Identification of Candidate Susceptibility Genes to Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici in Wheat

Eva C. Henningsen, Vahid Omidvar, Rafael Della Coletta, Jean Michel Michno, Erin Gilbert, Feng Li, Marisa E. Miller, Chad L. Myers, Sean P. Gordon, John P. Vogel, Brian J. Steffenson, Shahryar F. Kianian, Cory D. Hirsch, Melania Figueroa

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8 Scopus citations


Wheat stem rust disease caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) is a global threat to wheat production. Fast evolving populations of Pgt limit the efficacy of plant genetic resistance and constrain disease management strategies. Understanding molecular mechanisms that lead to rust infection and disease susceptibility could deliver novel strategies to deploy crop resistance through genetic loss of disease susceptibility. We used comparative transcriptome-based and orthology-guided approaches to characterize gene expression changes associated with Pgt infection in susceptible and resistant Triticum aestivum genotypes as well as the non-host Brachypodium distachyon. We targeted our analysis to genes with differential expression in T. aestivum and genes suppressed or not affected in B. distachyon and report several processes potentially linked to susceptibility to Pgt, such as cell death suppression and impairment of photosynthesis. We complemented our approach with a gene co-expression network analysis to identify wheat targets to deliver resistance to Pgt through removal or modification of putative susceptibility genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number657796
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - Apr 21 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a seed grant from the Microbial Plant Genome Institute at The University of Minnesota, USDA-NIFA grant #2018-67013-27819, University of Minnesota Experimental Station USDA-NIFA Hatch project MIN-22-086, as well as the USDA-ARS/ The University of Minnesota Standard Cooperative Agreement (3002-11031-00053115) between SK and MF. EH is supported by a scholarship from the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Science at the University of Minnesota. The work conducted by the United States DOE Joint Genome Institute is supported by the Office of Science of the United States Department of Energy under Contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Henningsen, Omidvar, Della Coletta, Michno, Gilbert, Li, Miller, Myers, Gordon, Vogel, Steffenson, Kianian, Hirsch and Figueroa.


  • co-expression
  • non-host
  • rust (disease)
  • susceptibility
  • transcription
  • wheat


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