ABS45471

WAKs, the underexplored receptor-like kinase disease resistance gene family in wheat.


  • Poster Presentation
  • Poster 26 (Flash Talk: 11 Jun 2018 17:15)
  • Foyer, UCD Agriculture and food science Centre
  • View all IPSAM abstracts

Katarzyna Sleczka*
Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, UCD Science Centre- East, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Harriet Benbow*
Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, UCD Science Centre- East, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Fiona Doohan
Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, UCD Science Centre- East, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

*Presenting Author



Septoria tritici blotch (STB) is a foliar fungal disease caused by the haploid fungus Zymoseptoria tritici (Z. tritici) anamorph (Mycosphaerella graminicola), that infects wheat resulting in major yield loss. Once Z. tritici colonises the plant, Wall Associated Kinases (WAKs) perceive pathogen-associated molecular patterns in the apoplast, leading to the activation of an immune response. Previous studies in rice, maize and Arabidopsis proved that WAKs are positive regulators of fungal or Z. tritici disease resistance. However, much less is known about these genes in common wheat. A recent study showed that, the major resistance gene, Stb6, encodes a conserved WAK-like protein, that confers Z. tritici resistance without a hypersensitive response. To date, very few WAKs have been identified and characterised in wheat. In this study, we are aiming to identify new WAK genes that can provide resistance against Z. tritici in wheat. Two RNA-seq data sets were produced, the first RNA-seq data set was composed of cv. Stigg, a resistant cultivar and cv. Longbow, a susceptible cultivar, at early time points post inoculation with Z. tritici. The second data set was composed of 6 bulked resistant cultivars and 6 bulked susceptible cultivars, at early and late time points post inoculation with Z. tritici. Shortlisted WAK candidate genes will be further analysed. Thus, this research will provide information on WAKs genes in wheat, which provide resistance to Z. tritici and early immune plant responses to Z. tritici for use in plant breeding.