10 million years ago (MYA), two million years after wheat and barley (12 MYA). These data suggest that B.g. tritici and B.g. hordei have co-evolved with their hosts during most of their evolutionary history after host divergence, possibly after a short phase of host expansion when the same pathogen could still grow on the two diverged hosts.

The Wheat Mla Homologue TmMla1 Exhibits an Evolutionarily Conserved Function Against Powdery Mildew in Both Wheat and Barley

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21208308

The race-specific barley powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei) resistance gene Mla occurs as an allelic series and encodes CC-NB-LRR type resistance proteins. Inter-generic allele mining resulted in the isolation and characterisation of an Mla homologue from diploid wheat, designated TmMla1, which shares 78% identity with barley HvMLA1 at the protein level. TmMla1 was found to be a functional resistance gene against Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici in wheat, hereby providing an example of R gene orthologs controlling the same disease in two different species. TmMLA1 exhibits race-specific resistance activity and its N-terminal coiled-coil domain interacts with the barley transcription factor HvWRKY1. Interestingly, TmMLA1 was not functional in barley transient assays. Replacement of the TmMLA1 LRR domain with that of HvMLA1 revealed that this fusion protein conferred resistance against B. graminis f. sp. hordei isolate K1 in barley. Thus, TmMLA1 not only confers resistance in wheat but possibly also in barley against an as yet unknown barley powdery mildew race. The conservation of functional R gene orthologs over at least 12 million years is surprising given the observed rapid breakdown of Mla-based resistance against barley mildew in agricultural ecosystems. This suggests a high stability of Mla resistance in the natural environment before domestication.

Lr34 Multi-pathogen Resistance ABC Transporter: Molecular Analysis of Homoeologous and Orthologous Genes in Hexaploid Wheat and Other Grass Species

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21265893

The Triticum aestivum (bread wheat) disease resistance gene Lr34 confers durable, race non-specific protection against three fungal pathogens, and has been a highly relevant gene for wheat breeding since the green revolution. Lr34, located on chromosome 7D, encodes an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter. Both wheat cultivars with and without Lr34-based resistance encode a putatively functional protein that differ by only two amino acid polymorphisms. In this study, we focused on the identification and characterization of homoeologous and orthologous Lr34 genes in hexaploid wheat and other grasses. In hexaploid wheat we found an expressed and putatively functional Lr34 homoeolog located on chromosome 4A, designated Lr34-B. Another homoeologous Lr34 copy, located on chromosome 7A, was disrupted by the insertion of repetitive elements. Protein sequences of LR34-B and LR34 were 97% identical. Orthologous Lr34 genes were detected in the genomes of Oryza sativa (rice) and Sorghum bicolor (sorghum). Zea mays (maize), Brachypodium distachyon and Hordeum vulgare (barley) lacked Lr34 orthologs, indicating independent deletion of this particular ABC transporter. Lr34 was part of a gene-rich island on the wheat D genome. We found gene colinearity on the homoeologous A and B genomes of hexaploid wheat, but little microcolinearity in other grasses. The homoeologous LR34-B protein and the orthologs from rice and sorghum have the susceptible haplotype for the two critical polymorphisms distinguishing the LR34 proteins from susceptible and resistant wheat cultivars. We conclude that the particular Lr34-haplotype found in resistant wheat cultivars is unique. It probably resulted from functional gene diversification that occurred after the polyploidization event that was at the origin of cultivated bread wheat.

Transgenic Pm3b Wheat Lines Show Resistance to Powdery Mildew in the Field

Plant Biotechnology Journal. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21438988

Plant resistance (R) genes are highly effective in protecting plants against diseases, but pathogens can overcome such genes relatively easily by adaptation. Consequently, in many cases R genes do not confer durable resistance in agricultural environments. One possible strategy to make the use of R genes more sustainable depends on the modification of R genes followed by transformation. To test a possible transgenic use of R genes, we overexpressed in wheat the Pm3b resistance gene against powdery mildew under control of the maize ubiquitin promoter. Four independent transgenic lines were tested in the greenhouse and the field during 3 years. The four lines showed a five- to 600-fold transgene overexpression compared with the expression of the endogenous Pm3b gene in the landrace 'Chul'. Powdery mildew resistance was significantly improved in all lines in the greenhouse and the field, both with naturally occurring infection or after artificial inoculation. Under controlled environmental conditions, the line with the strongest overexpression of the Pm3b gene showed a dramatic increase in resistance to powdery mildew isolates that are virulent on the endogenous Pm3b. Under a variety of field conditions, but never in the greenhouse, three of the four transgenic lines showed pleiotropic effects on spike and leaf morphology. The highest overexpressing line had the strongest side effects, suggesting a correlation between expression level and phenotypic changes. These results demonstrate that the successful transgenic use of R genes critically depends on achieving an optimal level of their expression, possibly in a tissue-specific way.

Frequent Gene Movement and Pseudogene Evolution is Common to the Large and Complex Genomes of Wheat, Barley, and Their Relatives

The Plant Cell. May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21622801

All six arms of the group 1 chromosomes of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) were sequenced with Roche/454 to 1.3- to 2.2-fold coverage and compared with similar data sets from the homoeologous chromosome 1H of barley (Hordeum vulgare). Six to ten thousand gene sequences were sampled per chromosome. These were classified into genes that have their closest homologs in the Triticeae group 1 syntenic region in Brachypodium, rice (Oryza sativa), and/or sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and genes that have their homologs elsewhere in these model grass genomes. Although the number of syntenic genes was similar between the homologous groups, the amount of nonsyntenic genes was found to be extremely diverse between wheat and barley and even between wheat subgenomes. Besides a small core group of genes that are nonsyntenic in other grasses but conserved among Triticeae, we found thousands of genic sequences that are specific to chromosomes of one single species or subgenome. By examining in detail 50 genes from chromosome 1H for which BAC sequences were available, we found that many represent pseudogenes that resulted from transposable element activity and double-strand break repair. Thus, Triticeae seem to accumulate nonsyntenic genes frequently. Since many of them are likely to be pseudogenes, total gene numbers in Triticeae are prone to pronounced overestimates.

A Major Invasion of Transposable Elements Accounts for the Large Size of the Blumeria Graminis F.sp. Tritici Genome

Functional & Integrative Genomics. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21809124

Powdery mildew of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is caused by the ascomycete fungus Blumeria graminis f.sp. tritici. Genomic approaches open new ways to study the biology of this obligate biotrophic pathogen. We started the analysis of the Bg tritici genome with the low-pass sequencing of its genome using the 454 technology and the construction of the first genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for this fungus. High-coverage contigs were assembled with the 454 reads. They allowed the characterization of 56 transposable elements and the establishment of the Blumeria repeat database. The BAC library contains 12,288 clones with an average insert size of 115 kb, which represents a maximum of 7.5-fold genome coverage. Sequencing of the BAC ends generated 12.6 Mb of random sequence representative of the genome. Analysis of BAC-end sequences revealed a massive invasion of transposable elements accounting for at least 85% of the genome. This explains the unusually large size of this genome which we estimate to be at least 174 Mb, based on a large-scale physical map constructed through the fingerprinting of the BAC library. Our study represents a crucial step in the perspective of the determination and study of the whole Bg tritici genome sequence.

Ancient Diversity of Splicing Motifs and Protein Surfaces in the Wild Emmer Wheat (Triticum Dicoccoides) LR10 Coiled Coil (CC) and Leucine-rich Repeat (LRR) Domains

Molecular Plant Pathology. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21952112

In this study, we explore the diversity and its distribution along the wheat leaf rust resistance protein LR10 three-dimensional structure. Lr10 is a leaf rust resistance gene encoding a coiled coil-nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (CC-NBS-LRR) class of protein. Lr10 was cloned and sequenced from 58 accessions representing diverse habitats of wild emmer wheat in Israel. Nucleotide diversity was very high relative to other wild emmer wheat genes (π= 0.029). The CC domain was found to be the most diverse domain and subject to positive selection. Superimposition of the diversity on the CC three-dimensional structure showed that some of the variable and positively selected residues were solvent exposed and may interact with other proteins. The LRR domain was relatively conserved, but showed a hotspot of amino acid variation between two haplotypes in the ninth repeat. This repeat was longer than the other LRRs, and three-dimensional modelling suggested that an extensive α helix structure was formed in this region. The two haplotypes also differed in splicing regulation motifs. In genotypes with one haplotype, an intron was alternatively spliced in this region, whereas, in genotypes with the other haplotype, this intron did not splice at all. The two haplotypes are proposed to be ancient and maintained by balancing selection.

