ABS53321

Uncovering the role of TaFROG in wheat resistance to Fusarium Head Blight disease


  • Poster Presentation
  • Poster 9 (Flash Talk: 11 Jun 2018 14:48)
  • Foyer, UCD Agriculture and food science Centre
  • View all IPSAM abstracts

Amélie Heckmann*
University College Dublin, Earth Institute
University College Dublin, School of Biology and Environmental Science

Alexandre Perochon
University College Dublin, Earth Institute
University College Dublin, School of Biology and Environmental Science

Fiona M. Doohan
University College Dublin, Earth Institute
University College Dublin, School of Biology and Environmental Science

*Presenting Author


Taxonomically restricted orphan genes are found in all genomes and there is some evidence that such genes are involved in environment adaptation. Recently, it has been reported that Triticum aestivum Fusarium Resistance Orphan Gene (TaFROG) codes for a protein increasing resistance to Fusarium Head Blight, a fungal disease which causes premature whitening of wheat spikes, loss of yield and contamination of grains by mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). Our aim is to define which defence mechanisms are targeted by TaFROG and what are their interactants. Preliminary results reveal that wheat TaFROG overexpression lines have increased level of expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes 1 to 5. Those genes are involved in pathogen resistance and their expression is regulated by phytohormone signalling pathways. Therefore, we hypothesise that TaFROG protects wheat against DON-producing F. graminearum by promoting the phytohormone pathways involved in plant immunity. Our results show that auxin and jasmonic acid content tend to be higher in wheat lines overexpressing TaFROG compare to the wild-type line. Using knowledge from the model plant A. thaliana and in silico analysis of the wheat genome and gene expression data, we selected wheat marker genes for the jasmonic and salicylic signalling pathways. In addition, we are currently using RNA sequencing method to determine precisely which genes are regulated in response to the overexpression of TaFROG. Furthermore, we determined a list of potential interactants of TaFROG using a yeast-two-hybrid screen of a wheat cDNA library. Unveiling the mechanism by which an orphan gene can give increased resistance to wheat could provide a new weapon against pathogens and opening the way of introducing orphan genes in economically important crops.