Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Bot. 2016 Sep;67(17):4979-91. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erw263. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Host-induced silencing of Fusarium culmorum genes protects wheat from infection.

Author information

1
Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK) Gatersleben, Corrensstrasse 3, D-06466 Stadt Seeland, Germany.
2
Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Phytopathologie und Pflanzenschutz, Betty Heimann Straße 3, D-06120 Halle, Germany.
3
Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK) Gatersleben, Corrensstrasse 3, D-06466 Stadt Seeland, Germany schweiz@ipk-gatersleben.de.

Abstract

Plants producing antisense or double-stranded RNA molecules that target specific genes of eukaryotic pests or pathogens can become protected from their attack. This beneficial effect was also reported for plant-fungus interactions and is believed to reflect uptake of the RNAs by the fungus via an as yet unknown mechanism, followed by target gene silencing. Here we report that wheat plants pre-infected with Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV) strains containing antisense sequences against target genes of the Fusarium head blight (FHB) fungus F. culmorum caused a reduction of corresponding transcript levels in the pathogen and reduced disease symptoms. Stable transgenic wheat plants carrying an RNAi hairpin construct against the β-1, 3-glucan synthase gene FcGls1 of F. culmorum or a triple combination of FcGls1 with two additional, pre-tested target genes also showed enhanced FHB resistance in leaf and spike inoculation assays under greenhouse and near-field conditions, respectively. Microscopic evaluation of F. culmorum development in plants transiently or stably expressing FcGls1 silencing constructs revealed aberrant, swollen fungal hyphae, indicating severe hyphal cell wall defects. The results lead us to propose host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) as a plant protection approach that may also be applicable to highly FHB-susceptible wheat genotypes.

KEYWORDS:

Barley stripe mosaic virus; HIGS; MAP kinase.; chitin synthase; lipase; β-1,3-glucan synthase

PMID:
27540093
PMCID:
PMC5014151
DOI:
10.1093/jxb/erw263
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center