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PB&GB Joint Division Seminar

Wednesday, March 09, 2016, 02:00pm - 03:00pm


Unraveling the molecular basis
of durable disease resistance in cereals

Simon Georg Krattinger
Independent Group Leader (Ambizione fellow)
University of Zurich

1400-1500H, Wednesday, 09 March 2016
PBGB Conference Room 1


Pathogenic fungi are a serious threat to agriculture. In hexaploid bread wheat a small set of genes has been identified that confer durable field resistance against multiple fungal diseases. One of them is Lr34 which encodes an ABC transporter protein. Lr34 is one of the most important sources for wheat resistance breeding and the gene is present in more than half of the modern wheat cultivars. Interestingly, the resistant Lr34 allele only evolved after wheat domestication as a result of two spontaneous gain-of-function mutations. Hence, the resistant Lr34 version can only be found in cultivated wheat but not in wild wheat progenitors. In addition, an Lr34-like disease resistance has so far not been reported in other globally important cereals like barley, rice or maize. However, Lr34 is functionally transferrable into rice where the gene conferred increased resistance against the fungal disease rice blast. Besides being an important food crop, rice is also a model plant for cereal genomics. We therefore used Lr34-expressing rice lines to study the molecular function of this durable resistance gene. In this seminar I will provide an insight into the lessons learned from these experiments.


PBGB Conference Room 1