Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens
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Differential regulation and interaction of homoeologous WRKY18 and WRKY40 in Arabidopsis allotetraploids and biotic stress responses - Abeysinghe - - The Plant Journal - Wiley Online Library

WRKY transcription factors (TFs) belong to a large family of regulatory proteins in plants that modulate many plant processes. Extensive studies have been conducted on WRKY‐mediated defense response in Arabidopsis thaliana and several crop species. Here, we aimed to investigate the potential roles and contributions of WRKY TFs in improving the defense response in the resynthesized Arabidopsis allotetraploids (Arabidopsis suecica) derived from two related autotetraploid progenitors, Arabidopsis thaliana (At4) and Arabidopsis arenosa (Aa). Rapid and differential induction of WRKY18 and WRKY40 expression was evident in response to Pseudomonas syringae and salicylic acid (SA) treatments in the allotetraploids. Selected direct targets of the WRKYs and PR1 also showed altered induction kinetics in the allotetraploids. Cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence analysis further revealed the accumulation of preferential homoeologous alleles (AtWRKY18, AaWRKY40, and AtWRKY60) in the allotetraploids, suggesting the potential for altered protein–protein interaction networks in the hybrids. Indeed, results showed that the cis‐interacting AtWRKY18/AtWRKY18 homodimer or trans‐interacting AtWRKY18/AaWRKY40 heterodimer exists as the preferred dimer interaction. Moreover, differential affinities of WRKY18 and WRKY40 homo‐ and heterodimers toward the W‐boxes in the WRKY60 promoter were observed. Transient and stable expression of the selected WRKYs in transgenic Arabidopsis further supported the idea that differential interactions lead to changes in PR1 induction and direct target expression under stress, respectively. Our data suggest that differential expression as well as differences in the strength of protein–protein and/or protein–DNA interactions among the WRKY homoeologs could lead to altered regulatory networks of defense genes, contributing to improved defense in allotetraploids.

Via Philip Carella
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NAC transcription factor ONAC066 positively regulates disease resistance by suppressing the ABA signaling pathway in rice

NAC transcription factors have been validated as important regulators in stress responses, but their molecular mechanisms in plant disease resistance are still largely unknown. Here we report that the NAC gene ONAC066 (LOC_Os01g09550) is significantly activated by rice blast infection. ONAC066 is ubiquitously expressed and this protein is localized in the nucleus. Overexpression of ONAC066 quantitatively enhances resistance to blast disease and bacterial blight in rice. The transcript levels of PR genes are also dramatically induced in ONAC066 overexpressing plants. Exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) strongly activates the transcription of ONAC066 in rice. Further analysis shows that overexpression of ONAC066 remarkably suppresses the expression of ABA-related genes, whereas there are no obvious differences for salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA)-related genes between wild-type and ONAC066 overexpressing plants. Consistently, lower endogenous ABA levels are identified in ONAC066 overexpressing plants compared with wild-type plants before and after blast inoculation, while no significant differences are observed for the SA and JA levels. Yeast one-hybrid assays demonstrate that ONAC066 directly binds to the promoters of LIP9 and NCED4 to modulate their expression. Moreover, the metabolomic study reveals that the ONAC066 overexpressing plants accumulated higher contents of soluble sugars and amino acids both before and after pathogen attack, when compared to wild-type plants. Taken together, our results suggest that ONAC066 positively regulates rice resistance to blast and bacterial blight, and ONAC066 exerts its functions on disease resistance by modulating of ABA signaling pathway, sugars and amino acids accumulation in rice.

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A Cytosolic Triosephosphate Isomerase Is a Key Component in XA3/XA26-Mediated Resistance

A Cytosolic Triosephosphate Isomerase Is a Key Component in XA3/XA26-Mediated Resistance | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
Bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae (Xoo) causes severe damage to rice (Oryza sativa) production worldwide. The major disease resistance gene, Xa3/Xa26, confers broad-spectrum and durable resistance to Xoo at both seedling and adult stages. However, the molecular mechanism of the Xa3/Xa26-initiated defense pathway against Xoo is still largely unknown. Here, we show that a triosephosphate isomerase (TPI), OsTPI1.1, is a key component in XA3/XA26-mediated resistance to Xoo. OsTPI1.1 is a glycolytic enzyme that catalyzes the reversible interconversion of dihydroxyacetone phosphate to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. Transcriptional suppression of OsTPI1.1 in plants harboring Xa3/Xa26 largely impaired the XA3/XA26-mediated resistance to Xoo, and constitutive overexpression of OsTPI1.1 in susceptible rice plants without Xa3/Xa26 only slightly decreased the susceptibility to Xoo. Therefore, both XA3/XA26 and OsTPI1.1 are required in XA3/XA26-mediated resistance. We show that OsTPI1.1 participates in the resistance through its enzymatic activity, which was enhanced significantly by its binding with XA3/XA26. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), especially hydrogen peroxide, accumulated in the OsTPI1.1-overexpressing plants, and suppression of OsTPI1.1 decreased ROS accumulation. The changes in ROS are associated with the reduction of NADP+ to NADPH, which may act as a redox cofactor to scavenge ROS, leading to reduced resistance to Xoo. These results suggest that OsTPI1.1 modulates ROS production as a resistance mechanism against Xoo.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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A Phytophthora effector recruits a host cytoplasmic transacetylase into nuclear speckles to enhance plant susceptibility

