, Volume 114, Issue 5, pp 927-937
Date: 26 Jan 2007

Retrotransposon and gene activation in wheat in response to mycotoxigenic and non-mycotoxigenic-associated Fusarium stress

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Despite inhibition of protein synthesis being its mode of action, the trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) induced accumulation of transcripts encoding translation elongation factor 1α (EF-1α), class III plant peroxidase (POX), structure specific recognition protein, basic leucine zipper protein transcription factor (bZIP), retrotransposon-like homologs and genes of unknown function in the roots of wheat cultivars CM82036 and Remus. Fusarium head blight (FHB) studies using Fusarium graminearum and its trichothecene-minus (Tri5 ) mutant derivative and adult plant DON tests showed that these transcripts were responsive to both mycotoxigenic- and non-mycotoxigenic-associated Fusarium stress. In tests using the parents ‘CM82036’, ‘Remus’ and 14 double-haploid progeny that segregated for quantitative trait locus (QTL) Fhb1 on chromosome 3BS (syn. Qfhs.ndsu-3BS) (from ‘CM82036’ that confers DON tolerance), bZIP expression was significantly more DON-up-regulated in lines that inherited this QTL. Basal accumulation of the bZIP transcript in spikelets treated with Tween20 (control), DON and in DON-relative to Tween20-treated spikelets was negatively correlated with DON-induced bleaching above (but not below) the treated spikelets (AUDPCDON) (r = −0.41, −0.75 and −0.72, respectively; P ≤ 0.010). bZIP-specific PCR analysis of ‘Chinese spring’ and its 3BS deletion derivatives indicated that bZIP is located in chromosomal region(s) other than 3BS. These results, and the fact that a homologous cold-regulated wheat bZIP (wLIP19) maps to group 1 chromosomes suggests that wheat bZIP may participate in defence response cascades associated with Fhb1 and that there is a cross-talk between biotic and abiotic stress signalling pathways.

Communicated by D. A. Hoisington.