Plant immunity, Blumeria graminis and transgenic resistance

Disease resistance is inarguably the best form of plant protection – when it works! Disease resistance is often limited in their action to a single species of pathogen and there are many pathogens, especially necrotrophs, where no sources of effective disease resistance are known.

The interaction between the biotrophic fungal pathogen and its host barley offers many advantages as model for studying defence mechanisms in plants. Our current efforts concern members of two families of genes involved in signal transduction and gene regulation which are activated in both barley and Arabidopsis by Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei, namely the CRK receptor-like protein kinase and NAC transcription factor HvNAC6/ATAF1 families. Members of both of these gene families have roles in the regulation of both pathogen defence, responses to abiotic stress and plant development and their manipulation can confer enhanced resistance.

Recent support from the Research Council FTP to the project.

Partners: Århus University, Helsinki University, Sainsbury Laboratory, Wageningen and Warsaw.

Key Papers

  • CRK Consortium: Bourdais G, Burdiak P, Gauthier A, Nitsch L, Salojärvi J, Rayapuram C, Idänheimo N, Oracz K, Kaufholdt D, Anggoro DT, Glow D, Zhou J, Albert  A, Ernst D, Durner J, Borst JW, Collinge DB, Karpinski S, Lyngkjær MF, Robatzek S, Wrzaczek M and Kangasjärvi J. Large-scale phenotyping of the CRK receptor-like protein kinase family in Arabidopsis reveals roles in plant development and stress response. (in prep)
  • Chen YJ, Perera V, Christiansen MW, Holme IB, Gregersen PL, Grant MR, Collinge DB, Lyngkjær MF (2013). The barley HvNAC6 transcription factor affects ABA accumulation and promotes basal resistance against powdery mildew. Plant.Mol.Biol. 83: 577-590
  • Rayapuram C, Jensen MK, Maiser F, Shanir JV, Hornshøj H, Rung JH, Gregersen PL, Schweizer P, Collinge DB, Lyngkjær MF (2012) Regulation of basal resistance by a powdery mildew-induced cysteine-rich receptor-like protein kinase in barley. Mol Plant Pathol 13: 135-147
  • Collinge DB, Jørgensen HJL, Lund OS, Lyngkjær MF. 2010. Engineering pathogen resistance in crop plants - current trends and future prospects. Annual Reviews of Phytopathology 48: 269-291. (doi: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-073009-114430).