A Phytophthora effector recruits a host cytoplasmic transacetylase into nuclear speckles to enhance plant susceptibility | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
Oomycete pathogens secrete host cell-entering effector proteins to manipulate host immunity during infection. We previously showed that PsAvh52, an early-induced RxLR effector secreted from the soybean root rot pathogen, Phytophthora sojae, could suppress plant immunity. Here, we found that PsAvh52 is required for full virulence on soybean and binds to a novel soybean transacetylase, GmTAP1, in vivo and in vitro. PsAvh52 could cause GmTAP1 to relocate into the nucleus where GmTAP1 could acetylate histones H2A and H3 during early infection, thereby promoting susceptibility to P. sojae. In the absence of PsAvh52, GmTAP1 remained confined to the cytoplasm and did not modify plant susceptibility. These results demonstrate that GmTAP1 is a susceptibility factor that is hijacked by PsAvh52 in order to promote epigenetic modifications that enhance the susceptibility of soybean to P. sojae infection.

Via Suayib Üstün
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Phytopathology: Cautionary Notes on Use of the MoT3 Diagnostic Assay for Magnaporthe oryzae Wheat and Rice Blast Isolates (2018)

Phytopathology: Cautionary Notes on Use of the MoT3 Diagnostic Assay for Magnaporthe oryzae Wheat and Rice Blast Isolates (2018) | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it

The blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is comprised of lineages that exhibit varying degrees of specificity on about 50 grass hosts, including rice, wheat and barley. Reliable diagnostic tools are essential given that the pathogen has a propensity to jump to new hosts and spread to new geographic regions. Of particular concern is wheat blast, which has suddenly appeared in Bangladesh in 2016 before spreading to neighboring India. In these Asian countries, wheat blast strains are now co-occurring with the destructive rice blast pathogen raising the possibility of genetic exchange between these destructive pathogens. We assessed the recently described MoT3 diagnostic assay and found that it did not distinguish between wheat and rice blast isolates from Bangladesh. The assay is based on primers matching the WB12 sequence corresponding to a fragment of the M. oryzae MGG_02337 gene annotated as a short chain dehydrogenase. These primers could not reliably distinguish between wheat and rice blast isolates from Bangladesh based on DNA amplification experiments performed in separate laboratories in Bangladesh and in the UK. Specifically, all eight rice blast isolates tested in this study produced the WB12 amplicon. In addition, comparative genomics of the WB12 nucleotide sequence revealed a complex underlying genetic structure with related sequences across M. oryzae strains and in both rice and wheat blast isolates. We, therefore, caution against the indiscriminate use of this assay to identify wheat blast and encourage further development of the assay to ensure its value in diagnosis.


Via The Sainsbury Lab, Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Leaf rust infection reduces herbivore‐induced volatile emission in black poplar and attracts a generalist herbivore

Leaf rust infection reduces herbivore‐induced volatile emission in black poplar and attracts a generalist herbivore | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
Plants release complex volatile blends after separate attack by herbivores and pathogens, which play many roles in interactions with other organisms. Large perennials are often attacked by multiple enemies, but the effect of combined attacks on volatile emission is rarely studied, particularly in trees.
We infested Populus nigra trees with a pathogen, the rust fungus Melampsora larici‐populina, and Lymantria dispar caterpillars alone and in combination. We investigated poplar volatile emission and its regulation, as well as the behavior of the caterpillars towards volatiles from rust‐infected and uninfected trees.
Both the rust fungus and the caterpillars alone induced volatile emission from poplar trees. However, the herbivore‐induced volatile emission was significantly reduced when trees were under combined attack by the herbivore and the fungus. Herbivory induced terpene synthase transcripts as well as jasmonate concentrations, but these increases were suppressed when the tree was additionally infected with rust. Caterpillars preferred volatiles from rust‐infected over uninfected trees.
Our results suggest a defense hormone crosstalk upon combined herbivore–pathogen attack in poplar trees which results in lowered emission of herbivore‐induced volatiles. This influences the preference of herbivores, and might have other far‐reaching consequences for the insect and pathogen communities in natural poplar forests.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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New Phytologist Journals

