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Compatible and Incompatible Interactions in Wheat Involving the Bt-10 Gene for Resistance to Tilletia tritici, the Common Bunt Pathogen

November 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  11
Pages  1,397 - 1,405

Denis A. Gaudet, Zhen-Xiang Lu, Frances Leggett, Bryan Puchalski, and André Laroche

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, P.O. Box 3000, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1J 4B1.

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Accepted for publication 1 May 2007.

The infection of wheat lines Neepawa (susceptible), and its sib BW553 that is nearly isogenic for the Bt-10 resistance gene by differentially virulent races T1 and T27 of common bunt (Tilletia tritici), was followed for 21 days following seeding (dfs) using fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Spore germination was nonsynchronous and all spore stages including germination were observed 5 to 21 dfs. Initial host perception of pathogen invasion, based on autofluorescence in epidermal cells adjacent to the appressoria, was similar in both compatible and incompatible interactions, and occurred as early as 5 to 6 dfs. The total number of sites on a 1-cm segment of coleoptile adjacent to the seed that exhibited autofluorescence was similar in both the compatible and incompatible interactions and rose to a maximum of 35 to 40 per 1 cm length of coleoptile following 17 dfs, although new infection events were observed as late as 21 dfs. In the compatible interaction, the autofluorescence became more diffuse 10 to 12 dfs, emanating in all directions in association with fungal spread. In the incompatible interaction, autofluorescence remained restricted to a small area surrounding the penetration site. Two different reaction zones that extended further in tissues surrounding the penetration point in the incompatible interaction compared with the compatible interaction were identified. The accumulation of callose around invading fungal hyphae was observed during both the compatible and incompatible interactions from 8 to 21 dfs. While callose accumulation was more extensive and widespread in the incompatible interaction, it was clearly present in compatible interactions, particularly in treatments involving BW553. These results were confirmed by expression of callose synthase transcripts that were more abundant in BW553 than in Neepawa and were upregulated during pathogen infection in both compatible and incompatible interactions.

Additional keywords:defense responses, disease resistance, gene expression.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2007