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The hijacking of a receptor kinase-driven pathway by a wheat fungal pathogen leads to disease

Gongjun Shi, Zengcui Zhang, Timothy L. Friesen, Dina Raats, Tzion Fahima, Robert S. Brueggeman, Shunwen Lu, Harold N. Trick, Zhaohui Liu, Wun Chao, Zeev Frenkel, Steven S. Xu, Jack B. Rasmussen, Justin D. Faris
Science Advances 2016 v.2 no.10 pp. 1-9
Phaeosphaeriaceae, apoptosis, disease resistance, genes, molecular cloning, nutrients, phosphotransferases (kinases), plant pathogenic fungi, receptors, sporulation, wheat
Necrotrophic pathogens live and feed on dying tissue, but their interactions with plants are not well understood compared to biotrophic and hemibiotrophic pathogens. Here, we report the positional cloning of the wheat gene, Snn1, a member of the wall-associated kinase class of receptors, which are known to drive pathways for biotrophic pathogen resistance. Snn1 confers susceptibility to strains of the necrotrophic pathogen Parastagonospora nodorum that produce the SnTox1 protein. Recognition of SnTox1 by Snn1 activates programmed cell death, which allows this necrotroph to gain nutrients and sporulate. These results demonstrate that necrotrophic pathogens such as P. nodorum hijack host molecular pathways that are involved in resistance to biotrophic pathogens, revealing the complex nature of susceptibility and resistance in necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogen interactions with plants.