New Phytologist Journals | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
Fungalysins from several phytopathogenic fungi have been shown to be involved in cleavage of plant chitinases. While fungal chitinases are responsible for cell wall remodeling during growth and morphogenesis, plant chitinases are important components of immunity. This study describes a dual function of the Ustilago maydis fungalysin UmFly1 in modulation of both plant and fungal chitinases.
Genetic, biochemical and microscopic experiments were performed to elucidate the in vitro and in planta functions of U. maydis UmFly1.
U. maydis ∆umfly1 mutants show significantly reduced virulence, which coincides with reduced cleavage of the maize chitinase ZmChiA within its chitin‐binding domain. Moreover, deletion of umfly1 affected the cell separation of haploid U. maydis sporidia. This phenotype is associated with posttranslational activation of the endogenous chitinase UmCts1. Genetic complementation of the ∆umfly1 mutant with a homologous gene from closely related, but nonpathogenic, yeast fully rescued the cell separation defect in vitro, but it could not recover the ∆umfly1 defect in virulence and cleavage of the maize chitinase.
We report on the dual function of the secreted fungalysin UmFly1. We hypothesize that co‐evolution of U. maydis with its host plant extended the endogenous function of UmFly1 towards the modulation of plant chitinase activity to promote infection.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Subfamily-specific specialization of RGH1/MLA immune receptors in wild barley | Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions

The barley disease resistance (R) gene locus Mildew Locus A (Mla) provides isolate-specific resistance against the powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis hordei (Bgh) and has been introgressed into modern cultivars from diverse germplasms, including the wild relative Hordeum spontaneum. Known Mla disease resistance specificities to Bgh appear to encode allelic variants of the R Gene Homolog 1 (RGH1) family of nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins. We here sequenced and assembled the transcriptomes of 50 H. spontaneum accessions representing nine populations distributed throughout the Fertile Crescent. The assembled Mla transcripts exhibited rich sequence diversity, linked neither to geographic origin nor population structure and could be grouped into two similar-sized subfamilies based on two major N-terminal coiled-coil signaling domains that are both capable of eliciting cell death. The presence of positively selected sites, located mainly in the C-terminal leucine-rich repeats of both MLA subfamilies, together with the fact that both coiled-coil signaling domains mediate cell death, implies that the two subfamilies are actively maintained in the population. Unexpectedly, known MLA receptor variants that confer Bgh resistance belong exclusively to one subfamily. Thus, signaling domain divergence, potentially as adaptation to distinct pathogen populations, is an evolutionary signature of functional diversification of an immune receptor.

Via Philip Carella
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Redox and the circadian clock in plant immunity: A balancing act

Redox and the circadian clock in plant immunity: A balancing act | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
• The plant circadian clock anticipates attackers in balance with energy metabolism. • Redox signaling selects an optimal defense strategy against specific attackers. • The clock-redox interplay gates defense towards morning to avoid conflict with growth. Abstract Plants’ reliance on sunlight for energy makes their light-driven circadian clock a critical regulator in balancing the energy needs for vital activities such as growth and defense. Recent studies show that the circadian clock acts as a strategic planner to prime active defense responses towards the morning or daytime when conditions, such as the opening of stomata required for photosynthesis, are favorable for attackers. Execution of the defense response, on the other hand, is determined according to the cellular redox state and is regulated in part by the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species upon pathogen challenge. The interplay between redox and the circadian clock further gates the onset of defense response to a specific time of the day to avoid conflict with growth-related activities. In this review, we focus on discussing the roles of the circadian clock as a robust overseer and the cellular redox as a dynamic executor of plant defense.

