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    Isolate specific responses of the non-host grass Brachypodium distachyon to the fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici, compared to wheat
    Septoria tritici blotch (STB) is an important foliar disease of wheat that is caused by the fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. The grass Brachypodium distachyon has been used previously as a model system for cereal-pathogen interactions. In this study, we examined the non-host resistance (NHR) response of B. distachyon to two different Z. tritici isolates in comparison to wheat. These isolates vary in aggressiveness on wheat cv. Remus displaying significant differences in disease and pycnidia coverage. Using microscopy, we found that similar isolate specific responses were observed for H2O2 accumulation and cell death in both wheat and B. distachyon. Despite this, induction of isolate specific patterns of defence gene expression by Z. tritici did differ between B. distachyon and wheat. Our results suggest that phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) expression may be important for NHR in B. distachyon while pathogenesis-related (PR) genes and expression of genes regulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) may be important to limit disease in wheat. Future studies of the B. distachyon-Z. tritici interaction may allow identification of conserved plant immunity targets which are responsible for the isolate specific responses observed in both plant species.
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