27 May 2024

Comparative analysis of the avirulence effectors poduced by the fungal stem rust pathogen of wheat

Lubega J, Figueroa M, Dodds PN, Kanyuka K - Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 2024


Crops are constantly exposed to pathogenic microbes. Rust fungi are examples of these harmful microorganisms, which have a major economic impact on wheat production. To protect themselves from pathogens like rust fungi, plants employ a multilayered immune system that includes immunoreceptors encoded by resistance genes. Significant efforts have led to the isolation of numerous resistance genes against rust fungi in cereals, especially in wheat. However, the evolution of virulence of rust fungi hinders the durability of resistance genes as a strategy for crop protection. Rust fungi, like other biotrophic pathogens, secrete an arsenal of effectors to facilitate infection, and these are the molecules that plant immunoreceptors target for pathogen recognition and mounting defense responses. When recognized, these effector proteins are referred to as avirulence (Avr) effectors. Despite the many predicted effectors in wheat rust fungi, only five Avr genes have been identified, all from wheat stem rust. Knowledge of the Avr genes and their variation in the fungal population will inform deployment of the most appropriate wheat disease-resistance genes for breeding and farming. The review provides an overview of methodologies as well as the validation techniques that have been used to characterize Avr effectors from wheat stem rust.

Read the entire publication

Share this:

Receive updates from the Crop Science Centre

Thanks! We’ve received your email.

Sorry, something went wrong.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Crop Science Centre, Lawrence Weaver Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0LE, GB. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.