Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New hope for fighting major fungal disease in durum wheat

19.01.2015

Insights into the cell walls of disease-resistant wheat varieties could help to produce stronger durum wheat for improved pasta production

A variety of wheat that is resistant to a destructive fungal disease has been found to have specialized and protective cell walls, according to research published in BMC Plant Biology. These insights could help to produce stronger, disease-resistant varieties of durum wheat for improved pasta production.

Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is a fungal disease that affects worldwide wheat production due to dramatic yield loss, and reduced grain quality from toxins that make harvests unsuitable for consumption. While there have been several studies looking at FHB disease resistance in common wheat, little is known about durum wheat - one of the cereals most susceptible to infection and the key ingredient in pasta and couscous. Italy is one of the world's major producers of durum wheat, and FHB has been permanently present there since 1995.

Lead author Daniela Bellincampi from Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy, said: "Breeding disease-resistant varieties of durum wheat is probably the best economic and ecological strategy for fighting this invasive and destructive disease. Unfortunately, this is particularly challenging due to a lack of highly disease-resistant varieties that are available to use in breeding programs."

Joint author Agata Gadaleta from Università di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy, said: "Now that we've identified the cell wall characteristics that make a common wheat variety resistant to FHB, work can begin on transferring these traits to vulnerable durum wheat varieties. These could be cultivated in Italy and other countries to help produce safer food with reduced fungal contamination and reduced amounts of dangerous toxins in food stocks."

The researchers compared a disease-resistant variety of common wheat and a susceptible variety of durum wheat. To do this, they infected both with the fungus, and then compared the detailed characteristics of their cell walls.

The cell walls of the FHB-resistant variety had a particular composition of lignin - a structural component which plays a crucial role in cell wall reinforcement - and showed unique compositions of other structural components including pectin and hemicellulose.

The researchers identified a new gene, WheatPME1, that can play a role in changing the chemical structure of pectin - the adhesive component of the plant cell wall. They found that, during infection, the gene had different levels of activity in the FHB-resistant and susceptible varieties.

The researchers hope that the identification of these unique cell wall traits in FHB-resistant common wheat could help in breeding durum wheat varieties that are able to defend themselves against infection, and reduce fungal toxin contamination in food.

First author Vincenzo Lionetti from Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy, said: "Understanding the dynamics of plant cell wall composition and structure during infection is important to reveal strategies that plant and pathogen exploit to prevail during their interaction."

Media Contact

Joel Winston
Media Officer
BioMed Central
T: +44 (0)20 3192 2081
E: Joel.Winston@biomedcentral.com

Notes to editor:

1. Research article

Vincenzo Lionetti, Angelica Giancaspro, Eleonora Fabri, Stefania L. Giove, Nathan Reem, Olga A. Zabotina, Antonio Blanco, Agata Gadaleta and Daniela Bellincampi
Cell wall traits as potential resources to improve resistance of durum wheat against Fusarium graminearum
BMC Plant Biology 2015
DOI: 10.1186/s12870-014-0369-1

To request a copy of the research article under embargo, please contact Joel Winston (Joel.Winston@biomedcentral.com)

After embargo, article available at journal website here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-014-0369-1

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

2. BMC Plant Biology is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of plant biology, including molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and whole organism research.

BMC Plant Biology is part of the BMC series which publishes subject-specific journals focused on the needs of individual research communities across all areas of biology and medicine. We offer an efficient, fair and friendly peer review service, and are committed to publishing all sound science, provided that there is some advance in knowledge presented by the work.

4. BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. http://www.biomedcentral.com

Joel Winston | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cardiolinc™: an NPO to personalize treatment for cardiovascular disease patients
14.12.2017 | Luxembourg Institute of Health

nachricht How the kidneys produce concentrated urine
14.12.2017 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>