Transgenic Pm3 Multilines of Wheat Show Increased Powdery Mildew Resistance in the Field

Plant Biotechnology Journal. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22176579

Resistance (R) genes protect plants very effectively from disease, but many of them are rapidly overcome when present in widely grown cultivars. To overcome this lack of durability, strategies that increase host resistance diversity have been proposed. Among them is the use of multilines composed of near-isogenic lines (NILs) containing different disease resistance genes. In contrast to classical R-gene introgression by recurrent backcrossing, a transgenic approach allows the development of lines with identical genetic background, differing only in a single R gene. We have used alleles of the resistance locus Pm3 in wheat, conferring race-specific resistance to wheat powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici), to develop transgenic wheat lines overexpressing Pm3a, Pm3c, Pm3d, Pm3f or Pm3g. In field experiments, all tested transgenic lines were significantly more resistant than their respective nontransformed sister lines. The resistance level of the transgenic Pm3 lines was determined mainly by the frequency of virulence to the particular Pm3 allele in the powdery mildew population, Pm3 expression levels and most likely also allele-specific properties. We created six two-way multilines by mixing seeds of the parental line Bobwhite and transgenic Pm3a, Pm3b and Pm3d lines. The Pm3 multilines were more resistant than their components when tested in the field. This demonstrates that the difference in a single R gene is sufficient to cause host-diversity effects and that multilines of transgenic Pm3 wheat lines represent a promising strategy for an effective and sustainable use of Pm3 alleles.

Identification and Mapping of Two Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes in Triticum Boeoticum L

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22198205

Powdery mildew (PM) caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt), is one of the important foliar diseases of wheat that can cause serious yield losses. Breeding for cultivars with diverse resources of resistance is the most promising approach for combating this disease. The diploid A genome progenitor species of wheat are an important resource for new variability for disease resistance genes. An accession of Triticum boeoticum (A(b)A(b)) showed resistance against a number of Bgt isolates, when tested using detached leaf segments. Inheritance studies in a recombinant inbred line population (RIL), developed from crosses of PM resistant T. boeoticum acc. pau5088 with a PM susceptible T. monococcum acc. pau14087, indicated the presence of two powdery mildew resistance genes in T. boeoticum acc. pau5088. Analysis of powdery mildew infection and molecular marker data of the RIL population revealed that both powdery mildew resistance genes are located on the long arm of chromosome 7A. Mapping was conducted using an integrated linkage map of 7A consisting of SSR, RFLP, STS, and DArT markers. These powdery mildew resistance genes are tentatively designated as PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2. The PmTb7A.2 is closely linked to STS markers MAG2185 and MAG1759 derived from RFLP probes which are linked to powdery mildew resistance gene Pm1. This indicated that PmTb7A.2 might be allelic to Pm1. The PmTb7A.1, flanked by a DArT marker wPt4553 and an SSR marker Xcfa2019 in a 4.3 cM interval, maps proximal to PmT7A.2. PmTb7A.1 is putatively a new powdery mildew resistance gene. The powdery mildew resistance genes from T. boeoticum are currently being transferred to cultivated wheat background through marker-assisted backcrossing, using T. durum as bridging species.

Functional Variability of the Lr34 Durable Resistance Gene in Transgenic Wheat

Plant Biotechnology Journal. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22321563

Breeding for durable disease resistance is challenging, yet essential to improve crops for sustainable agriculture. The wheat Lr34 gene is one of the few cloned, durable resistance genes in plants. It encodes an ATP binding cassette transporter and has been a source of resistance against biotrophic pathogens, such as leaf rust (Puccinina triticina), for over 100 years. As endogenous Lr34 confers quantitative resistance, we wanted to determine the effects of transgenic Lr34 with specific reference to how expression levels affect resistance. Transgenic Lr34 wheat lines were made in two different, susceptible genetic backgrounds. We found that the introduction of the Lr34 resistance allele was sufficient to provide comparable levels of leaf rust resistance as the endogenous Lr34 gene. As with the endogenous gene, we observed resistance in seedlings after cold treatment and in flag leaves of adult plants, as well as Lr34-associated leaf tip necrosis. The transgene-based Lr34 resistance did not involve a hypersensitive response, altered callose deposition or up-regulation of PR genes. Higher expression levels compared to endogenous Lr34 were observed in the transgenic lines both at seedling as well as adult stage and some improvement of resistance was seen in the flag leaf. Interestingly, in one genetic background the transgenic Lr34-based resistance resulted in improved seedling resistance without cold treatment. These data indicate that functional variability in Lr34-based resistance can be created using a transgenic approach.

Comprehensive Functional Analyses of Expressed Sequence Tags in Common Wheat (Triticum Aestivum)

DNA Research : an International Journal for Rapid Publication of Reports on Genes and Genomes. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22334568

About 1 million expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences comprising 125.3 Mb nucleotides were accreted from 51 cDNA libraries constructed from a variety of tissues and organs under a range of conditions, including abiotic stresses and pathogen challenges in common wheat (Triticum aestivum). Expressed sequence tags were assembled with stringent parameters after processing with inbuild scripts, resulting in 37,138 contigs and 215,199 singlets. In the assembled sequences, 10.6% presented no matches with existing sequences in public databases. Functional characterization of wheat unigenes by gene ontology annotation, mining transcription factors, full-length cDNA, and miRNA targeting sites were carried out. A bioinformatics strategy was developed to discover single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within our large EST resource and reported the SNPs between and within (homoeologous) cultivars. Digital gene expression was performed to find the tissue-specific gene expression, and correspondence analysis was executed to identify common and specific gene expression by selecting four biotic stress-related libraries. The assembly and associated information cater a framework for future investigation in functional genomics.

Inter-species Sequence Comparison of Brachypodium Reveals How Transposon Activity Corrodes Genome Colinearity

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22448600

Intergenic sequences evolve rapidly in plant genomes through a process known as genomic turnover. To investigate the influence of DNA transposons on genomic turnover, we compared 1 Mbp of orthologous genomic sequences from Brachypodium distachyon and Brachypodium sylvaticum. We found that B. distachyon and B. sylvaticum diverged approximately 1.7-2.0 million years ago. Of a total of 219 genes identified on the analyzed sequences, 211 were colinear. However, only 24 transposable elements of a total of 451 were orthologous (i.e. inserted in the common ancestor). We characterized in detail 59 insertions and 60 excisions of DNA transposons in one or other species, which altered 17% of the intergenic space. The DNA transposon excision sites showed complex and highly diagnostic sequence motifs for double-strand break (DSB) repair. DNA transposon excisions can lead to extensive deletions of hundreds of base pairs of flanking sequence if the DSB is repaired by 'single-strand annealing', or insertions of up to several hundred base pairs of 'filler DNA' if the DSB is repaired by 'synthesis-dependent strand annealing'. In some cases, DSBs were repaired by a combination of both methods. We present a model for the evolution of intergenic sequences in which repair of DSBs upon DNA transposon excision is a major factor in the rapid turnover and erosion of intergenic sequences.

Genotype-specific SNP Map Based on Whole Chromosome 3B Sequence Information from Wheat Cultivars Arina and Forno

Plant Biotechnology Journal. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23046423

Agronomically important traits are frequently controlled by rare, genotype-specific alleles. Such genes can only be mapped in a population derived from the donor genotype. This requires the development of a specific genetic map, which is difficult in wheat because of the low level of polymorphism among elite cultivars. The absence of sufficient polymorphism, the complexity of the hexaploid wheat genome as well as the lack of complete sequence information make the construction of genetic maps with a high density of reproducible and polymorphic markers challenging. We developed a genotype-specific genetic map of chromosome 3B from winter wheat cultivars Arina and Forno. Chromosome 3B was isolated from the two cultivars and then sequenced to 10-fold coverage. This resulted in a single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) database of the complete chromosome. Based on proposed synteny with the Brachypodium model genome and gene annotation, sequences close to coding regions were used for the development of 70 SNP-based markers. They were mapped on a Arina × Forno Recombinant Inbred Lines population and found to be spread over the complete chromosome 3B. While overall synteny was well maintained, numerous exceptions and inversions of syntenic gene order were identified. Additionally, we found that the majority of recombination events occurred in distal parts of chromosome 3B, particularly in hot-spot regions. Compared with the earlier map based on SSR and RFLP markers, the number of markers increased fourfold. The approach presented here allows fast development of genotype-specific polymorphic markers that can be used for mapping and marker-assisted selection.

Comparative Analysis of Genome Composition in Triticeae Reveals Strong Variation in Transposable Element Dynamics and Nucleotide Diversity

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23057663

A 454 sequencing snapshot was utilised to investigate the genome composition and nucleotide diversity of transposable elements (TEs) for several Triticeae taxa, including Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare, Hordeum spontaneum and Secale cereale together with relatives of the A, B and D genome donors of wheat, Triticum urartu (A), Aegilops speltoides (S) and Aegilops tauschii (D). Additional taxa containing the A genome, Triticum monococcum and its wild relative Triticum boeoticum, were also included. The main focus of the analysis was on the genomic composition of TEs as these make up at least 80% of the overall genome content. Although more than 200 TE families were identified in each species, approximately 50% of the overall genome comprised 12-15 TE families. The BARE1 element was the largest contributor to all genomes, contributing more than 10% to the overall genome. We also found that several TE families differ strongly in their abundance between species, indicating that TE families can thrive extremely successfully in one species while going virtually extinct in another. Additionally, the nucleotide diversity of BARE1 populations within individual genomes was measured. Interestingly, the nucleotide diversity in the domesticated barley H. vulgare cv. Barke was found to be twice as high as in its wild progenitor H. spontaneum, suggesting that the domesticated barley gained nucleotide diversity from the addition of different genotypes during the domestication and breeding process. In the rye/wheat lineage, sequence diversity of BARE1 elements was generally higher, suggesting that factors such as geographical distribution and mating systems might play a role in intragenomic TE diversity.

