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Characterization of Triticum aestivum Abscisic Acid Receptors and a Possible Role for These in Mediating Fusairum Head Blight Susceptibility in Wheat.

Characterization of Triticum aestivum Abscisic Acid Receptors and a Possible Role for These in Mediating Fusairum Head Blight Susceptibility in Wheat.
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Gordon CS, Rajagopalan N, Risseeuw EP, Surpin M, Ball FJ, Barber CJ, Buhrow LM, Clark SM, Page JE, Todd CD, Abrams SR, Loewen MC,


Gordon CS, Rajagopalan N, Risseeuw EP, Surpin M, Ball FJ, Barber CJ, Buhrow LM, Clark SM, Page JE, Todd CD, Abrams SR, Loewen MC, (click to view)

Gordon CS, Rajagopalan N, Risseeuw EP, Surpin M, Ball FJ, Barber CJ, Buhrow LM, Clark SM, Page JE, Todd CD, Abrams SR, Loewen MC,

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PloS one 2016 Oct 1811(10) e0164996 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0164996
Abstract

Abscisic acid (ABA) is a well-characterized plant hormone, known to mediate developmental aspects as well as both abiotic and biotic stress responses. Notably, the exogenous application of ABA has recently been shown to increase susceptibility to the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum, the causative agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat and other cereals. However roles and mechanisms associated with ABA’s modulation of pathogen responses remain enigmatic. Here the identification of putative ABA receptors from available genomic databases for Triticum aestivum (bread wheat) and Brachypodium distachyon (a model cereal) are reported. A number of these were cloned for recombinant expression and their functionality as ABA receptors confirmed by in vitro assays against protein phosphatases Type 2Cs. Ligand selectivity profiling of one of the wheat receptors (Ta_PYL2DS_FL) highlighted unique activities compared to Arabidopsis AtPYL5. Mutagenic analysis showed Ta_PYL2DS_FL amino acid D180 as being a critical contributor to this selectivity. Subsequently, a virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) approach was used to knockdown wheat Ta_PYL4AS_A (and similar) in planta, yielding plants with increased early stage resistance to FHB progression and decreased mycotoxin accumulation. Together these results confirm the existence of a family of ABA receptors in wheat and Brachypodium and present insight into factors modulating receptor function at the molecular level. That knockdown of Ta_PYL4AS_A (and similar) leads to early stage FHB resistance highlights novel targets for investigation in the future development of disease resistant crops.

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