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Theor Appl Genet. 2009 May;118(8):1489-97. doi: 10.1007/s00122-009-0997-2. Epub 2009 Mar 6.

Host-selective toxins produced by Stagonospora nodorum confer disease susceptibility in adult wheat plants under field conditions.

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Northern Crop Science Laboratory, USDA-ARS, 1307 18th Street North, Fargo, ND 58105-5677, USA.


Stagonospora nodorum, causal agent of Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB), is a destructive pathogen of wheat worldwide. As is true for many necrotrophic host-pathogen systems, the wheat-S. nodorum system is complex and resistance to SNB is usually quantitatively inherited. We recently showed that S. nodorum produces at least four proteinaceous host-selective toxins that interact with dominant host sensitivity/susceptibility gene products to induce SNB in seedlings. Here, we evaluated a population of wheat recombinant inbred lines that segregates for Tsn1, Snn2, and Snn3, which confer sensitivity to the toxins SnToxA, SnTox2, and SnTox3, respectively, to determine if compatible host-toxin interactions are associated with adult plant susceptibility to SNB foliar disease under field conditions. Artificial inoculation of the population in 2 years and two locations with a fungal isolate known to produce SnToxA and SnTox2 indicated that compatible SnToxA-Tsn1 and SnTox2-Snn2 interactions accounted for as much as 18 and 15% of the variation in disease severity on the flag leaf, respectively. As previously reported for seedlings, the effects of these two interactions in conferring adult plant susceptibility were largely additive. Additional adult plant resistance QTLs were identified on chromosomes 1B, 4B, and 5A, of which, the 1B and 5A QTLs were previously reported to be associated with seedling resistance to SNB. Therefore, in this population, some of the same QTLs are responsible for seedling and adult plant resistance/susceptibility. This is the first report showing that host-selective toxins confer susceptibility of adult plants to SNB, further substantiating the importance of compatible toxin-host interactions in the wheat-S. nodorum pathosystem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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