Biotech Updates

TaRLK Genes Confer Powdery Mildew Resistance in Common Wheat

January 27, 2016

Powdery mildew caused by Blumeria graminearum f.sp. tritici (Bgt), is one of the most severe fungal diseases of wheat, making the search and use of new genes pivotal in powdery mildew control. Tingting Chen and Jin Xiao of Nanjing Agricultural University in China now study two wheat LRR-RLKs from Triticum aestivum c.v. Prins x T. timopheevii introgression line IGV1-465, named TaRLK1 and TaRLK2, which play positive roles in regulating powdery mildew resistance in wheat.

The TaRLK1 and TaRLK2 expressions were upregulated in Bgt conditions. Assays indicate that both genes positively regulate the resistance to mixed Bgt inocula. Transgenic lines overexpressing TaRLK1 or TaRLK2 had significantly enhanced powdery mildew resistance.

The two LRR-RLKs are located in the long arm of wheat chromosome 2B, where the powdery mildew resistance gene Pm6 is also located, but in a different region. TaRLK1 and TaRLK2 contribute to powdery mildew resistance of wheat, providing new resistance gene resources for wheat breeding.

To learn more about the study, read the full article on BMC Plant Biology.