Doohan, Fiona M.
Doohan, Fiona M.
Doohan, Fiona M.
Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
- PublicationMechanisms of beneficial colonisation of barley by fungal root endophytes(Association of Applied Biologists, 2013)
; ;Pathogenic fungal infections of barley can lead to costly crop losses. However, not all fungal infections are detrimental, and some are even beneficial. Beneficial root infections often involve symbiotic endophytic fungi. Benefits to barley and other plants infected with endophytic root fungi include an increase in seed yield, enhanced resistance to pathogens and improved stress tolerance. Here, we examine the mechanisms and outcomes of fungal endophyte colonisation of barley roots and briefly discuss reported benefits for the host. The most important factors that determine the nature of the relationship are the specific combination of partner genotypes and developmental stage, and the ecological and environmental setting. The full potential of these organisms is still to be determined and further studies are urgently required to develop specific beneficial root-endophyte associations, or combination of them, that are tailored to barley cultivars for maximum impact in agriculture. 1549
- PublicationInternational Symposium on Cereal Leaf Blights (ISCLB) 2019: Book of Abstracts(University College Dublin, 2019-04-24)
; ; ; ; ; ;International Symposium on Cereal Leaf Blights is one of the most important conferences for the Cereal Blight Community including academics, researchers, agency partners and commercial breeders. The Symposium aims to bring together the whole research community - not just in academia but also in research centres and institutes and across government and agency organisations - with an interest in a wide variety of issues around cereal leaf blights. Over the course of three days, we participate in extensive debate and discussion across our seven Symposium topics: Evolution and Population Biology, Cultural management, fungicide resistance and epidemiology, Pathogen Functional Genetics and Genomics, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Host genetics and Resistance Breeding, Secondary Metabolism and Physiology and Special Topics. 599
- PublicationGenome sequence of Ensifer adhaerens OV14 provides insights into its ability as a novel vector for the genetic transformation of plant genomes(BioMed Central, 2014-04-07)
; ; ; ;Background: Recently it has been shown that Ensifer adhaerens can be used as a plant transformation technology, transferring genes into several plant genomes when equipped with a Ti plasmid. For this study, we have sequenced the genome of Ensifer adhaerens OV14 (OV14) and compared it with those of Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 (C58) and Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 (1021); the latter of which has also demonstrated a capacity to genetically transform crop genomes, albeit at significantly reduced frequencies. Results: The 7.7 Mb OV14 genome comprises two chromosomes and two plasmids. All protein coding regions in the OV14 genome were functionally grouped based on an eggNOG database. No genes homologous to the A. tumefaciens Ti plasmid vir genes appeared to be present in the OV14 genome. Unexpectedly, OV14 and 1021 were found to possess homologs to chromosomal based genes cited as essential to A. tumefaciens T-DNA transfer. Of significance, genes that are non-essential but exert a positive influence on virulence and the ability to genetically transform host genomes were identified in OV14 but were absent from the 1021 genome. Conclusions: This study reveals the presence of homologs to chromosomally based Agrobacterium genes that support T-DNA transfer within the genome of OV14 and other alphaproteobacteria. The sequencing and analysis of the OV14 genome increases our understanding of T-DNA transfer by non-Agrobacterium species and creates a platform for the continued improvement of Ensifer-mediated transformation (EMT). 355Scopus© Citations 18
- PublicationThe Fusarium Mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol Can Inhibit Plant Apoptosis-Like Programmed Cell Death(Public Library of Science, 2013-07-26)
; ; ; ; ; ;The Fusarium genus of fungi is responsible for commercially devastating crop diseases and the contamination of cereals with harmful mycotoxins. Fusarium mycotoxins aid infection, establishment, and spread of the fungus within the host plant. We investigated the effects of the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) on the viability of Arabidopsis cells. Although it is known to trigger apoptosis in animal cells, DON treatment at low concentrations surprisingly did not kill these cells. On the contrary, we found that DON inhibited apoptosis-like programmed cell death (PCD) in Arabidopsis cells subjected to abiotic stress treatment in a manner independent of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. This suggested that Fusarium may utilise mycotoxins to suppress plant apoptosis-like PCD. To test this, we infected Arabidopsis cells with a wild type and a DON-minus mutant strain of F. graminearum and found that only the DON producing strain could inhibit death induced by heat treatment. These results indicate that mycotoxins may be capable of disarming plant apoptosis-like PCD and thereby suggest a novel way that some fungi can influence plant cell fate. 294Scopus© Citations 47
