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Mol Plant Pathol. 2012 Sep;13(7):653-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2011.00775.x. Epub 2012 Jan 16.

TaWIR1 contributes to post-penetration resistance to Magnaporthe oryzae, but not Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, in wheat.

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  • 1Department of Disease and Stress Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.


Members of the Wheat-Induced Resistance 1 (TaWIR1) gene family are highly induced in response to a wide range of pathogens. Homologues have been identified in barley, but not in Brachypodium, whereas, in rice, only distant WIR1 candidates are known. Phylogenetic analysis placed TaWIR1a and TaWIR1b within a distinct clade of wheat transcripts, whereas TaWIR1c clustered with HvWIR1 genes. Transcripts of all three TaWIR1 genes were strongly induced by a wheat-adapted isolate of Magnaporthe oryzae. Virus-induced gene silencing of the TaWIR1 gene family had no effect on the initial penetration of epidermal cells by M. oryzae. However, following the establishment of an infection site, the fungus was able to grow more extensively within the leaf tissue, relative to control leaves, indicating a role for the TaWIR1 gene family in the cell-to-cell movement of M. oryzae. In contrast, the silencing of TaWIR1 transcripts had no effect on epidermal cell penetration by a wheat-adapted isolate of Blumeria graminis, or on the subsequent growth of hyphae. Differential transcription of TaWIR1 genes was also seen in epidermal peels, relative to the remaining leaf tissue, following inoculation with M. oryzae.

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