Time-of-flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry with Principal Component Analysis of Titania-blood Plasma Interfaces

Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23095019

Treatment of osseoimplant surfaces with autologous platelet-rich plasma prepared according to the plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF-Endoret) protocol prior to implantation yields promising results in the clinic. Our objective is to understand the organization of complex interfaces between blood plasma preparations of various compositions and model titania surfaces. Here we present the results of the morphological and chemical characterization of TiO(2) surfaces incubated with four types of blood plasma preparations devoid of leukocytes and red blood cells: either enriched in platelets (PRGF-Endoret) or platelet-depleted, and either activated with CaCl(2) to induce clotting, or not. Chemical characterization was done by time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry with principal component analysis (ToF-SIMS/PCA). The interface morphology was studied with scanning electron and atomic force microscopy. Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to identify platelets and infer their activation state. We observe clear differences among the four types of interfaces by ToF-SIMS/PCA. Some of these could be straightforwardly related to the differences in the sample morphology and known effects of platelet activation, but others are more subtle. Strikingly, it was possible to differentiate between these samples by ToF-SIMS/PCA of the protein species alone. This clearly indicates that the composition, orientation, and/or conformation of the proteins in these specimens depend both on the platelets' presence and on their activation. The ToF-SIMS imaging functionality furthermore provides unique insight into the distribution of phospholipid species in these samples.

Recent Emergence of the Wheat Lr34 Multi-pathogen Resistance: Insights from Haplotype Analysis in Wheat, Rice, Sorghum and Aegilops Tauschii

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Mar, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23117720

Spontaneous sequence changes and the selection of beneficial mutations are driving forces of gene diversification and key factors of evolution. In highly dynamic co-evolutionary processes such as plant-pathogen interactions, the plant's ability to rapidly adapt to newly emerging pathogens is paramount. The hexaploid wheat gene Lr34, which encodes an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter, confers durable field resistance against four fungal diseases. Despite its extensive use in breeding and agriculture, no increase in virulence towards Lr34 has been described over the last century. The wheat genepool contains two predominant Lr34 alleles of which only one confers disease resistance. The two alleles, located on chromosome 7DS, differ by only two exon-polymorphisms. Putatively functional homoeologs and orthologs of Lr34 are found on the B-genome of wheat and in rice and sorghum, but not in maize, barley and Brachypodium. In this study we present a detailed haplotype analysis of homoeologous and orthologous Lr34 genes in genetically and geographically diverse selections of wheat, rice and sorghum accessions. We found that the resistant Lr34 haplotype is unique to the wheat D-genome and is not found in the B-genome of wheat or in rice and sorghum. Furthermore, we only found the susceptible Lr34 allele in a set of 252 Ae. tauschii genotypes, the progenitor of the wheat D-genome. These data provide compelling evidence that the Lr34 multi-pathogen resistance is the result of recent gene diversification occurring after the formation of hexaploid wheat about 8,000 years ago.

Aegilops Tauschii Draft Genome Sequence Reveals a Gene Repertoire for Wheat Adaptation

Nature. Apr, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23535592

About 8,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, a spontaneous hybridization of the wild diploid grass Aegilops tauschii (2n = 14; DD) with the cultivated tetraploid wheat Triticum turgidum (2n = 4x = 28; AABB) resulted in hexaploid wheat (T. aestivum; 2n = 6x = 42; AABBDD). Wheat has since become a primary staple crop worldwide as a result of its enhanced adaptability to a wide range of climates and improved grain quality for the production of baker's flour. Here we describe sequencing the Ae. tauschii genome and obtaining a roughly 90-fold depth of short reads from libraries with various insert sizes, to gain a better understanding of this genetically complex plant. The assembled scaffolds represented 83.4% of the genome, of which 65.9% comprised transposable elements. We generated comprehensive RNA-Seq data and used it to identify 43,150 protein-coding genes, of which 30,697 (71.1%) were uniquely anchored to chromosomes with an integrated high-density genetic map. Whole-genome analysis revealed gene family expansion in Ae. tauschii of agronomically relevant gene families that were associated with disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance and grain quality. This draft genome sequence provides insight into the environmental adaptation of bread wheat and can aid in defining the large and complicated genomes of wheat species.

The Wheat Lr34 Gene Provides Resistance Against Multiple Fungal Pathogens in Barley

Plant Biotechnology Journal. Sep, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23711079

The Lr34 gene encodes an ABC transporter and has provided wheat with durable, broad-spectrum resistance against multiple fungal pathogens for over 100 years. Because barley does not have an Lr34 ortholog, we expressed Lr34 in barley to investigate its potential as a broad-spectrum resistance resource in another grass species. We found that introduction of the genomic Lr34 sequence confers resistance against barley leaf rust and barley powdery mildew, two pathogens specific for barley but not virulent on wheat. In addition, the barley lines showed enhanced resistance against wheat stem rust. Transformation with the Lr34 cDNA or the genomic susceptible Lr34 allele did not result in increased resistance. Unlike wheat, where Lr34-conferred resistance is associated with adult plants, the genomic Lr34 transgenic barley lines exhibited multipathogen resistance in seedlings. These transgenic barley lines also developed leaf tip necrosis (LTN) in young seedlings, which correlated with an up-regulation of senescence marker genes and several pathogenesis-related (PR) genes. In wheat, transcriptional expression of Lr34 is highest in adult plants and correlates with increased resistance and LTN affecting the last emerging leaf. The severe phenotype of transgenic Lr34 barley resulted in reduced plant growth and total grain weight. These results demonstrate that Lr34 provides enhanced multipathogen resistance early in barley plant development and implies the conservation of the substrate and mechanism of the LR34 transporter and its molecular action between wheat and barley. With controlled gene expression, the use of Lr34 may be valuable for many cereal breeding programmes, particularly given its proven durability.

The Wheat Powdery Mildew Genome Shows the Unique Evolution of an Obligate Biotroph

Nature Genetics. Sep, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23852167

Wheat powdery mildew, Blumeria graminis forma specialis tritici, is a devastating fungal pathogen with a poorly understood evolutionary history. Here we report the draft genome sequence of wheat powdery mildew, the resequencing of three additional isolates from different geographic regions and comparative analyses with the barley powdery mildew genome. Our comparative genomic analyses identified 602 candidate effector genes, with many showing evidence of positive selection. We characterize patterns of genetic diversity and suggest that mildew genomes are mosaics of ancient haplogroups that existed before wheat domestication. The patterns of diversity in modern isolates suggest that there was no pronounced loss of genetic diversity upon formation of the new host bread wheat 10,000 years ago. We conclude that the ready adaptation of B. graminis f.sp. tritici to the new host species was based on a diverse haplotype pool that provided great genetic potential for pathogen variation.

Rye Pm8 and Wheat Pm3 Are Orthologous Genes and Show Evolutionary Conservation of Resistance Function Against Powdery Mildew

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24124925

The improvement of wheat through breeding has relied strongly on the use of genetic material from related wild and domesticated grass species. The 1RS chromosome arm from rye was introgressed into wheat and crossed into many wheat lines, as it improves yield and fungal disease resistance. Pm8 is a powdery mildew resistance gene on 1RS which, after widespread agricultural cultivation, is now widely overcome by adapted mildew races. Here we show by homology-based cloning and subsequent physical and genetic mapping that Pm8 is the rye orthologue of the Pm3 allelic series of mildew resistance genes in wheat. The cloned gene was functionally validated as Pm8 by transient, single-cell expression analysis and stable transformation. Sequence analysis revealed a complex mosaic of ancient haplotypes among Pm3- and Pm8-like genes from different members of the Triticeae. These results show that the two genes have evolved independently after the divergence of the species 7.5 million years ago and kept their function in mildew resistance. During this long time span the co-evolving pathogens have not overcome these genes, which is in strong contrast to the breakdown of Pm8 resistance since its introduction into commercial wheat 70 years ago. Sequence comparison revealed that evolutionary pressure acted on the same subdomains and sequence features of the two orthologous genes. This suggests that they recognize directly or indirectly the same pathogen effectors that have been conserved in the powdery mildews of wheat and rye.

