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  • Publication
    Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for functional characterization of disease resistance genes in barley seedlings
    With the recent advances in sequencing technologies, many studies are generating lists of candidate genes associated with specific traits. The major bottleneck in functional genomics is the validation of gene function. This is achieved by analyzing the effect of either gene silencing or overexpression on a specific phenotypic or biochemical trait. This usually requires the generation of stable transgenic plants and this can take considerable time. Therefore any technique that expedites the validation of gene function is of particular benefit in cereals, including barley. One such technique is Virus-Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS), which evokes a natural antiviral defense mechanism in plants. VIGS can be used to downregulate gene expression in a transient manner, but long enough to determine its effects on a specific phenotype. It is particularly useful for screening candidate genes and selecting those with potential for disease control. VIGS based on Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus (BSMV) is a powerful and efficient tool for the analysis of gene function in cereals. Here we present a BSMV VIGS protocol for simple and robust gene silencing in barley and describe it to evaluate the role of the hormone receptor BRI1 (Brassinosteroid Insensitive 1) in barley leaf resistance to Fusarium infection.
      523ScopusĀ© Citations 5
  • Publication
    A wheat cytochrome P450 enhances both resistance to deoxynivalenol and grain yield
    The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) serves as a plant disease virulence factor for the fungi Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum during the development of Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease on wheat. A wheat cytochrome P450 gene from the subfamily CYP72A, TaCYP72A, was cloned from wheat cultivar CM82036. TaCYP72A was located on chromosome 3A with homeologs present on 3B and 3D of the wheat genome. Using gene expression studies, we showed that TaCYP72A variants were activated in wheat spikelets as an early response to F. graminearum, and this activation was in response to the mycotoxic Fusarium virulence factor deoxynivalenol (DON). Virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) studies in wheat heads revealed that this gene family contributes to DON resistance. VIGS resulted in more DON-induced discoloration of spikelets, as compared to mock VIGS treatment. In addition to positively affecting DON resistance, TaCYP72A also had a positive effect on grain number. VIGS of TaCYP72A genes reduced grain number by more than 59%. Thus, we provide evidence that TaCYP72A contributes to host resistance to DON and conclude that this gene family warrants further assessment as positive contributors to both biotic stress resistance and grain development in wheat.
      293ScopusĀ© Citations 40