- PublicationThe wheat SnRK1α family and its contribution to Fusarium toxin tolerance(Elsevier BV, 2019-11)
; ; ; ;Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin produced by phytopathogenic Fusarium fungi in cereal grain and plays a role as a disease virulence factor. TaFROG (Triticum aestivum Fusarium Resistance Orphan Gene) enhances wheat resistance to DON and it interacts with a sucrose non-fermenting-1 (SNF1)-related protein kinase 1 catalytic subunit α (SnRK1α). This protein kinase family is central integrator of stress and energy signalling, regulating plant metabolism and growth. Little is known regarding the role of SnRK1α in the biotic stress response, especially in wheat. In this study, 15 wheat (Triticum aestivum) SnRK1α genes (TaSnRK1αs) belonging to four homoeologous groups were identified in the wheat genome. TaSnRK1αs are expressed ubiquitously in all organs and developmental stages apart from two members predominantly detected in grain. While DON treatment had either no effect or downregulated the transcription of TaSnRK1αs, it increased both the kinase activity associated with SnRK1α and the level of active (phosphorylated) SnRK1α. Down-regulation of two TaSnRK1αs homoeolog groups using virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) increased the DON-induced damage of wheat spikelets. Thus, we demonstrate that TaSnRK1αs contribute positively to wheat tolerance of DON and conclude that this gene family may provide useful tools for the improvement of crop biotic stress resistance. 377Scopus© Citations 17
- PublicationLight influences how the fungal toxin deoxynivalenol affects plant cell death and defense responses(MDPI, 2014-02-20)
; ; ; ; ; ;The Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) can cause cell death in wheat (Triticum aestivum), but can also reduce the level of cell death caused by heat shock in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) cell cultures. We show that 10 μg mL−1 DON does not cause cell death in Arabidopsis cell cultures, and its ability to retard heat-induced cell death is light dependent. Under dark conditions, it actually promoted heat-induced cell death. Wheat cultivars differ in their ability to resist this toxin, and we investigated if the ability of wheat to mount defense responses was light dependent. We found no evidence that light affected the transcription of defense genes in DON-treated roots of seedlings of two wheat cultivars, namely cultivar CM82036 that is resistant to DON-induced bleaching of spikelet tissue and cultivar Remus that is not. However, DON treatment of roots led to genotype-dependent and light-enhanced defense transcript accumulation in coleoptiles. Wheat transcripts encoding a phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) gene (previously associated with Fusarium resistance), non-expressor of pathogenesis-related genes-1 (NPR1) and a class III plant peroxidase (POX) were DON-upregulated in coleoptiles of wheat cultivar CM82036 but not of cultivar Remus, and DON-upregulation of these transcripts in cultivar CM82036 was light enhanced. Light and genotype-dependent differences in the DON/DON derivative content of coleoptiles were also observed. These results, coupled with previous findings regarding the effect of DON on plants, show that light either directly or indirectly influences the plant defense responses to DON. 331Scopus© Citations 10
- PublicationA wheat NAC interacts with an orphan protein and enhances resistance to Fusarium head blight disease(Wiley, 2019-03-01)