Wheat Syntenome Unveils New Evidences of Contrasted Evolutionary Plasticity Between Paleo- and Neoduplicated Subgenomes

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24164652

Bread wheat derives from a grass ancestor structured in seven protochromosomes followed by a paleotetraploidization to reach a 12 chromosomes intermediate and a neohexaploidization (involving subgenomes A, B and D) event that finally shaped the 21 modern chromosomes. Insights into wheat syntenome in sequencing conserved orthologous set (COS) genes unravelled differences in genomic structure (such as gene conservation and diversity) and genetical landscape (such as recombination pattern) between ancestral as well as recent duplicated blocks. Contrasted evolutionary plasticity is observed where the B subgenome appears more sensitive (i.e. plastic) in contrast to A as dominant (i.e. stable) in response to the neotetraploidization and D subgenome as supra-dominant (i.e. pivotal) in response to the neohexaploidization event. Finally, the wheat syntenome, delivered through a public web interface PlantSyntenyViewer at http://urgi.versailles.inra.fr/synteny-wheat, can be considered as a guide for accelerated dissection of major agronomical traits in wheat.

A Physical Map of the Short Arm of Wheat Chromosome 1A

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24278269

Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) has a large and highly repetitive genome which poses major technical challenges for its study. To aid map-based cloning and future genome sequencing projects, we constructed a BAC-based physical map of the short arm of wheat chromosome 1A (1AS). From the assembly of 25,918 high information content (HICF) fingerprints from a 1AS-specific BAC library, 715 physical contigs were produced that cover almost 99% of the estimated size of the chromosome arm. The 3,414 BAC clones constituting the minimum tiling path were end-sequenced. Using a gene microarray containing ∼40 K NCBI UniGene EST clusters, PCR marker screening and BAC end sequences, we arranged 160 physical contigs (97 Mb or 35.3% of the chromosome arm) in a virtual order based on synteny with Brachypodium, rice and sorghum. BAC end sequences and information from microarray hybridisation was used to anchor 3.8 Mbp of Illumina sequences from flow-sorted chromosome 1AS to BAC contigs. Comparison of genetic and synteny-based physical maps indicated that ∼50% of all genetic recombination is confined to 14% of the physical length of the chromosome arm in the distal region. The 1AS physical map provides a framework for future genetic mapping projects as well as the basis for complete sequencing of chromosome arm 1AS.

The Physical Map of Wheat Chromosome 1BS Provides Insights into Its Gene Space Organization and Evolution

Genome Biology. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24359668

The wheat genome sequence is an essential tool for advanced genomic research and improvements. The generation of a high-quality wheat genome sequence is challenging due to its complex 17 Gb polyploid genome. To overcome these difficulties, sequencing through the construction of BAC-based physical maps of individual chromosomes is employed by the wheat genomics community. Here, we present the construction of the first comprehensive physical map of chromosome 1BS, and illustrate its unique gene space organization and evolution.

High-resolution Analysis of a QTL for Resistance to Stagonospora Nodorum Glume Blotch in Wheat Reveals Presence of Two Distinct Resistance Loci in the Target Interval

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Mar, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24306318

Stagonospora nodorum glume blotch (SNG), caused by the necrotrophic fungus Stagonospora nodorum, is one of the economically important diseases of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Resistance to SNG is known to be quantitative and previous studies of a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for resistance to SNG on the short arm of chromosome 3B. To localize this QTL (QSng.sfr-3BS) with high resolution, we constructed a genetic map for the QTL target region using information from sequenced flow-sorted chromosomes 3B of the two parental cultivars 'Arina' and 'Forno', the physical map of chromosome 3B of cultivar 'Chinese Spring' and BAC-clone sequences. The mapping population of near-isogenic lines (NIL) was evaluated for SNG resistance in field infection tests. NILs segregated for disease resistance as well as for plant height; additionally, we observed a high environmental influence on the trait. Our analysis detected a strong negative correlation of SNG resistance and plant height. Further analysis of the target region identified two linked loci associated with SNG resistance. One of them was also associated with plant height, revealing an effect of QSng.sfr-3BS on plant height that was hidden in the RIL population. This result demonstrates an unexpectedly high genetic complexity of resistance controlled by QSng.sfr-3BS and shows the importance of the study of QTL in mendelized form in NILs.

Substitutions of Two Amino Acids in the Nucleotide-binding Site Domain of a Resistance Protein Enhance the Hypersensitive Response and Enlarge the PM3F Resistance Spectrum in Wheat

Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI. Mar, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24329172

Proteins with nucleotide-binding site (NBS) and leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domains are major components of the plant immune system. They usually mediate resistance against a subgroup of races of a specific pathogen. For the allelic series of the wheat powdery mildew resistance gene Pm3, alleles with a broad and a narrow resistance spectrum have been described. Here, we show that a broad Pm3 spectrum range correlates with a fast and intense hypersensitive response (HR) in a Nicotiana transient-expression system and this activity can be attributed to two particular amino acids in the ARC2 subdomain of the NBS. The combined substitution of these amino acids in narrow-spectrum PM3 proteins enhances their capacity to induce an HR in Nicotiana benthamiana, and we demonstrate that these substitutions also enlarge the resistance spectrum of the Pm3f allele in wheat. Finally, using Bph14, we show that the region carrying the relevant amino acids also plays a role in the HR regulation of another coiled-coil NBS-LRR resistance protein. These results highlight the importance of an optimized NBS-'molecular switch' for the conversion of initial pathogen perception by the LRR into resistance-protein activation, and we describe a possible approach to extend the effectiveness of resistance genes via minimal targeted modifications in the NBS domain.

Sequencing of Chloroplast Genomes from Wheat, Barley, Rye and Their Relatives Provides a Detailed Insight into the Evolution of the Triticeae Tribe

PloS One. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24614886

Using Roche/454 technology, we sequenced the chloroplast genomes of 12 Triticeae species, including bread wheat, barley and rye, as well as the diploid progenitors and relatives of bread wheat Triticum urartu, Aegilops speltoides and Ae. tauschii. Two wild tetraploid taxa, Ae. cylindrica and Ae. geniculata, were also included. Additionally, we incorporated wild Einkorn wheat Triticum boeoticum and its domesticated form T. monococcum and two Hordeum spontaneum (wild barley) genotypes. Chloroplast genomes were used for overall sequence comparison, phylogenetic analysis and dating of divergence times. We estimate that barley diverged from rye and wheat approximately 8-9 million years ago (MYA). The genome donors of hexaploid wheat diverged between 2.1-2.9 MYA, while rye diverged from Triticum aestivum approximately 3-4 MYA, more recently than previously estimated. Interestingly, the A genome taxa T. boeoticum and T. urartu were estimated to have diverged approximately 570,000 years ago. As these two have a reproductive barrier, the divergence time estimate also provides an upper limit for the time required for the formation of a species boundary between the two. Furthermore, we conclusively show that the chloroplast genome of hexaploid wheat was contributed by the B genome donor and that this unknown species diverged from Ae. speltoides about 980,000 years ago. Additionally, sequence alignments identified a translocation of a chloroplast segment to the nuclear genome which is specific to the rye/wheat lineage. We propose the presented phylogeny and divergence time estimates as a reference framework for future studies on Triticeae.

Three-dimensional Modeling and Diversity Analysis Reveals Distinct AVR Recognition Sites and Evolutionary Pathways in Wild and Domesticated Wheat Pm3 R Genes

Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI. Aug, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24742072

The Pm3 gene confers resistance against wheat powdery mildew. Studies of Pm3 diversity have shown that Pm3 alleles isolated from southern populations of wild emmer wheat located in Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Syria are more diverse and more distant from bread wheat alleles than alleles from the northern wild wheat populations located in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Therefore, southern populations from Israel were studied extensively to reveal novel Pm3 alleles that are absent from the cultivated gene pool. Candidate Pm3 genes were isolated via a polymerase chain reaction cloning approach. Known and newly identified Pm3 genes were subjected to variation analysis and polymorphic amino acid residues were superimposed on a three-dimensional (3D) model of PM3. The region of highest interspecies diversity between Triticum aestivum and T. dicoccoides lies in leucine-rich repeats (LRR) 19 to 24, whereas most intraspecies diversity in T. aestivum is located in LRR 25 to 28. Interestingly, these two regions are separated by one large LRR whose propensity for flexibility facilitates the conformation of the PM3 LRR domain into two differently structured models. The combination of evolutionary and protein 3D structure analysis revealed that Pm3 genes in wild and domesticated wheat show different evolutionary histories which might have been triggered through different interactions with the powdery mildew pathogen.

