Disease resistance innovation cluster

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

The disease resistance innovation cluster develops fundamental discoveries about the immune system of plants so that more disease resistance in crops can be improved. Early recognition events triggered by the detection of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) in cereals and brassicas are studied. Methods to study PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) are being developed, and applied to diverse accessions of these crop species. The involvement of PTI in quantitative disease resistance (QDR), and important breeding target, is being evaluated to develop markers for this trait in crops. In addition, transgenic crops modified for PTI responses are being generated to test the activity of specific genes in disease control. The work forms the basis for crop improvement by conventional breeding to develop more durable, broad-spectrum disease control. The research underpins the strategic mission of JIC, and is undertaken in parallel with knowledge exchange and commercialisation activities to deliver the science to industry.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We developed a series of methods to investigate immune responses in cereals and brassicas. The work on brassicas has led to the development on an immunity 'toolbox', which we describe in a publication. We have been using to toolbox to compare different cultivars of Brassica napus, oilseed rape, and other Brassica species. We are developing this work now to genetically map these immune response readouts as the basis for developing durable disease resistance. In addition, we have found an interesting genetic locus that controls immunity in Brassica oleracea. Detailed examination of this locus is the basis of a PhD research project which is currently ongoing.
For cereals, we tested whether an immune receptor from Arabidopsis, a model plant species, could function in wheat. We found that indeed this receptor could function, and conferred disease resistance in wheat. This research demonstrates that the mechanisms of resistance responses are conserved between dicot and monocot species, and opens up the possibility for engineering more durable disease resistance. This work has been submitted for publication
We are now developing the immunity research to investigate how these responses affect other aspects of plant development. We have started this in barley, investigating the 'trade-off' between resistance to Fusarium head blight (FHB) and malt quality traits. A locus controlling FHB resistance has been identified, and mapping of malt quality is in progress.
Exploitation Route The Brassica work has generated interest in the commercial sector, as there is a lack of resistance to the more common pathogens. In addition, there is a risk that some of the current pesticides used will be restricted by EU regulations. There is a need to develop more durable resistance through breeding. Building on our results, we have submitted a grant application to identify durable disease resistance in oilseed rape in partnership with European labs and industry.
We are using barley as a model cereal to investigate the trade-off between disease resistance and other traits including the ability to form beneficial associations with root microbes. This has formed the basis of a PhD project that is currently being advertised, and contributes to a 'USA partnering' award application. Our aim is to find out if durable disease resistance can be successfully combined with the ability to develop successful associations with beneficial microbes that enable more efficient use of Nitrogen and Phosphorus fertilizers
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description Several presentations have been made to industry about our results, and this has resulted in further discussions about collaborative research. For example, the work led to a collaboration with Arlabion to evaluate a novel defence inducing compound. We produced a report and this was used for their patent application. The project was also presented at 'Breeders day', informing industry stakeholders about our research that could lead to future collaboration. We have also presented our research to Agronomy Consultants who will use our findings in their interactions with customers
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Visiting scholarship
Amount ฿240,000 (THB)
Organisation Government of Thailand 
Sector Public
Country Thailand
Start 06/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description Capturing novel quality and soil health traits for sustainable barley production 
Organisation New Heritage Barley Limited
PI Contribution this is a collaborative project to characterise novel traits in barley for the brewing and distilling industries. Our contribution is to provide seed and field trial facilities as well as expertise in barley growing
Collaborator Contribution They provide expertise in association genetics and mapping. They also provide facilities and expertise for metabolomics analysis. New heritage barley is a spin-out company from the John Innes Centre that is investing in this project
Impact The collaboration only started in October 2018, with a student being recruited to the project
Start Year 2018
 
Description Capturing novel quality and soil health traits for sustainable barley production 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution this is a collaborative project to characterise novel traits in barley for the brewing and distilling industries. Our contribution is to provide seed and field trial facilities as well as expertise in barley growing
Collaborator Contribution They provide expertise in association genetics and mapping. They also provide facilities and expertise for metabolomics analysis. New heritage barley is a spin-out company from the John Innes Centre that is investing in this project
Impact The collaboration only started in October 2018, with a student being recruited to the project
Start Year 2018
 
Description Defence induction by Vial 8 
Organisation Arlabion Ltd
PI Contribution We performed analysis of a novel compound developed by the company to investigate its role in defence induction for disease control. We produced a report that they used for a patent application
Collaborator Contribution The partners provided the compound and advice about the nature of the chemical and the kind of analyses they required
Impact A report that was used for the patent application
Start Year 2018
 
