ABS89086

Characterisation of wheat NAC-like transcription factor TaNACL-5D in resistance to Fusarium Head Blight disease


  • Oral Presentation
  • Plant Pathology
  • 12 Jun 2018 12:30
  • FS-G01, UCD Agriculture and food science Centre
  • View all IPSAM abstracts

Monika Vranić*
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Earth Institute, College of Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Alexandre Perochon
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Earth Institute, College of Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Amal Kahla
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Earth Institute, College of Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Jianguang Jia
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Earth Institute, College of Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Keshav B. Malla
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Earth Institute, College of Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Melanie Craze
The John Bingham Laboratory, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0LE, UK

Emma Wallington
The John Bingham Laboratory, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0LE, UK

Fiona M. Doohan
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Earth Institute, College of Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

*Presenting Author


Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease of cereals is an economically devastating disease causing massive grain yield losses worldwide. The most common causative agent is the fungus Fusarium graminearum. Infected grains are contaminated with the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) produced by the fungus and cannot be used for human or animal consumption. Identification of genes involved in resistance to the disease is important in breeding and genetic engineering programmes that aim to produce disease resistant varieties with reduced levels of mycotoxin. Recently, the wheat orphan protein TaFROG was proven to enhance resistance to FHB disease and enhance tolerance to mycotoxin DON. One of the interacting partners of TaFROG, also responsive to F. graminearum and DON at a gene expression level, is a member of NAC transcription factor family. We functionally characterized this wheat NAC-like transcription factor, TaNACL-5D. Wheat transgenic lines overexpressing TaNACL-5D showed significant decrease in the spread of the disease in wheat heads, as compared to wild type plants. It is Triticeae-specific NAC encoding an evolutionary divergent C-terminal subdomain. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay studies confirmed it interacts with TaFROG in planta. Based on RNA-seq data conducted from studies on wheat under varied biotic stresses, we selected 126 NAC involved in biotic stress responses out of 461 annotated genes in the wheat genome (RefSeq v1.0). Fifty-one were responsive to F. graminearum; among them, TaNACL-5D and its homeologs are specific to FHB. Further genome-wide analysis of wheat NAC genes involved in the biotic stress response will reveal potential candidates to be used in crop improvement. In addition, we work on identifying genes that are under control of TaNACL-5D by using RNA-seq, which will contribute to our understanding of the underlying signalling network involved in defense against F. graminearum.