Molecular Mapping of an Adult Plant Stem Rust Resistance Gene Sr56 in Winter Wheat Cultivar Arina

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Jun, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24794977

This article covers detailed characterization and naming of QSr.sun - 5BL as Sr56 . Molecular markers linked with adult plant stem rust resistance gene Sr56 were identified and validated for marker-assisted selection. The identification of new sources of adult plant resistance (APR) and effective combinations of major and minor genes is well appreciated in breeding for durable rust resistance in wheat. A QTL, QSr.sun-5BL, contributed by winter wheat cultivar Arina providing 12-15 % reduction in stem rust severity, was reported in an Arina/Forno recombinant inbred line (RIL) population. Following the demonstration of monogenic segregation for APR in the Arina/Yitpi RIL population, the resistance locus was formally named Sr56. Saturation mapping of the Sr56 region using STS (from EST and DArT clones), SNP (9 K) and SSR markers from wheat chromosome survey sequences that were ordered based on synteny with Brachypodium distachyon genes in chromosome 1 resulted in the flanking of Sr56 by sun209 (SSR) and sun320 (STS) at 2.6 and 1.2 cM on the proximal and distal ends, respectively. Investigation of conservation of gene order between the Sr56 region in wheat and B. distachyon showed that the syntenic region defined by SSR marker interval sun209-sun215 corresponded to approximately 192 kb in B. distachyon, which contains five predicted genes. Conservation of gene order for the Sr56 region between wheat and Brachypodium, except for two inversions, provides a starting point for future map-based cloning of Sr56. The Arina/Forno RILs carrying both Sr56 and Sr57 exhibited low disease severity compared to those RILs carrying these genes singly. Markers linked with Sr56 would be useful for marker-assisted pyramiding of this gene with other major and APR genes for which closely linked markers are available.

Suppression Among Alleles Encoding Nucleotide-binding-leucine-rich Repeat Resistance Proteins Interferes with Resistance in F1 Hybrid and Allele-pyramided Wheat Plants

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24942051

The development of high-yielding varieties with broad-spectrum durable disease resistance is the ultimate goal of crop breeding. In plants, immune receptors of the nucleotide-binding-leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) class mediate race-specific resistance against pathogen attack. When employed in agriculture this type of resistance is often rapidly overcome by newly adapted pathogen races. The stacking of different resistance genes or alleles in F1 hybrids or in pyramided lines is a promising strategy for achieving more durable resistance. Here, we identify a molecular mechanism which can negatively interfere with the allele-pyramiding approach. We show that pairwise combinations of different alleles of the powdery mildew resistance gene Pm3 in F1 hybrids and stacked transgenic wheat lines can result in suppression of Pm3-based resistance. This effect is independent of the genetic background and solely dependent on the Pm3 alleles. Suppression occurs at the post-translational level, as levels of RNA and protein in the suppressed alleles are unaffected. Using a transient expression system in Nicotiana benthamiana, the LRR domain was identified as the domain conferring suppression. The results of this study suggest that the expression of closely related NB-LRR resistance genes or alleles in the same genotype can lead to dominant-negative interactions. These findings provide a molecular explanation for the frequently observed ineffectiveness of resistance genes introduced from the secondary gene pool into polyploid crop species and mark an important step in overcoming this limitation.

The Powdery Mildew Resistance Gene Pm8 Derived from Rye is Suppressed by Its Wheat Ortholog Pm3

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24942074

The powdery mildew resistance gene Pm8 derived from rye is located on a 1BL.1RS chromosome translocation in wheat. However, some wheat lines with this translocation do not show resistance to isolates of the wheat powdery mildew pathogen avirulent to Pm8 due to an unknown genetically dominant suppression mechanism. Here we show that lines with suppressed Pm8 activity contain an intact and expressed Pm8 gene. Therefore, the absence of Pm8 function in certain 1BL.1RS-containing wheat lines is not the result of gene loss or mutation but is based on suppression. The wheat gene Pm3, an ortholog of rye Pm8, suppressed Pm8-mediated powdery mildew resistance in lines containing Pm8 in a transient single-cell expression assay. This result was further confirmed in transgenic lines with combined Pm8 and Pm3 transgenes. Expression analysis revealed that suppression is not the result of gene silencing, either in wheat 1BL.1RS translocation lines carrying Pm8 or in transgenic genotypes with both Pm8 and Pm3 alleles. In addition, a similar abundance of the PM8 and PM3 proteins in single or double homozygous transgenic lines suggested that a post-translational mechanism is involved in suppression of Pm8. Co-expression of Pm8 and Pm3 genes in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves followed by co-immunoprecipitation analysis showed that the two proteins interact. Therefore, the formation of a heteromeric protein complex might result in inefficient or absent signal transmission for the defense reaction. These data provide a molecular explanation for the suppression of resistance genes in certain genetic backgrounds and suggest ways to circumvent it in future plant breeding.

The Environment Exerts a Greater Influence Than the Transgene on the Transcriptome of Field-grown Wheat Expressing the Pm3b Allele

Transgenic Research. Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25095900

Wheat provides 20 % of the calories consumed worldwide. Powdery mildew infections of wheat can result in more than 30 % yield loss but it has been demonstrated that wheat overexpressing Pm3b, an allele of the R gene Pm3, has enhanced resistance against powdery mildew under field conditions. A gene expression profile study using GeneChip Wheat Genome Array and Fluidigm 96.96 Dynamic Arrays was performed to obtain insights into the mode of action of Pm3b and to elucidate the molecular basis of pleiotropic effects observed in three out of four independent transgenic events under field conditions. A cluster analysis of the microarray data and a principal component analysis of the Fluidigm 96.96 Dynamic Arrays data showed that transgenic lines and null segregants grouped together. The microarray analysis of samples from fungicide-treated plants revealed that significantly fewer genes were differentially expressed in Pm3b#1 than in Pm3b#2, which had a pleiotropic phenotype in the field, compared to their null segregants. Together, our data provide evidence that the environment influenced gene expression in the Pm3b lines more than the transgene itself.

Fine-mapping of a Major QTL Controlling Angular Leaf Spot Resistance in Common Bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris L.)

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. May, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25740562

A major QTL for angular leaf spot resistance in the common bean accession G5686 was fine-mapped to a region containing 36 candidate genes. Markers have been developed for marker-assisted selection. Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important grain legume and an essential protein source for human nutrition in developing countries. Angular leaf spot (ALS) caused by the pathogen Pseudocercospora griseola (Sacc.) Crous and U. Braun is responsible for severe yield losses of up to 80%. Breeding for resistant cultivars is the most ecological and economical means to control ALS and is particularly important for yield stability in low-input agriculture. Here, we report on a fine-mapping approach of a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) ALS4.1(GS, UC) for ALS resistance in a mapping population derived from the resistant genotype G5686 and the susceptible cultivar Sprite. 180 F3 individuals of the mapping population were evaluated for ALS resistance and genotyped with 22 markers distributed over 11 genome regions colocating with previously reported QTL for ALS resistance. Multiple QTL analysis identified three QTL regions, including one major QTL on chromosome Pv04 at 43.7 Mbp explaining over 75% of the observed variation for ALS resistance. Additional evaluation of 153 F4, 89 BC1F2 and 139 F4/F5/BC1F3 descendants with markers in the region of the major QTL delimited the region to 418 kbp harboring 36 candidate genes. Among these, 11 serine/threonine protein kinases arranged in a repetitive array constitute promising candidate genes for controlling ALS resistance. Single nucleotide polymorphism markers cosegregating with the major QTL for ALS resistance have been developed and constitute the basis for marker-assisted introgression of ALS resistance into advanced breeding germplasm of common bean.

Marker Assisted Transfer of Two Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2 from Triticum Boeoticum (Boiss.) to Triticum Aestivum (L.)

PloS One. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26066332

Powdery mildew (PM), caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, is one of the important wheat diseases, worldwide. Two PM resistance genes, designated as PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2, were identified in T. boeoticum acc. pau5088 and mapped on chromosome 7AL approximately 48cM apart. Two resistance gene analogue (RGA)-STS markers Ta7AL-4556232 and 7AL-4426363 were identified to be linked to the PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2, at a distance of 0.6cM and 6.0cM, respectively. In the present study, following marker assisted selection (MAS), the two genes were transferred to T. aestivum using T. durum as bridging species. As many as 12,317 florets of F1 of the cross T. durum /T. boeoticum were pollinated with T. aestivum lines PBW343-IL and PBW621 to produce 61 and 65 seeds, respectively, of three-way F1. The resulting F1s of the cross T. durum/T. boeoticum//T. aestivum were screened with marker flanking both the PM resistance genes PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2 (foreground selection) and the selected plants were backcrossed to generate BC1F1. Marker assisted selection was carried both in BC1F1 and the BC2F1 generations. Introgression of alien chromatin in BC2F1 plants varied from 15.4-62.9 percent. Out of more than 110 BC2F1 plants showing introgression for markers linked to the two PM resistance genes, 40 agronomically desirable plants were selected for background selection for the carrier chromosome to identify the plants with minimum of the alien introgression. Cytological analysis showed that most plants have chromosome number ranging from 40-42. The BC2F2 plants homozygous for the two genes have been identified. These will be crossed to generate lines combining both the PM resistance genes but with minimal of the alien introgression. The PM resistance gene PmTb7A.1 maps in a region very close to Sr22, a stem rust resistance gene effective against the race Ug99. Analysis of selected plants with markers linked to Sr22 showed introgression of Sr22 from T. boeoticum in several BC2F1 plants. Thus, in addition to PM resistance, these progeny might also carry resistance to stem rust race Ug99.