Via Steve Marek
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Osmotin : A Plant Defense Tool Against Biotic And Abiotic Stresses

Osmotin : A Plant Defense Tool Against Biotic And Abiotic Stresses | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
Highlights • Biotic and abiotic stresses are crucial environmental problems for plants and animals. • Osmotin a (PR-5) protein plays important role in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. • Signal transduction pathway is used by the osmotin to inhibit the progression of fungus. • By the MAPK pathways, osmotin protein enters the fungal plasma membrane and activates defense system. • Osmotin can be used to develop transgenic plants to enhance resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses. Plants are prone to a number of pathogens and abiotic stresses that cause various disorders. However, plants possess a defense mechanism to cope with these stresses. The osmotin protein belongs to the PR-5 family of Pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins, which are produced in response to diseases caused by various biotic and abiotic stresses. Osmotin uses a signal transduction pathway to inhibit the activity of defensive cell wall barriers and increases its own cytotoxic efficiency. However, in response to cytotoxic effects, this pathway stimulates a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade that triggers changes in the cell wall and enables osmotin's entrance into the plasma membrane. This mechanism involves cell wall binding and membrane perturbation, although the complete mechanism of osmotin activity has not been fully elucidated. Osmotin possesses an acidic cleft that is responsible for communication with its receptor in the plasma membrane of fungi. Osmotin is also involved in the initiation of apoptosis and programmed cell death, whereas its overexpression causes the accumulation of proline in transgenic plants. A higher concentration of osmotin can cause the lysis of hyphae tips. This review highlights the role of osmotin protein in the plant defense mechanism and its mode of action against numerous pathogens in wild and transgenic plants.

Via Jonathan Lapleau, Steve Marek
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A Barley Powdery Mildew Fungus Non-Autonomous Retrotransposon Encodes a Peptide that Supports Penetration Success on Barley

Plant immunity is overcome by pathogens by the means of secreted effectors. Host effector targets might be proteins acting in pathogen defense or serve demands of the pathogen. The barley ROP GTPase HvRACB is involved in entry of the powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei (Bgh) into barley epidermal cells. We found that HvRACB interacts with the ROP-interactive peptide 1 (ROPIP1) that is encoded on the active non-long terminal repeat retroelement Eg-R1 of Bgh. Over-expression of ROPIP1 in barley epidermal cells and host-induced post-transcriptional gene silencing (HIGS) of ROPIP1 suggested that ROPIP1 is involved in virulence of Bgh. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation and co-localization supported that ROPIP1 can interact with activated HvRACB in planta. We show that ROPIP1 is expressed by Bgh on barley and translocated into the cytoplasm of infected barley cells. ROPIP1 is recruited to microtubules upon co-expression of MICROTUBULE ASSOCIATED ROP GTPase ACTIVATING PROTEIN (HvMAGAP1) and can destabilize cortical microtubules. Bgh ROPIP might target HvRACB and manipulate host cell microtubule organization for facilitated host cell entry. Data suggest a possible neo-functionalization of retroelement-derived transcripts for the evolution of a pathogen virulence effector.

Via Philip Carella
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Fungal Strategies to Evade the Host Immune Recognition

Fungal Strategies to Evade the Host Immune Recognition | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
The recognition of fungal cells by the host immune system is key during the establishment of a protective anti-fungal response. Even though the immune system has evolved a vast number of processes to control these organisms, they have developed strategies to fight back, avoiding the proper recognition by immune components and thus interfering with the host protective mechanisms. Therefore, the strategies to evade the immune system are as important as the virulence factors and attributes that damage the host tissues and cells. Here, we performed a thorough revision of the main fungal tactics to escape from the host immunosurveillance processes. These include the composition and organization of the cell wall, the fungal capsule, the formation of titan cells, biofilms, and asteroid bodies; the ability to undergo dimorphism; and the escape from nutritional immunity, extracellular traps, phagocytosis, and the action of humoral immune effectors.

Via Steve Marek
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Effectors involved in fungal–fungal interaction lead to a rare phenomenon of hyperbiotrophy in the tritrophic system biocontrol agent–powdery mildew–plant

Effectors involved in fungal–fungal interaction lead to a rare phenomenon of hyperbiotrophy in the tritrophic system biocontrol agent–powdery mildew–plant | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it

Tritrophic interactions involving a biocontrol agent, a pathogen and a plant have been analyzed predominantly from the perspective of the biocontrol agent. We have conducted the first comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of all three organisms in an effort to understand the elusive properties of Pseudozyma flocculosa in the context of its biocontrol activity against Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei as it parasitizes Hordeum vulgare. After inoculation of P. flocculosa, the tripartite interaction was monitored over time and samples collected for scanning electron microscopy and RNA sequencing. Based on our observations, P. flocculosa indirectly parasitizes barley, albeit transiently, by diverting nutrients extracted by B. graminis from barley leaves through a process involving unique effectors. This brings novel evidence that such molecules can also influence fungal–fungal interactions. Their release is synchronized with a higher expression of powdery mildew haustorial effectors, a sharp decline in the photosynthetic machinery of barley and a developmental peak in P. flocculosa. The interaction culminates with a collapse of B. graminis haustoria, thereby stopping P. flocculosa growth, as barley plants show higher metabolic activity. To conclude, our study has uncovered a complex and intricate phenomenon, described here as hyperbiotrophy, only achievable through the conjugated action of the three protagonists.


