Genes that Resist White Rust Pathogen Found

Plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, mustard, and Brussels sprout may have different tastes, but they have a common enemy: white rust. One kind of white rust, caused by the pathogen Albugo candida threatens cabbages. Though not actually a fungus, A. candida acts like one and spreads under the right conditions of humidity and temperature, eating up the nutrients of the plants it attacks.

A team of researchers from eight European universities and research centers headed by Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich has identified four genes that are resistant to A. candida. These genes are nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) immune receptor that was identified using Arabidopsis thaliana. An additional gene was identified that confers resistance to an isolate of A. candida race 9 that infects Brassica oleracea.  The paper reports that immunity conferred by NLR genes provides species-wide resistance to the pathogen.

For more details, read the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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