Description Identifying the genetic determinants of barley colonisation by the growth-promoting biocontrol agent Pseudomonas fluorescens 
Organisation New Heritage Barley Limited
PI Contribution This is a collaborative project led by Jacob Malone at the John Innes Centre, and I am a partner in the project. I provide expertise in barley growing and production, and on measurement of phenotypic traits
Collaborator Contribution New Heritage Barley Ltd is a start-up company from the John Innes Centre, providing expertise in barley production for the malting and brewing industries. They also provide access to commercial trials and malting facilities
Impact The collaboration started in 2017 when the student was recruited to the project. A presentation was made at the JIC 50th anniversary exhibition in 2017
Start Year 2017
 
Description Scientists in Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Visited schools to explain the work of scientists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Barley Variety Selection for Enhance Root Colonisation by Beneficial Soil Microbes: Eucarpia special meeting on breeding for plant microbe interactions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at Eucarpia special meeting on beneficial microbes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Breeders Day 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Breeders Day is an annual event to present current research on crop improvement at the John Innes Centre. The 2018 event was focussed on the supply chain, emphasising downstream processing of crops into products
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Disease resistance and immunity in brassicas: presentation to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The annual meeting held with scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences to present research updates and potential for collaborative research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Disease resistance in Brassicas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Annual meeting for the BBSRC project Mechanistic Analysis of Quantitative Disease Resistance in Brassicas by Associative transcriptomics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Disease resistance research on brassicas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentations were given to CN Seeds and Clover seeds about research on brassica disease resistance. The work has led to further development of collaborative research with CN Seeds on downy mildew in brassicas for the baby leaf salad market. We also made a successful joint application for GCRF-funded research to develop collaboration between CN Seeds and a seed company in Nepal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Fast-Track to Quantitative Disease Resistance in Brassicas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This was a presentation it industry as part of the Science for Innovation Showcase at John Innes Centre. This was followed up by formal meetings with industry representative about potential future collaborative research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Genetic analysis of immune responses in brassicas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of research results at the 21st Crucifer Genetics Conference, St Malo, France. The audience was comprised of scientific researchers with a wide range of interests in crucifer genetics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://colloque.inra.fr/brassica2018/
 
Description Immunity in brassicas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation to Elsoms, a seed and breeding company interested in collaborative research on oilseed rape improvement, especially in disease resistance
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Improving disease control in brassicaas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting with Prime agriculture to present research and explore potential collaborations in the future. Prime Agriculture are consultants in agriculture, with particular focus on agronomy. The work has led to an application to assess research priorities for disease control research in brassicas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Mechanistic Analysis of Quantitative Disease Resistance in Brassica by Associative Transcriptomics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop on disease resistance in brassicas, leading to further collaborative projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Microscope viewing of cereal grains from possible Anglo Saxon maltings 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited member of the public to view their grain samples through the electron microscope
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Oilseed rape genetic improvement network 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attended annual meeting of the oilseed rape genetic improvement network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.herts.ac.uk/oregin/about-oregin
 
Description PAMP responses in the Triangle of U 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact presentation of results from the MAQBAT project to update the brassica community about progress with the work. The presentation has enable further discussions about potential future collaborations and project ideas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation about crop disease resistance 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact presentation of research activities to ICL speciality fertilizers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation about science at John Innes Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussions with Sue Dunkerton Agritech East about possible involvement in collaborative projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Science at the John Innes Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Hosted visit of Alistair Griffiths, director of Science at Royal Horticultural Society resulting in arrangements for student internship
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Transatlantic Sessions in Conservation and Organic Agriculture 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact We held a workshop to discuss current thinking in conservation and organic agriculture, with speakers from UK and USA. This was an opportunity to discuss potential collaborations, and future joint research. These discussions are ongoing, though no specific projects have yet materialised
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description presentation oat Cereals 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Demonstration of field plots at the annual Cereals event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.cerealsevent.co.uk/
 
Description the Heritage Barley Project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Norfolk Mardlers are an influential group of farmers and landowners based in the East of England. The presentation was about how the germplasm resources unit at the John Innes Centre was the starting point for re-introduction of heritage barley cultivars into commercial production for malting and brewing
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018