Via Steve Marek, Yogesh Gupta
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An aromatic amino acid and associated helix in the C-terminus of the potato leafroll virus minor capsid protein regulate systemic infection and symptom expression

An aromatic amino acid and associated helix in the C-terminus of the potato leafroll virus minor capsid protein regulate systemic infection and symptom expression | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
The C-terminal region of the minor structural protein of potato leafroll virus (PLRV), known as the readthrough protein (RTP), is involved in efficient virus movement, tissue tropism and symptom development. Analysis of numerous C-terminal deletions identified a five-amino acid motif that is required for RTP function. A PLRV mutant expressing RTP with these five amino acids deleted (Δ5aa-RTP) was compromised in systemic infection and symptom expression. Although the Δ5aa-RTP mutant was able to move long distance, limited infection foci were observed in systemically infected leaves suggesting that these five amino acids regulate virus phloem loading in the inoculated leaves and/or unloading into the systemically infected tissues. The 5aa deletion did not alter the efficiency of RTP translation, nor impair RTP self-interaction or its interaction with P17, the virus movement protein. However, the deletion did alter the subcellular localization of RTP. When co-expressed with a PLRV infectious clone, a GFP tagged wild-type RTP was localized to discontinuous punctate spots along the cell periphery and was associated with plasmodesmata, although localization was dependent upon the developmental stage of the plant tissue. In contrast, the Δ5aa-RTP-GFP aggregated in the cytoplasm. Structural modeling indicated that the 5aa deletion would be expected to perturb an α-helix motif. Two of 30 plants infected with Δ5aa-RTP developed a wild-type virus infection phenotype ten weeks post-inoculation. Analysis of the virus population in these plants by deep sequencing identified a duplication of sequences adjacent to the deletion that were predicted to restore the α-helix motif. The subcellular distribution of the RTP is regulated by the 5-aa motif which is under strong selection pressure and in turn contributes to the efficient long distance movement of the virus and the induction of systemic symptoms.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Functional inactivation of OsGCNT induces enhanced disease resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae in rice | BMC Plant Biology | Full Text

Background
Spotted-leaf mutants are important to reveal programmed cell death and defense-related pathways in rice. We previously characterized the phenotype performance of a rice spotted-leaf mutant spl21 and narrowed down the causal gene locus spl21(t) to an 87-kb region in chromosome 12 by map-based cloning.

Result
We showed that a single base substitution from A to G at position 836 in the coding sequence of Oryza sativa beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase (OsGCNT), effectively mutating Tyr to Cys at position 279 in the translated protein sequence, was responsible for the spotted-leaf phenotype as it could be rescued by functional complementation. Compared to the wild type IR64, the spotted-leaf mutant spl21 exhibited loss of chlorophyll, breakdown of chloroplasts, down-regulation of photosynthesis-related genes, and up-regulation of senescence associated genes, which indicated that OsGCNT regulates premature leaf senescence. Moreover, the enhanced resistance to the bacterial leaf blight pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, up-regulation of pathogenesis-related genes and increased level of jasmonate which suggested that OsGCNT is a negative regulator of defense response in rice. OsGCNT was expressed constitutively in the leaves, sheaths, stems, roots, and panicles, and OsGCNT-GFP was localized to the Golgi apparatus. High throughput RNA sequencing analysis provided further evidence for the biological effects of loss of OsGCNT function on cell death, premature leaf senescence and enhanced disease resistance in rice. Thus, we demonstrated that the novel OsGCNT regulated rice innate immunity and immunity-associated leaf senescence probably by changing the jasmonate metabolic pathway.

Conclusions
These results reveal that a novel gene Oryza sativa beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase (OsGCNT) is responsible for the spotted-leaf mutant spl21, and OsGCNT acts as a negative-regulator mediating defense response and immunity-associated premature leaf senescence probably by activating jasmonate signaling pathway.

