Root rot resistance: using a model to help a crop

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office

Abstract

Wheat is the most important European crop. Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is a major threat to wheat production. FHB reduces yield and leads to the accumulation of mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON) in grain. Wheat is a relatively large plant with a long life cycle and highly complex genome making it difficult to study interactions with Fusarium. In contrast Brachypodium distachyon (Bd) has a fully sequenced genome, small stature and short lifecycle making it ideal as a model to study interactions between Fusarium and grass species. The current project represents collaboration between the John Innes Centre and BASF, one of the worlds leading chemical companies. The project will develop the model further to identify Bd accessions with ideal characteristics to serve as full models for evaluation fungicide efficacy. The project will include detailed histological comparison of infection of Bd and wheat by Fusarium. This will be complemented by comparative gene-expression studies to explore the full extent of similarities in response of the two hosts to Fusarium and its toxic metabolites. This studies will provide new insights into fungal virulence and host resistance. The student will extend the Bracypodium system to fungicide efficacy trials under the guidance of BASF scientists to develop a high throughput screening system. The project provides an outstanding opportunity to undertake fundamental study of plant-pathogen interactions and translate these to develop practical approaches to crop protection.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/P504488/1 30/09/2016 30/03/2021
1805734 Studentship BB/P504488/1 30/09/2016 30/03/2021 Elizabeth Bankes-Jones
 
Description Map based cloning of trichome associated gene in Brachypodium distachyon 
Organisation Earlham Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Refined physical interval associated with trichome presence/absence to five genes by resolving recombination event in previously heterozygous lines. Carried out expression analysis of candidate genes. Confirmation of variation within candidate genes between a collection of diverse accessions, and relation to trichome phenotype. Functional analysis of candidate genes in progress. Disruption of best candidate gene by CRISPR in progress.
Collaborator Contribution Developed genetic maps for the recombinant inbred line population used, as well as the population itself. Initially identified QTL, and defined associated genetic locus. Phylogenetic analyses of diverse Brachypodium distachyon accessions for candidate genes.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2018
 
Description Map based cloning of trichome associated gene in Brachypodium distachyon 
Organisation John Innes Centre
Department The Sainsbury Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Refined physical interval associated with trichome presence/absence to five genes by resolving recombination event in previously heterozygous lines. Carried out expression analysis of candidate genes. Confirmation of variation within candidate genes between a collection of diverse accessions, and relation to trichome phenotype. Functional analysis of candidate genes in progress. Disruption of best candidate gene by CRISPR in progress.
Collaborator Contribution Developed genetic maps for the recombinant inbred line population used, as well as the population itself. Initially identified QTL, and defined associated genetic locus. Phylogenetic analyses of diverse Brachypodium distachyon accessions for candidate genes.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2018
 
Description Map based cloning of trichome associated gene in Brachypodium distachyon 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Department Section of Plant Biology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Refined physical interval associated with trichome presence/absence to five genes by resolving recombination event in previously heterozygous lines. Carried out expression analysis of candidate genes. Confirmation of variation within candidate genes between a collection of diverse accessions, and relation to trichome phenotype. Functional analysis of candidate genes in progress. Disruption of best candidate gene by CRISPR in progress.
Collaborator Contribution Developed genetic maps for the recombinant inbred line population used, as well as the population itself. Initially identified QTL, and defined associated genetic locus. Phylogenetic analyses of diverse Brachypodium distachyon accessions for candidate genes.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2018
 
Description Monogram Poster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presented a poster at the Monogram 2018 conference held at the John Innes centre, titled: 'Are trichomes associated with Fusarium head blight susceptibility in Brachypodium distachyon?'. Discussions held with conference attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Question Time panel during School visit day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Sat on a 'Question Time' style panel to an audience totalling c. 80 year 10 students. Students asked questions about what being a student in science is like etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018