The Maize Disease Resistance Gene Htn1 Against Northern Corn Leaf Blight Encodes a Wall-associated Receptor-like Kinase

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26124097

Northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) caused by the hemibiotrophic fungus Exserohilum turcicum is an important foliar disease of maize that is mainly controlled by growing resistant maize cultivars. The Htn1 locus confers quantitative and partial NCLB resistance by delaying the onset of lesion formation. Htn1 represents an important source of genetic resistance that was originally introduced from a Mexican landrace into modern maize breeding lines in the 1970s. Using a high-resolution map-based cloning approach, we delimited Htn1 to a 131.7-kb physical interval on chromosome 8 that contained three candidate genes encoding two wall-associated receptor-like kinases (ZmWAK-RLK1 and ZmWAK-RLK2) and one wall-associated receptor-like protein (ZmWAK-RLP1). TILLING (targeting induced local lesions in genomes) mutants in ZmWAK-RLK1 were more susceptible to NCLB than wild-type plants, both in greenhouse experiments and in the field. ZmWAK-RLK1 contains a nonarginine-aspartate (non-RD) kinase domain, typically found in plant innate immune receptors. Sequence comparison showed that the extracellular domain of ZmWAK-RLK1 is highly diverse between different maize genotypes. Furthermore, an alternative splice variant resulting in a truncated protein was present at higher frequency in the susceptible parents of the mapping populations compared with in the resistant parents. Hence, the quantitative Htn1 disease resistance in maize is encoded by an unusual innate immune receptor with an extracellular wall-associated kinase domain. These results further highlight the importance of this protein family in resistance to adapted pathogens.

Fine Mapping of Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2 in Triticum Boeoticum (Boiss.) Using the Shotgun Sequence Assembly of Chromosome 7AL

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26160336

A novel powdery mildew resistance gene and a new allele of Pm1 were identified and fine mapped. DNA markers suitable for marker-assisted selection have been identified. Powdery mildew caused by Blumeria graminis is one of the most important foliar diseases of wheat and causes significant yield losses worldwide. Diploid A genome species are an important genetic resource for disease resistance genes. Two powdery mildew resistance genes, identified in Triticum boeoticum (A(b)A(b)) accession pau5088, PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2 were mapped on chromosome 7AL. In the present study, shotgun sequence assembly data for chromosome 7AL were utilised for fine mapping of these Pm resistance genes. Forty SSR, 73 resistance gene analogue-based sequence-tagged sites (RGA-STS) and 36 single nucleotide polymorphism markers were designed for fine mapping of PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2. Twenty-one RGA-STS, 8 SSR and 13 SNP markers were mapped to 7AL. RGA-STS markers Ta7AL-4556232 and 7AL-4426363 were linked to the PmTb7A.1 and PmTb7A.2, at a genetic distance of 0.6 and 6.0 cM, respectively. The present investigation established that PmTb7A.1 is a new powdery mildew resistance gene that confers resistance to a broad range of Bgt isolates, whereas PmTb7A.2 most probably is a new allele of Pm1 based on chromosomal location and screening with Bgt isolates showing differential reaction on lines with different Pm1 alleles. The markers identified to be linked to the two Pm resistance genes are robust and can be used for marker-assisted introgression of these genes to hexaploid wheat.

Genetic and Molecular Characterization of a Locus Involved in Avirulence of Blumeria Graminis F. Sp. Tritici on Wheat Pm3 Resistance Alleles

Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26165518

Wheat powdery mildew is caused by the obligate biotrophic fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici. The allelic series of the wheat Pm3 gene conferring race-specific resistance against powdery mildew has been well characterized functionally, and recently the corresponding avirulence gene AvrPm3a/f triggering the specific recognition by Pm3a and Pm3f alleles was cloned. Here, we describe the genetic and molecular analysis of two additional Blumeria loci involved in the resistance mediated by the Pm3c and Pm3f alleles. We genetically identified the two loci and mapped at high resolution one locus involved in the avirulence towards both Pm3c and Pm3f. The single candidate gene Bcg1 was identified in a physical target interval of 26kb defined by flanking genetic markers. Bcg1 encodes a small secreted protein sharing structural homology with ribonucleases and belongs to a family of clustered putative effector genes under diversifying selection. We found a very good, but not complete, correlation of Bcg1 haplotypes with the phenotypes of natural isolates. Two mutants were generated that were affected in their phenotypes towards Pm3a and Pm3f but did not show any sequence polymorphism in Bcg1. Our results suggest that avirulence to Pm3 in Blumeria is determined by a complex network of genes, in which Bcg1 might have a central role as a modifier of the Pm3/AvrPm3 interactions.

The Wheat Resistance Gene Lr34 Results in the Constitutive Induction of Multiple Defense Pathways in Transgenic Barley

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26315512

The wheat gene Lr34 encodes an ABCG-type transporter which provides durable resistance against multiple pathogens. Lr34 is functional as a transgene in barley, but its mode of action has remained largely unknown both in wheat and barley. Here we studied gene expression in uninfected barley lines transgenic for Lr34. Genes from multiple defense pathways contributing to basal and inducible disease resistance were constitutively active in seedlings and mature leaves. In addition, the hormones jasmonic acid and salicylic acid were induced to high levels, and increased levels of lignin as well as hordatines were observed. These results demonstrate a strong, constitutive re-programming of metabolism by Lr34. The resistant Lr34 allele (Lr34res) encodes a protein that differs by two amino acid polymorphisms from the susceptible Lr34sus allele. The deletion of a single phenylalanine residue in Lr34sus was sufficient to induce the characteristic Lr34-based responses. Combination of Lr34res and Lr34sus in the same plant resulted in a reduction of Lr34res expression by 8- to 20-fold when the low-expressing Lr34res line BG8 was used as a parent. Crosses with the high-expressing Lr34res line BG9 resulted in an increase of Lr34sus expression by 13- to 16-fold in progenies that inherited both alleles. These results indicate an interaction of the two Lr34 alleles on the transcriptional level. Reduction of Lr34res expression in BG8 crosses reduced the negative pleiotropic effects of Lr34res on barley growth and vigor without compromising disease resistance, suggesting that transgenic combination of Lr34res and Lr34sus can result in agronomically useful resistance.

Multiple Avirulence Loci and Allele-Specific Effector Recognition Control the Pm3 Race-Specific Resistance of Wheat to Powdery Mildew

The Plant Cell. Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26452600

In cereals, several mildew resistance genes occur as large allelic series; for example, in wheat (Triticum aestivum and Triticum turgidum), 17 functional Pm3 alleles confer agronomically important race-specific resistance to powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis). The molecular basis of race specificity has been characterized in wheat, but little is known about the corresponding avirulence genes in powdery mildew. Here, we dissected the genetics of avirulence for six Pm3 alleles and found that three major Avr loci affect avirulence, with a common locus_1 involved in all AvrPm3-Pm3 interactions. We cloned the effector gene AvrPm3(a2/f2) from locus_2, which is recognized by the Pm3a and Pm3f alleles. Induction of a Pm3 allele-dependent hypersensitive response in transient assays in Nicotiana benthamiana and in wheat demonstrated specificity. Gene expression analysis of Bcg1 (encoded by locus_1) and AvrPm3 (a2/f2) revealed significant differences between isolates, indicating that in addition to protein polymorphisms, expression levels play a role in avirulence. We propose a model for race specificity involving three components: an allele-specific avirulence effector, a resistance gene allele, and a pathogen-encoded suppressor of avirulence. Thus, whereas a genetically simple allelic series controls specificity in the plant host, recognition on the pathogen side is more complex, allowing flexible evolutionary responses and adaptation to resistance genes.

The Wheat Durable, Multipathogen Resistance Gene Lr34 Confers Partial Blast Resistance in Rice

Plant Biotechnology Journal. May, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26471973

The wheat gene Lr34 confers durable and partial field resistance against the obligate biotrophic, pathogenic rust fungi and powdery mildew in adult wheat plants. The resistant Lr34 allele evolved after wheat domestication through two gain-of-function mutations in an ATP-binding cassette transporter gene. An Lr34-like fungal disease resistance with a similar broad-spectrum specificity and durability has not been described in other cereals. Here, we transformed the resistant Lr34 allele into the japonica rice cultivar Nipponbare. Transgenic rice plants expressing Lr34 showed increased resistance against multiple isolates of the hemibiotrophic pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae, the causal agent of rice blast disease. Host cell invasion during the biotrophic growth phase of rice blast was delayed in Lr34-expressing rice plants, resulting in smaller necrotic lesions on leaves. Lines with Lr34 also developed a typical, senescence-based leaf tip necrosis (LTN) phenotype. Development of LTN during early seedling growth had a negative impact on formation of axillary shoots and spikelets in some transgenic lines. One transgenic line developed LTN only at adult plant stage which was correlated with lower Lr34 expression levels at seedling stage. This line showed normal tiller formation and more importantly, disease resistance in this particular line was not compromised. Interestingly, Lr34 in rice is effective against a hemibiotrophic pathogen with a lifestyle and infection strategy that is different from obligate biotrophic rusts and mildew fungi. Lr34 might therefore be used as a source in rice breeding to improve broad-spectrum disease resistance against the most devastating fungal disease of rice.