Via Philip Carella
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MPMI: Subfamily-specific specialization of RGH1/MLA immune receptors in wild barley (2018)

MPMI: Subfamily-specific specialization of RGH1/MLA immune receptors in wild barley (2018) | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it

The barley disease resistance (R) gene locus Mildew Locus A (Mla) provides isolate-specific resistance against the powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis hordei (Bgh) and has been introgressed into modern cultivars from diverse germplasms, including the wild relative Hordeum spontaneum. Known Mla disease resistance specificities to Bgh appear to encode allelic variants of the R Gene Homolog 1 (RGH1) family of nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins. We here sequenced and assembled the transcriptomes of 50 H. spontaneum accessions representing nine populations distributed throughout the Fertile Crescent. The assembled Mla transcripts exhibited rich sequence diversity, linked neither to geographic origin nor population structure and could be grouped into two similar-sized subfamilies based on two major N-terminal coiled-coil signaling domains that are both capable of eliciting cell death. The presence of positively selected sites, located mainly in the C-terminal leucine-rich repeats of both MLA subfamilies, together with the fact that both coiled-coil signaling domains mediate cell death, implies that the two subfamilies are actively maintained in the population. Unexpectedly, known MLA receptor variants that confer Bghresistance belong exclusively to one subfamily. Thus, signaling domain divergence, potentially as adaptation to distinct pathogen populations, is an evolutionary signature of functional diversification of an immune receptor.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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A Single Effector Protein, AvrRpt2EA, from Erwinia amylovora Can Cause Fire Blight Disease Symptoms and Induces a Salicylic Acid–Dependent Defense Response | Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions

A Single Effector Protein, AvrRpt2EA, from Erwinia amylovora Can Cause Fire Blight Disease Symptoms and Induces a Salicylic Acid–Dependent Defense Response | Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
The AvrRpt2EA effector protein of Erwinia amylovora is important for pathogen recognition in the fire blight–resistant crabapple Malus × robusta 5; however, little is known about its role in susceptible apples. To study its function in planta, we expressed a plant-optimized version of AvrRpt2EA driven by a heat shock–inducible promoter in transgenic plants of the fire blight–susceptible cultivar Pinova. After induced expression of AvrRpt2EA, transgenic lines showed shoot necrosis and browning of older leaves, with symptoms similar to natural fire blight infections. Transgenic expression of this effector protein resulted in an increase in the expression of the salicylic acid (SA)-responsive PR-1 gene but, also, in the levels of SA and its derivatives, with diverse kinetics in leaves of different ages. In contrast, no increase of expression levels of VSP2 paralogs, used as marker genes for the activation of the jasmonic acid (JA)-dependent defense pathway, could be detected, which is in agreement with metabolic profiling of JA and its derivatives. Our work demonstrates that AvrRpt2EA acts as a virulence factor and induces the formation of SA and SA-dependent systemic acquired resistance.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Pandemonium Breaks Out: Disruption of Salicylic Acid-Mediated Defense by Plant Pathogens

Salicylic acid (SA) or 2-hydroxybenoic acid is a phenolic plant hormone that plays an essential role in plant defense against biotrophic and semi-biotrophic pathogens. In Arabidopsis, SA is synthesized from chorismate in chloroplast through the ICS1 (Isochorismate synthase I) pathway during pathogen infection. The transcription co-activator NPR1 (Non-Expresser of Pathogenesis Related Gene 1), as the master regulator of SA signaling, interacts with transcription factors to induce the expression of anti-microbial PR ( Pathogenesis-Related) genes. To establish successful infections, plant bacterial, oomycete, fungal and viral pathogens have evolved at least three major strategies to disrupt SA-mediated defense. The first strategy is to reduce SA accumulation directly by converting SA to its inactive derivatives. The second strategy is to interrupt SA biosynthesis by targeting the ICS1 pathway. In the third major strategy, plant pathogens deploy different ways to interfere with SA downstream signaling. The wide array of strategies deployed by plant pathogens highlight the crucial role of disruption of SA-mediated plant defense in plant pathogenesis. A deeper understanding of this topic will greatly expand our knowledge of how plant pathogens cause diseases and consequently pave the road for the development of more effective ways to control these diseases.

Via Philip Carella
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Protein kinase‐mediated signalling in priming: Immune signal initiation, propagation, and establishment of long‐term pathogen resistance in plants - Hake - - Plant, Cell & Environment -

Protein kinase‐mediated signalling in priming: Immune signal initiation, propagation, and establishment of long‐term pathogen resistance in plants - Hake - - Plant, Cell & Environment - | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
“Priming” in plant phytopathology describes a phenomenon where the “experience” of primary infection by microbial pathogens leads to enhanced and beneficial protection of the plant against secondary infection. The plant is able to establish an immune memory, a state of systemic acquired resistance (SAR), in which the information of “having been attacked” is integrated with the action of “being prepared to defend when it happens again.” Accordingly, primed plants are often characterized by faster and stronger activation of immune reactions that ultimately result in a reduction of pathogen spread and growth.

