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 the findings have been used in the development of other projects and in the application to ERA-CAPS for additional funding
First Year Of Impact 2012
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 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 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 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 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 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/