Hybridization of Powdery Mildew Strains Gives Rise to Pathogens on Novel Agricultural Crop Species

Nature Genetics. Feb, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26752267

Throughout the history of agriculture, many new crop species (polyploids or artificial hybrids) have been introduced to diversify products or to increase yield. However, little is known about how these new crops influence the evolution of new pathogens and diseases. Triticale is an artificial hybrid of wheat and rye, and it was resistant to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) until 2001 (refs. 1,2,3). We sequenced and compared the genomes of 46 powdery mildew isolates covering several formae speciales. We found that B. graminis f. sp. triticale, which grows on triticale and wheat, is a hybrid between wheat powdery mildew (B. graminis f. sp. tritici) and mildew specialized on rye (B. graminis f. sp. secalis). Our data show that the hybrid of the two mildews specialized on two different hosts can infect the hybrid plant species originating from those two hosts. We conclude that hybridization between mildews specialized on different species is a mechanism of adaptation to new crops introduced by agriculture.

Trapping the Intruder - Immune Receptor Domain Fusions Provide New Molecular Leads for Improving Disease Resistance in Plants

Genome Biology. Feb, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26891689

A new study uses genomics to show that fusions of plant immune receptors and other protein domains occur in significant numbers. This finding will generate many new research hypotheses and provide new opportunities for breeding resistant plant varieties.

Avirulence Genes in Cereal Powdery Mildews: The Gene-for-Gene Hypothesis 2.0

Frontiers in Plant Science. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26973683

The gene-for-gene hypothesis states that for each gene controlling resistance in the host, there is a corresponding, specific gene controlling avirulence in the pathogen. Allelic series of the cereal mildew resistance genes Pm3 and Mla provide an excellent system for genetic and molecular analysis of resistance specificity. Despite this opportunity for molecular research, avirulence genes in mildews remain underexplored. Earlier work in barley powdery mildew (B.g. hordei) has shown that the reaction to some Mla resistance alleles is controlled by multiple genes. Similarly, several genes are involved in the specific interaction of wheat mildew (B.g. tritici) with the Pm3 allelic series. We found that two mildew genes control avirulence on Pm3f: one gene is involved in recognition by the resistance protein as demonstrated by functional studies in wheat and the heterologous host Nicotiana benthamiana. A second gene is a suppressor, and resistance is only observed in mildew genotypes combining the inactive suppressor and the recognized Avr. We propose that such suppressor/avirulence gene combinations provide the basis of specificity in mildews. Depending on the particular gene combinations in a mildew race, different genes will be genetically identified as the "avirulence" gene. Additionally, the observation of two LINE retrotransposon-encoded avirulence genes in B.g. hordei further suggests that the control of avirulence in mildew is more complex than a canonical gene-for-gene interaction. To fully understand the mildew-cereal interactions, more knowledge on avirulence determinants is needed and we propose ways how this can be achieved based on recent advances in the field.

Differentiation Among Blumeria Graminis F. Sp. Tritici Isolates Originating from Wild Versus Domesticated Triticum Species in Israel

Phytopathology. Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27019062

Israel and its vicinity constitute a center of diversity of domesticated wheat species (Triticum aestivum and T. durum) and their sympatrically growing wild relatives, including wild emmer wheat (T. dicoccoides). We investigated differentiation within the forma specialis of their obligate powdery mildew pathogen, Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici. A total of 61 B. graminis f. sp. tritici isolates were collected from the three host species in four geographic regions of Israel. Genetic relatedness of the isolates was characterized using both virulence patterns on 38 wheat lines (including 21 resistance gene differentials) and presumptively neutral molecular markers (simple-sequence repeats and single-nucleotide polymorphisms). All isolates were virulent on at least some genotypes of all three wheat species tested. All assays divided the B. graminis f. sp. tritici collection into two distinct groups, those from domesticated hosts and those from wild emmer wheat. One-way migration was detected from the domestic wheat B. graminis f. sp. tritici population to the wild emmer B. graminis f. sp. tritici population at a rate of five to six migrants per generation. This gene flow may help explain the overlap between the distinct domestic and wild B. graminis f. sp. tritici groups. Overall, B. graminis f. sp. tritici is significantly differentiated into wild-emmer and domesticated-wheat populations, although the results do not support the existence of a separate f. sp. dicocci.

Molecular Genetics and Evolution of Disease Resistance in Cereals

The New Phytologist. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27427289

Contents 320 I. 320 II. 321 III. 321 IV. 322 V. 324 VI. 328 VII. 329 330 References 330 SUMMARY: Cereal crops produce a large part of the globally consumed food and feed. Because of the constant presence of devastating pathogens, the molecular characterization of disease resistance is a major research area and highly relevant for breeding. There has been recent and accelerating progress in the understanding of three distinct resistance mechanisms in cereals: resistance conferred by plasma membrane-localized receptor proteins; race-specific resistance conferred by intracellular immune receptors; and quantitative disease resistance. Intracellular immune receptors provide a particularly rich source for evolutionary studies, and have, for example, resulted in the recent discovery of a novel detection mechanism based on integrated decoy domains. Evolutionary studies have also revealed the origins of active resistance genes in both wild progenitors of today's cereals as well as in cultivated forms. In addition, independent evolution of orthologous genes in related cereals has resulted in resistance to different pathogen species. Quantitative resistance genes have been best characterized in wheat. The quantitative resistance genes identified so far in wheat encode transporter proteins or unusual kinase proteins. The recent discoveries in these three different resistance mechanisms have contributed to the basic molecular understanding of cereal immunity against pathogens and have suggested novel applications for resistance breeding.

Fusarium and Mycotoxin Spectra in Swiss Barley Are Affected by Various Cropping Techniques

Food Additives & Contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27491813

Fusarium head blight is one of the most important cereal diseases worldwide. Cereals differ in terms of the main occurring Fusarium species and the infection is influenced by various factors, such as weather and cropping measures. Little is known about Fusarium species in barley in Switzerland, hence harvest samples from growers were collected in 2013 and 2014, along with information on respective cropping factors. The incidence of different Fusarium species was obtained by using a seed health test and mycotoxins were quantified by LC-MS/MS. With these techniques, the most dominant species, F. graminearum, and the most prominent mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON), were identified. Between the three main Swiss cropping systems, Organic, Extenso and Proof of ecological performance, we observed differences with the lowest incidence and toxin accumulation in organically cultivated barley. Hence, we hypothesise that this finding was based on an array of growing techniques within a given cropping system. We observed that barley samples from fields with maize as previous crop had a substantially higher F. graminearum incidence and elevated DON accumulation compared with other previous crops. Furthermore, the use of reduced tillage led to a higher disease incidence and toxin content compared with samples from ploughed fields. Further factors increasing Fusarium infection were high nitrogen fertilisation as well as the application of fungicides and growth regulators. Results from the current study can be used to develop optimised cropping systems that reduce the risks of mycotoxin contamination.

The Durable Wheat Disease Resistance Gene Lr34 Confers Common Rust and Northern Corn Leaf Blight Resistance in Maize

Plant Biotechnology Journal. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27734576

Maize (corn) is one of the most widely grown cereal crops globally. Fungal diseases of maize cause significant economic damage by reducing maize yields and by increasing input costs for disease management. The most sustainable control of maize diseases is through the release and planting of maize cultivars with durable disease resistance. The wheat gene Lr34 provides durable and partial field resistance against multiple fungal diseases of wheat, including three wheat rust pathogens and wheat powdery mildew. Because of its unique qualities, Lr34 became a cornerstone in many wheat disease resistance programmes. The Lr34 resistance is encoded by a rare variant of an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter that evolved after wheat domestication. An Lr34-like disease resistance phenotype has not been reported in other cereal species, including maize. Here, we transformed the Lr34 resistance gene into the maize hybrid Hi-II. Lr34-expressing maize plants showed increased resistance against the biotrophic fungal disease common rust and the hemi-biotrophic disease northern corn leaf blight. Furthermore, the Lr34-expressing maize plants developed a late leaf tip necrosis phenotype, without negative impact on plant growth. With this and previous reports, it could be shown that Lr34 is effective against various biotrophic and hemi-biotrophic diseases that collectively parasitize all major cereal crop species.