Prerequisites for SAR are (a) the initiation of immune signalling subsequent to pathogen recognition, (b) a rapid defence signal propagation from a primary infected local site to uninfected distal parts of the plant, and (c) a switch into an immune signal‐dependent establishment and subsequent long‐lasting maintenance of phytohormone salicylic acid‐based systemic immunity.

Here, we provide a summary on protein kinases that contribute to these three conceptual aspects of “priming” in plant phytopathology, complemented by data addressing the role of protein kinases crucial for immune signal initiation also for signal propagation and SAR.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Frontiers | WRKY Transcription Factors Associated With NPR1-Mediated Acquired Resistance in Barley Are Potential Resources to Improve Wheat Resistance to Puccinia triticina | Plant Science

Frontiers | WRKY Transcription Factors Associated With NPR1-Mediated Acquired Resistance in Barley Are Potential Resources to Improve Wheat Resistance to Puccinia triticina | Plant Science | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) in Arabidopsis is established beyond the initial pathogenic infection or is directly induced by treatment with salicylic acid or its functional analogs (SA/INA/BTH). NPR1 protein and WRKY transcription factors are considered the master regulators of SAR. Our previous study showed that NPR1 homologs in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) regulated the expression of genes encoding pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins during acquired resistance (AR) triggered by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. In the present examination, AR induced by P. syringae DC3000 was also found to effectively improve wheat resistance to Puccinia triticina (Pt). However, with more complex genomes, genes associated with this SAR-like response in wheat and barley are largely unknown and no specific WRKYs has been reported to be involved in this biological process. In our subsequent analysis, barley transgenic line overexpressing wheat wNPR1 (wNPR1-OE) showed enhanced resistance to Magnaporthe oryzae isolate Guy11, whereas AR to Guy11 was suppressed in a barley transgenic line with knocked-down barley HvNPR1 (HvNPR1-Kd). We performed RNA-seq to reveal the genes that were differentially expressed among these transgenic lines and the wild-type barley plants during the AR. Several PR and BTH-induced (BCI) genes were designated as downstream genes of NPR1. The expression of few WRKYs was significantly associated with NPR1 expression during th
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PLoS Genetics: The genetic architecture of colonization resistance in Brachypodium distachyon to non-adapted stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis) isolates (2018)

PLoS Genetics: The genetic architecture of colonization resistance in Brachypodium distachyon to non-adapted stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis) isolates (2018) | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it

Author summary Plants are constantly exposed to a multitude of potential pathogens but remain immune to most of these due to a multilayered immune system. Pathogens have specialized by adapting to certain host plants and their defense barriers. Most of our understanding of plant-pathogen interactions stems from these highly specialized interactions, because they are characterized by qualitative interactions (resistant or susceptible). It has generally been assumed that the genetic and molecular basis of resistance to non-adapted pathogens is fundamentally different, as either no variation exists in a species (complete immunity) or variation encompasses only early pathogen invasion (colonization), but not full susceptibility. We have studied the interaction between the agronomically important fungal stripe rust pathogen (Puccinia striiformis) of wheat and barley with the wild grass species Brachypodium distachyon. Rust infections consist of two stages: colonization of plant tissues followed by a reproductive phase. We identified natural variation for the degree of P. striiformis colonization in different B. distachyon accessions and dissected the genetic architecture controlling resistance at this infection stage. QTLs conferring resistance possessed several characteristics similar to adapted host systems, indicating that resistance to adapted and non-adapted pathogens are not intrinsically different.


Via The Sainsbury Lab, Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Functional diversification of structurally alike NLR proteins in plants

Functional diversification of structurally alike NLR proteins in plants | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
In due course of evolution many pathogens alter their effector molecules to modulate the host plants’ metabolism and immune responses triggered upon proper recognition by the intracellular nucleotide-binding domain containing leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins. Likewise, host plants have also evolved with diversified NLR proteins as a survival strategy to win the battle against pathogen invasion. NLR protein indeed detects pathogen derived effector proteins leading to the activation of defense responses associated with programmed cell death (PCD). In this interactive process, genome structure and plasticity play pivotal role in the development of innate immunity. Despite being quite conserved with similar biological functions in all eukaryotes, the intracellular NLR immune receptor proteins happen to be structurally distinct. Recent studies have made progress in identifying transcriptional regulatory complexes activated by NLR proteins. In this review, we attempt to decipher the intracellular NLR proteins mediated surveillance across the evolutionarily diverse taxa, highlighting some of the recent updates on NLR protein compartmentalization, molecular interactions before and after activation along with insights into the finer role of these receptor proteins to combat invading pathogens upon their recognition. Latest information on NLR sensors, helpers and NLR proteins with integrated domains in the context of plant pathogen interactions are also discussed.

