Researchers have found a gene inwheatthat promotes rust fungal
infection. The wheat gene/TaBCAT1/was found turned on early during a
successful yellow rust infection. Deleting this gene in wheat mutants
severely reduced infection, revealing its importance for rust fungi to
Disrupting the gene provides resistance to yellow and stem rust, two of
the most economically damaging diseases of wheat worldwide. Further
analysis of the/TaBCAT1/gene showed that it takes part in the breakdown
of a particular group of amino acids called branched-chain amino acids.
The team also found that the amount of these amino acids was different
in wheat plants during successful and unsuccessful rust infections,
showing that their amount could be important for the invading pathogen.
Dr. Pilar Corredor-Moreno, the first author of the study said, "We were
amazed to see that removing just this one gene in our mutant plants
caused them to alert their defense responses even before they were under
attack. This likely helped the plants to give a much speedier defense
response, curtailing rust infection before it even had a chance to start."
An Achilles‚?? heel for wheat rust infection | John Innes Centre