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Application of Brachypodium genotypes to the analysis of type II resistance to Fusarium head blight (FHB)

Su, Peisen, Guo, Xiuxiu, Fan, Yanhui, Wang, Liang, Yu, Guanghui, Ge, Wenyang, Zhao, Lanfei, Ma, Xin, Wu, Jiajie, Li, Anfei, Wang, Hongwei, Kong, Lingrang
Plant science 2018 v.272 pp. 255-266
Brachypodium distachyon, Fusarium head blight, coleoptiles, cultivars, disease severity, florets, fungal spores, fungi, gene overexpression, genes, genotype, germplasm, hosts, humidity, hyphae, leaves, models, mutants, pistil, resistance mechanisms, spikelets, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, transgenic plants, wheat
The resistance to Fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat is mainly via the restrain of fungal expansion through spike rachis (type II resistance). In order to unravel the resistance mechanisms, Brachypodium distachyon 21 (Bd21), a monocotyledonous model plant, was previously proved to interact with F. graminearum, while the disease development in spike still needs to be explored in detail. Herein, it is found that the fungal spores mainly germinate on pistil of Bd21, then the hyphae rapidly extend to the bottom of floret and enter spike rachis, similar with the infection progress in wheat. However, structural difference of spike rachis was found between Brachypodium and wheat. It was found that the spread of the fungus through the rachis node of inoculated spikelets is an important index for the evaluation of type II FHB resistance in Brachypodium under optimal conditions at 28 °C and 50%–70% humidity. To verify the feasibility of this strategy, the transcription factor TaTGA2 was overexpressed in Bd21, and transgenic plants were found to show improved resistance to F. graminearum in both spikes and detached leaves, which was further supported by the increased disease severity when silencing TaTGA2 in the wheat cultivar “Sumai 3” or in tilling “Kronos” mutants. Except for Bd21, another 49 Brachypodium germplasms were further screened for FHB resistance, and three moderately susceptible germplasms, namely, PI 317418, W6-39284, and PI 254868, feasible for transformation, were determined to be better hosts than Bd21 when evaluating heterologous genes that positively regulate FHB resistance. The present study also observed variations in the levels of FHB resistance between coleoptiles and spikes or transgenic plants and natural germplasms.