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 Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

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

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

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

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>