; ; ; ; ; ;Taxonomically-restricted orphan genes play an important role in environmental adaptation, as recently demonstrated by the fact that the Pooideae-specific orphan TaFROG (Triticum aestivum Fusarium Resistance Orphan Gene) enhanced wheat resistance to the economically devastating Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease. Like most orphan genes, little is known about the cellular function of the encoded protein TaFROG, other than it interacts with the central stress regulator TaSnRK1α. Here, we functionally characterized a wheat (T. aestivum) NAC-like transcription factor TaNACL-D1 that interacts with TaFROG and investigated its' role in FHB using studies to assess motif analyses, yeast transactivation, protein-protein interaction, gene expression and the disease response of wheat lines overexpressing TaNACL-D1. TaNACL-D1 is a Poaceae-divergent NAC transcription factor that encodes a Triticeae-specific protein C-terminal region with transcriptional activity and a nuclear localisation signal. The TaNACL-D1/TaFROG interaction was detected in yeast and confirmed in planta, within the nucleus. Analysis of multi-protein interactions indicated that TaFROG could form simultaneously distinct protein complexes with TaNACL-D1 and TaSnRK1α in planta. TaNACL-D1 and TaFROG are co-expressed as an early response to both the causal fungal agent of FHB, Fusarium graminearum and its virulence factor deoxynivalenol (DON). Wheat lines overexpressing TaNACL-D1 were more resistant to FHB disease than wild type plants. Thus, we conclude that the orphan protein TaFROG interacts with TaNACL-D1, a NAC transcription factor that forms part of the disease response evolved within the Triticeae. 255Scopus© Citations 35
- PublicationVirus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for functional characterization of disease resistance genes in barley seedlings(Springer New York, 2019)
; ; ; ;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. 523Scopus© Citations 5
- PublicationA small secreted protein from Zymoseptoria tritici interacts with a wheat E3 ubiquitin to promote disease(Oxford University Press, 2021-02-02)
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;Septoria Tritici Blotch, caused by the ascomycete fungus Zymoseptoria tritici, is a major threat to wheat production worldwide. The Z. tritici genome encodes many small, secreted proteins (ZtSSP) that likely play a key role in the successful colonisation of host tissues. However, few of these ZtSSPs have been functionally characterised for their role during infection. In this study, we identified and characterised a small, conserved cysteine-rich secreted effector from Zymoseptoria tritici which has homologues in other plant pathogens in the dothideomycetes. ZtSSP2 was expressed throughout Z. tritici infection in wheat with the highest levels observed early during infection. A yeast two-hybrid assay revealed an interaction between ZtSSP2 and wheat E3 ubiquitin ligase in yeast and this was further confirmed in planta using bimolecular fluorescence complementation, and co-immunoprecipitation. Down-regulation of this wheat E3 ligase using virus-induced gene silencing, increased the susceptibility of wheat to Septoria tritici blotch (STB). Together these results suggest that TaE3UBQ likely plays a role in plant immunity to defend against Z. tritici. 99Scopus© Citations 4
- PublicationInsights from the Fungus Fusarium oxysporum Point to High Affinity Glucose Transporters as Targets for Enhancing Ethanol Production from Lignocellulose(Public Library of Science, 2013-01-30)
; ; ;Ethanol is the most-widely used biofuel in the world today. Lignocellulosic plant biomass derived from agricultural residue can be converted to ethanol via microbial bioprocessing. Fungi such as Fusarium oxysporum can simultaneously saccharify straw to sugars and ferment sugars to ethanol. But there are many bottlenecks that need to be overcome to increase the efficacy of microbial production of ethanol from straw, not least enhancement of the rate of fermentation of both hexose and pentose sugars. This research tested the hypothesis that the rate of sugar uptake by F. oxysporum would enhance the ethanol yields from lignocellulosic straw and that high affinity glucose transporters can enhance ethanol yields from this substrate. We characterized a novel hexose transporter (Hxt) from this fungus. The F. oxysporum Hxt represents a novel transporter with homology to yeast glucose signaling/transporter proteins Rgt2 and Snf3, but it lacks their C-terminal domain which is necessary for glucose signalling. Its expression level decreased with increasing glucose concentration in the medium and in a glucose uptake study the Km(glucose) was 0.9 mM, which indicated that the protein is a high affinity glucose transporter. Post-translational gene silencing or over expression of the Hxt in F. oxysporum directly affected the glucose and xylose transport capacity and ethanol yielded by F. oxysporum from straw, glucose and xylose. Thus we conclude that this Hxt has the capacity to transport both C5 and C6 sugars and to enhance ethanol yields from lignocellulosic material. This study has confirmed that high affinity glucose transporters are ideal candidates for improving ethanol yields from lignocellulose because their activity and level of expression is high in low glucose concentrations, which is very common during the process of consolidated processing. 238Scopus© Citations 30