Rapid Gene Isolation in Barley and Wheat by Mutant Chromosome Sequencing

Genome Biology. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27795210

Identification of causal mutations in barley and wheat is hampered by their large genomes and suppressed recombination. To overcome these obstacles, we have developed MutChromSeq, a complexity reduction approach based on flow sorting and sequencing of mutant chromosomes, to identify induced mutations by comparison to parental chromosomes. We apply MutChromSeq to six mutants each of the barley Eceriferum-q gene and the wheat Pm2 genes. This approach unambiguously identified single candidate genes that were verified by Sanger sequencing of additional mutants. MutChromSeq enables reference-free forward genetics in barley and wheat, thus opening up their pan-genomes to functional genomics.

Characterization of Lr75: a Partial, Broad-spectrum Leaf Rust Resistance Gene in Wheat

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27659842

Here, we describe a strategy to improve broad-spectrum leaf rust resistance by marker-assisted combination of two partial resistance genes. One of them represents a novel partial adult plant resistance gene, named Lr75. Leaf rust caused by the fungal pathogen Puccinia triticina is a damaging disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The combination of several, additively-acting partial disease resistance genes has been proposed as a suitable strategy to breed wheat cultivars with high levels of durable field resistance. The Swiss winter wheat cultivar 'Forno' continues to show near-immunity to leaf rust since its release in the 1980s. This resistance is conferred by the presence of at least six quantitative trait loci (QTL), one of which is associated with the morphological trait leaf tip necrosis. Here, we used a marker-informed strategy to introgress two 'Forno' QTLs into the leaf rust-susceptible Swiss winter wheat cultivar 'Arina'. The resulting backcross line 'ArinaLrFor' showed markedly increased leaf rust resistance in multiple locations over several years. One of the introgressed QTLs, QLr.sfr-1BS, is located on chromosome 1BS. We developed chromosome 1B-specific microsatellite markers by exploiting the Illumina survey sequences of wheat cv. 'Chinese Spring' and mapped QLr.sfr-1BS to a 4.3 cM interval flanked by the SSR markers gwm604 and swm271. QLr.sfr-1BS does not share a genetic location with any of the described leaf rust resistance genes present on chromosome 1B. Therefore, QLr.sfr-1BS is novel and was designated as Lr75. We conclude that marker-assisted combination of partial resistance genes is a feasible strategy to increase broad-spectrum leaf rust resistance. The identification of Lr75 adds a novel and highly useful gene to the small set of known partial, adult plant leaf rust resistance genes.

Rice NICOTIANAMINE SYNTHASE 2 Expression Improves Dietary Iron and Zinc Levels in Wheat

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Feb, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27722771

Iron and zinc deficiencies negatively impact human health worldwide. We developed wheat lines that meet or exceed recommended dietary target levels for iron and zinc in the grains. These lines represent useful germplasm for breeding new wheat varieties that can reduce iron and zinc deficiency-associated health burdens in the affected populations. Micronutrient deficiencies, including iron and zinc deficiencies, have negative impacts on human health globally. Iron-deficiency; anemia affects nearly two billion people worldwide and is the cause of reduced cognitive development, fatigue and overall low productivity. Similarly, zinc deficiency causes stunted growth, decreased immunity and increased risk of respiratory infections. Biofortification of staple crops is a sustainable and effective approach to reduce the burden of health problems associated with micronutrient deficiencies. Here, we developed wheat lines expressing rice NICOTIANAMINE SYNTHASE 2 (OsNAS2) and bean FERRITIN (PvFERRITIN) as single genes as well as in combination. NAS catalyzes the biosynthesis of nicotianamine (NA), which is a precursor of the iron chelator deoxymugeneic acid (DMA) required for long distance iron translocation. FERRITIN is important for iron storage in plants because it can store up to 4500 iron ions. We obtained significant increases of iron and zinc content in wheat grains of plants expressing either OsNAS2 or PvFERRTIN, or both genes. In particular, wheat lines expressing OsNAS2 greatly surpass the HarvestPlus recommended target level of 30 % dietary estimated average requirement (EAR) for iron, and 40 % of EAR for zinc, with lines containing 93.1 µg/g of iron and 140.6 µg/g of zinc in the grains. These wheat lines with dietary significant levels of iron and zinc represent useful germplasm for breeding new wheat varieties that can reduce micronutrient deficiencies in affected populations.

Fine Mapping of the Chromosome 5B Region Carrying Closely Linked Rust Resistance Genes Yr47 and Lr52 in Wheat

TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische Und Angewandte Genetik. Mar, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27866228

Fine mapping of Yr47 and Lr52 in chromosome arm 5BS of wheat identified close linkage of the marker sun180 to both genes and its robustness for marker-assisted selection was demonstrated. The widely effective and genetically linked rust resistance genes Yr47 and Lr52 have previously been mapped in the short arm of chromosome 5B in two F3 populations (Aus28183/Aus27229 and Aus28187/Aus27229). The Aus28183/Aus27229 F3 population was advanced to generate an F6 recombinant inbred line (RIL) population to identify markers closely linked with Yr47 and Lr52. Diverse genomic resources including flow-sorted chromosome survey sequence contigs representing the orthologous region in Brachypodium distachyon, the physical map of chromosome arm 5BS, expressed sequence tags (ESTs) located in the 5BS6-0.81-1.00 deletion bin and resistance gene analog contigs of chromosome arm 5BS were used to develop markers to saturate the target region. Selective genotyping was also performed using the iSelect 90 K Infinium wheat SNP assay. A set of SSR, STS, gene-based and SNP markers were developed and genotyped on the Aus28183/Aus27229 RIL population. Yr47 and Lr52 are genetically distinct genes that mapped 0.4 cM apart in the RIL population. The SSR marker sun180 co-segregated with Lr52 and mapped 0.4 cM distal to Yr47. In a high resolution mapping population of 600 F2 genotypes Yr47 and Lr52 mapped 0.2 cM apart and marker sun180 was placed 0.4 cM distal to Lr52. The amplification of a different sun180 amplicon (195 bp) than that linked with Yr47 and Lr52 (200 bp) in 204 diverse wheat genotypes demonstrated its robustness for marker-assisted selection of these genes.

AvrPm2 Encodes an RNase-like Avirulence Effector Which is Conserved in the Two Different Specialized Forms of Wheat and Rye Powdery Mildew Fungus

The New Phytologist. Feb, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27935041

There is a large diversity of genetically defined resistance genes in bread wheat against the powdery mildew pathogen Blumeria graminis (B. g.) f. sp. tritici. Many confer race-specific resistance to this pathogen, but until now only the mildew avirulence gene AvrPm3(a2/f2) that is recognized by Pm3a/f was known molecularly. We performed map-based cloning and genome-wide association studies to isolate a candidate for the mildew avirulence gene AvrPm2. We then used transient expression assays in Nicotiana benthamiana to demonstrate specific and strong recognition of AvrPm2 by Pm2. The virulent AvrPm2 allele arose from a conserved 12 kb deletion, while there is no protein sequence diversity in the gene pool of avirulent B. g. tritici isolates. We found one polymorphic AvrPm2 allele in B. g. triticale and one orthologue in B. g. secalis and both are recognized by Pm2. AvrPm2 belongs to a small gene family encoding structurally conserved RNase-like effectors, including Avra13 from B. g. hordei, the cognate Avr of the barley resistance gene Mla13. These results demonstrate the conservation of functional avirulence genes in two cereal powdery mildews specialized on different hosts, thus providing a possible explanation for successful introgression of resistance genes from rye or other grass relatives to wheat.

Reconstructing the Evolutionary History of Powdery Mildew Lineages (Blumeria Graminis) at Different Evolutionary Time Scales with NGS Data

Genome Biology and Evolution. Feb, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28164219

Resistance: Double Gain with One Gene

Nature Plants. Feb, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28211846

The Wheat Lr34 Multi-pathogen Resistance Gene Confers Resistance to Anthracnose and Rust in Sorghum

Plant Biotechnology Journal. Mar, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28301718

The ability of the wheat Lr34 multi-pathogen resistance gene (Lr34res) to function across a wide taxonomic boundary was investigated in transgenic Sorghum bicolor. Increased resistance to sorghum rust and anthracnose disease symptoms following infection with the biotrophic pathogen Puccinia purpurea and the hemibiotroph Colletotrichum sublineolum respectively occurred in transgenic plants expressing the Lr34res ABC transporter. Transgenic sorghum lines that highly expressed the wheat Lr34res gene exhibited immunity to sorghum rust compared to the low expressing single copy Lr34res genotype that conferred partial resistance. Pathogen induced pigmentation mediated by flavonoid phytoalexins was evident on transgenic sorghum leaves following P. purpurea infection within 24-72 hours, which paralleled Lr34res gene expression. Elevated expression of flavone synthase II, flavanone 4-reductase and dihydroflavonol reductase genes which control the biosynthesis of flavonoid phytoalexins characterised the highly expressing Lr34res transgenic lines 24 h post inoculation with P. purpurea. Metabolite analysis of mesocotyls infected with C. sublineolum showed increased levels of 3-deoxyanthocyanidin metabolites was associated with Lr34res expression, concomitant with reduced symptoms of anthracnose. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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