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Wheat Gene TaATG8j Contributes to Stripe Rust Resistance

Md. Abdullah-Al Mamun, Chunlei Tang, Yingchao Sun, Md. Nazrul Islam, Peng Liu, Xiaojie Wang, Zhensheng Kang.

Int. J. Mol. Sci.

DOI:10.3390/ijms19061666

 

 

Abstract: Autophagy-related 8 (ATG8) protein has been reported to be involved in plant’s innate immune response, but it is not clear whether such genes play a similar role in cereal crops against obligate biotrophic fungal pathogens. Here,we reported an ATG8 gene from wheat (Triticum aestivum), designated TaATG8j. This gene has three copies located in chromosomes 2AS, 2BS, and 2DS. The transcriptions of all three copies were upregulated in plants of the wheat cultivar Suwon11, inoculated with an avirulent race (CYR23) of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), the causal fungal pathogen of stripe rust. The transient expression of TaATG8j in Nicotiana benthamiana showed that TaATG8j proteins were distributed throughout the cytoplasm, but mainly in the nucleus and plasma membrane. The overexpression of TaATG8j in N. benthamiana slightly delayed the cell death caused by the mouse apoptotic protein BAX (BCL2-associated X protein). However, the expression of TaATG8j in yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) induced cell death. Thevirus-inducedgenesilencingofallTaATG8jcopiesrenderedSuwon11susceptible to the avirulent Pst race CYR23, accompanied by an increased fungal biomass and a decreased necrotic area per infection site. These results indicate that TaATG8j contributes to wheat resistance against stripe rust fungus by regulating cell death, providing information for the understanding of the mechanisms of wheat resistance to the stripe rust pathogen.