Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eyespot breakthrough welcomed

29.11.2010
John Innes Centre researchers are working with plant breeders to understand more about the economically important fungal disease, eyespot and identify novel sources of genetic resistance to the disease that could be used to protect our cereal crops.

Eyespot is a fungal disease of cereals, affecting the stem base and causing large yield losses, making it economically important, especially in areas such as North West Europe and North West USA where mild damp autumns are ideal for its growth. Chemical control using fungicides, as well as being environmentally unsound, is often not cost effective for farmers, so crop varieties with higher levels of resistance are needed to help combat this disease

Dr Paul Nicholson, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, has been working with the Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) and the plant breeding company RAGT Seeds, through a CASE studentship awarded to Chris Burt, to understand the disease and identify new sources of resistance.

Very little variation in genetic resistance to eyespot exists in commercially-grown wheat varieties. In most instances, any moderate resistance in varieties was thought to derive from a single gene, Pch2, bred in from a French wheat, Cappelle Desprez in the 1950s.

Eyespot is caused by two different, co-existing fungal species, Oculimacula yallundae and Oculimacula acuformis, and recent research from the John Innes Centre is now suggesting that the resistance derived from Pch2 is differentially effective against the two species. Publishing in the journal Plant Pathology, Dr Paul Nicholson and his group have shown that the Pch2 gene is significantly less effective against O. yallundae than against O. acuformis.

“In all probability this resistance is not, as previously supposed, responsible for the partial resistance observed in many varieties,” said Dr Nicholson. “We have now characterised a source of genetic resistance that is effective against both eyespot pathogens, and it is this, rather than Pch2, that we believe confers the partial protection observed in moderately eyespot-resistant commercial wheat varieties.”

The group looked at a second reported component of the resistance in Cappelle Desprez, but on a different chromosome to the Pch2 gene. Publishing in the journal Theoretical and Applied Genetics they found that this confers significant resistance to both eyespot pathogens, and at both the seedling and adult stage, making it much more effective than Pch2 alone.

“Breeders thought that they were working with Pch2 while, in fact, if they had moderate eyespot resistance it was most probably coming from this other gene in Cappelle Desprez,” said Dr Nicholson.

“This suggests that using Pch2 as the sole source of genetic resistance may not provide adequate protection against eyespot where the predominant cause of eyespot is O. yallundae. Currently, in the UK, O. acuformis predominates but there is evidence that a shift in the type of fungicide used may be reducing this prevalence in favour of O. yallundae.”

“In the search for genetic resistance against eyespot, it is going to be critical that we test any potential candidates for resistance against both species.”

The group have found nearby genetic markers, which can be used by plant breeders to breed this resistance into commercial wheat varieties.

“This is an excellent example of applied research translating benefits all the way from lab bench through breeder hands and into farmer’s fields,” noted Peter Jack, cereal genotyping lead at RAGT Seeds. “It also prepares the ground for improvements in fundamental knowledge of plant-pathogen interactions and more generic benefits for a wide range of pathogen species.”

Sarah Holdgate, lead cereal Pathologist for RAGT Seeds, added: “although eyespot is a globally important fungal pathogen, conventional approaches to the identification of resistant lines are time consuming and costly. This research, through dissection of resistance components and identification of linked markers, will clearly facilitate breeding of naturally resistant varieties.”

“This is a very good example where coordination between funding bodies, BBSRC and HGCA, has enabled breeders to work directly with public sector researchers to tackle an important yield impacting trait,” commented Richard Summers, R & D chairman of the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) and cereal breeding lead, RAGT Seeds. “This is a model we would like to see develop further.”

Andrew Chapple | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

Further reports about: Cappelle HGCA Nicholson Oculimacula PCH2 Publishing RAGT eyespot genetic marker genetic resistance

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Research team of the HAW Hamburg reanimated ancestral microbe from the depth of the earth
01.03.2017 | Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg

nachricht Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells
01.03.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A better way to measure the stiffness of cancer cells

01.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Exploring the mysteries of supercooled water

01.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research team of the HAW Hamburg reanimated ancestral microbe from the depth of the earth

01.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>