Stagonosporanodorum is a necrotrophic pathogen of wheat, and over the past decade, we have dissected the genetic components of the wheat-S. nodorumpathosystem. S. nodorum produces numerous host-selective toxins (HSTs) that interact with specific dominant host genes in an inverse gene-for-gene manner to cause disease. In recent years, we have cloned the wheat genes Tsn1 and Snn1, which recognize the HSTs SnToxA and SnTox1, respectively, leading to susceptibility. Tsn1 is a member of the NB-LRR class of disease ‘resistance’ genes, which typically activate effector-triggered immunity (ETI) in response to biotrophic pathogens, and Snn1 is a wall-associated kinase (WAK), which is a class of receptor kinases known to activate PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) pathways in response to biotrophic pathogens. Indeed, recognition of SnToxA and SnTox1 by Tsn1 and Snn1 activates a defense response and programmed cell death, but because the pathogen is a necrotroph, it is able to gain nutrients and sporulate, which leads to disease. These results demonstrate that necrotrophic pathogens such as S. nodorum can hijack host molecular pathways driven by different classes of genesthat typically confer resistance to biotrophic pathogensthus revealing the remarkably sophisticated nature of plant-necrotrophic pathogen interactions.
Genetic Dissection of Wheat-Necrotrophic Pathogen Interactions
Video Dec 16, 2014
Professor Sir Doug Turnbull from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at the University of Newcastle explains his research into mitochondrial donation, the innovative treatment that hopes to stop faulty mitochondria being passed on from mother to child to prevent incurable genetic diseases.
The first babies conceived with this treatment through IVF may be born in the UK soon.
From their diet to their diseases, koalas are pretty special. Now researchers have sequenced the koala’s genome, unlocking the secrets that make these fuzzy fellas so unique. The genome is revealing everything from how koalas cope with munching poisonous eucalyptus leaves, to how they respond to chlamydia infections. The hope is that these insights will not only help us understand these fascinating marsupials, but also aid conservation efforts across Australia.