Via Philip Carella
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Jonathan Lapleau's curator insight, February 1, 6:05 AM
NLR are known to be defense gene since long time, and are very important to fight pests. Having a better knowledge about downstream and upstream signaling event is very important to enhance crop resistance to pests (thus increasing global food security).
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The role of reactive oxygen in the development of Ramularia leaf spot disease in barley seedlings 

The role of reactive oxygen in the development of Ramularia leaf spot disease in barley seedlings  | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
Background and Aims
Ramularia collo-cygni is an ascomycete fungus that colonizes barley primarily as a benign endophyte, although this interaction can become pathogenic, causing the disease Ramularia leaf spot (RLS). Factors, particularly reactive oxygen species, that resulted in the transition of the fungus from endophyte to necrotrophic parasite and the development of disease symptoms were investigated.

Methods
Disease development in artificially inoculated seedlings of barley varieties varying in partial resistance to RLS was related to exposure to abiotic stress prior to inoculation. Histochemical and molecular analysis determined the effect of R. collo-cygni colonization on accumulation of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant gene expression. Development of RLS on barley lines defective in antioxidant enzymes and with altered redox status or non-functional chloroplasts was compared with the accumulation of fungal biomass to determine how these factors affect disease symptom expression.

Key Results
Exposure to abiotic stress increased symptom development in all susceptible and most partially resistant barley varieties, in association with greater hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels in leaves. Decreased activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase in transgenic and mutant plants had no effect on the disease transition, whereas manipulation of H2O2 levels during asymptomatic growth of the fungus increased disease symptoms in most susceptible varieties but not in partially resistant plants. Barley mutants that undergo rapid loss of green leaf area when infected by R. collo-cygni or albino mutants with non-functional chloroplasts showed reduced development of RLS symptoms.

Via Philip Carella, Steve Marek
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How to make a tumour: cell type specific dissection of Ustilago maydis‐induced tumour development in maize leaves

How to make a tumour: cell type specific dissection of Ustilago maydis‐induced tumour development in maize leaves | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it

The biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis causes smut disease on maize (Zea mays), which is characterized by immense plant tumours. To establish disease and reprogram organ primordia to tumours, U. maydis deploys effector proteins in an organ-specific manner. However, the cellular contribution to leaf tumours remains unknown. 


We investigated leaf tumour formation at the tissue- and cell type-specific levels. Cytology and metabolite analysis were deployed to understand the cellular basis for tumourigenesis. Laser-capture microdissection was performed to gain a cell type-specific transcriptome of U. maydis during tumour formation. 


In vivo visualization of plant DNA synthesis identified bundle sheath cells as the origin of hyperplasic tumour cells, while mesophyll cells become hypertrophic tumour cells. Cell type-specific transcriptome profiling of U. maydis revealed tailored expression of fungal effector genes. Moreover, U. maydis See1 was identified as the first cell type-specific fungal effector, being required for induction of cell cycle reactivation in bundle sheath cells. 


Identification of distinct cellular mechanisms in two different leaf cell types and of See1 as an effector for induction of proliferation of bundle sheath cells are major steps in understanding U. maydis-induced tumour formation. Moreover, the cell type-specific U. maydis transcriptome data are a valuable resource to the scientific community.


Via Steve Marek
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Systemic acquired resistance, NPR1, and pathogenesis-related genes in wheat and barley-Journal of Integrative Agriculture

Systemic acquired resistance, NPR1, and pathogenesis-related genes in wheat and barley-Journal of Integrative Agriculture | Cereal and Biotrophic Pathogens | Scoop.it
In Arabidopsis, systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is established beyond the initial infection by a pathogen or is directly induced by treatment with salicylic acid (SA) or its functional analogs, 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid (INA) and benzothiadiazole (BTH). NPR1 protein is considered the master regulator of SAR in both SA signal sensing and transduction. In wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), both pathogen infection and BTH treatment can induce broad-spectrum resistance to various diseases, including powdery mildew, leaf rust, Fusarium head blight, etc. However, three different types of SAR-like responses including acquired resistance (AR), systemic immunity (SI), and BTH-induced resistance (BIR) seem to be achieved by activating different gene pathways. Recent research on wheat and barley NPR1 homologs in AR and SI has provided the initial clue for understanding the mechanism of SAR in these two plant species. In this review, the specific features of AR, SI, and BIR in wheat and barley were summarized and compared with that of SAR in model plants of Arabidopsis and rice. Research updates on downstream genes of SAR, including pathogenesis-related (PR) and BTH-induced genes, were highlighted.
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