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 New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

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

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>