New Phytologist (2009) 182, 975-983

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X. Chen, A. Steed, S. Travella, B. Keller and P. Nicholson (2009)
Fusarium graminearum exploits ethylene signalling to colonize dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants
New Phytologist 182 (4), 975-983
Abstract: - Ethylene signalling affects the resistance of dicotyledonous plant species to diverse pathogens but almost nothing is known about the role of this pathway in monocotyledonous crop species. Fusarium graminearum causes Fusarium head blight (FHB) of cereals, contaminating grain with mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). Very little is known about the mechanisms of resistance/susceptibility to this disease.
- Genetic and chemical genetic studies were used to examine the influence of ethylene (ET) signalling and perception on infection of dicotyledonous (Arabidopsis) and monocotyledonous (wheat and barley) species by F. graminearum.
- Arabidopsis mutants with reduced ET signalling or perception were more resistant to F. graminearum than wild-type, while mutants with enhanced ET production were more susceptible. These findings were confirmed by chemical genetic studies of Arabidopsis, wheat and barley. Attenuation of expression of EIN2 in wheat, a gene encoding a core component of ethylene signalling, reduced both disease symptoms and DON contamination of grain.
- Fusarium graminearum appears to exploit ethylene signalling in both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous species. This demonstration of translation from model to crop species provides a foundation for improving resistance of cereal crops to FHB through identification of allelic variation for components of the ethylene-signalling pathway.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Paul Nicholson, Beat Keller

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
molecular biology - genes
resistance/tolerance/defence of host


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Fusarium graminearum