Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Newly found gene resistant to economically crippling wheat disease

21.08.2003


Stephen Goodwin’s wheat research may lead to a reduction in the amount of grain lost to leaf blotch. Goodwin is an associate professor of botany and plant pathology at Purdue University. (Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)


Bread wheat plants carrying a newly discovered gene that is resistant to economically devastating leaf blotch can reduce the amount of grain lost to the pathogen, according to Purdue University researchers.

The scientists used bread wheat species to find the gene and the markers, or bits of DNA, that indicate presence of the naturally occurring gene. The fungus causes wheat crop damage worldwide with yield losses of 50 percent or more in some places. In the United States the disease is widespread in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Great Plains and the eastern Midwest soft wheat region, and experts estimate annual losses at $275 million.

Results of the Purdue study on resistance to the fungus that causes Septoria tritici leaf blotch are published in the September issue of Phytopathology and appear on the journal’s Web site.



"The goal of our work is to find additional resistance genes to the fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola so we can use the lines carrying these genes in our wheat to avoid the breakdown of resistance in the plants," said Stephen Goodwin, associate professor of botany and plant pathology and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) scientist. "Having the markers greatly speeds up the breeding process for resistant plants."

The markers facilitate finding plants with the pathogen resistance gene. As soon as a seedling sprouts, a small piece of the young leaf can be ground and then a DNA test can be run. This shows whether the markers are present.

"Using the markers, in a few days you can tell which plants have the resistance gene and which don’t," Goodwin said.

The researchers discovered the gene Stb8, so named because it is the eighth gene known to provide resistance to Septoria tritici leaf blotch (STB). However, this gene has some differences compared with the ones found previously, Goodwin said.

Several of the previously found genes conferred resistance on bread wheat plants for only a few years – up to about 15 years. Stb8 has genetic characteristics that may allow it to be effective for a much longer period of time, Goodwin said.

The genome containing Stb8 originated from a pasta wheat parent, which is resistant to most strains of the fungus. This may extend the usefulness of the resistance gene for bread wheat.

The specific location of Stb8 on the genome is different than all the previously known resistance genes for wheat blotch. This site should allow Stb8 to be combined with other genes that also offer some protection against the disease, thereby increasing plants’ resistance.

Stb8 and its markers are naturally occurring in wheat lines already in use, so they can be used immediately for farmers’ breeding programs to gain protection against leaf blotch, Goodwin said.

The long-term goal of the research of leaf blotch resistance genes is to learn about the molecular pathways that allow the plants to respond to pathogens, he said.

"If we can understand these biochemical processes that lead to resistance, then in the future we may learn how to modify them to make these genes more durable," Goodwin said.

Though different resistance genes seem to work more effectively in different parts of the world, the pathogen is easily spread, especially in today’s world of fast transportation. The fungus is spread and grows by spores and it can survive in dried leaves for a very long time, Goodwin said.

"We even store them that way, sometimes for years," he said. "If you keep the leaf dry, it won’t decay and the pathogen just sits there. Or you can freeze it at —80 C, thaw it, and then spray it with water – it will start growing."

Leaf blotch doesn’t kill plants, but it weakens them sufficiently to cause significant crop loss. Purdue scientists determined resistance to the fungus by observing whether the disease appeared on the leaves of adult plants and by measuring the number of spores present. This particular disease seems to affect young plants and adult plants to the same degree.

The other researchers involved in this study are Tika Adhikari, USDA-ARS and Department of Botany and Plant Pathology postdoctoral fellow, and Joseph Anderson, USDA-ARS scientist and Purdue Department of Agronomy assistant professor.

The USDA-ARS provided funding for this study.

Writer: Susan A. Steeves, (765) 496-7481, ssteeves@purdue.edu
Source: Stephen Goodwin, (765) 494-4635, sgoodwin@purdue.edu
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Susan A. Steeves | Purdue News
Further information:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/030820.Goodwin.resist.html
http://www.apsnet.org/phyto/
http://www.btny.purdue.edu/Faculty/Goodwin/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>