Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Brachypodium distachyon genotypes vary in resistance to Rhizoctonia solani AG8

Katharina Schneebeli A B F I , Ulrike Mathesius B , Alexander B. Zwart A G , Jennifer N. Bragg C , John P. Vogel D E and Michelle Watt A H
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A CSIRO Agriculture Flagship, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

B Division of Plant Science, Research School of Biology, 134 Linnaeus Way, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

C Joint BioEnergy Institute, 5885 Hollis St. ESE 4th Floor, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA.

D DOE Joint Genome Institute, 2800 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, USA.

E USDA-ARS Western Regional Research Centre, Albany, CA 94710, USA.

F Present address: NSW Department of Primary Industries, 21 888 Kamilaroi Highway, Narrabri, NSW 2390, Australia.

G Present address: CSIRO Data61, GPO Box 664, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

H Present address: Plant Sciences (IBG-2), Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52 428 Jülich, Germany.

I Corresponding author. Email: kathy.schneebeli@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Functional Plant Biology 43(2) 189-198 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP15244
Submitted: 17 August 2015  Accepted: 12 November 2015   Published: 6 January 2016

Abstract

Brachypodium distachyon (L.) P.Beauv. (Bd) has previously been developed as a pathosystem model for the wheat root rot pathogen Rhizoctonia solani Kühn anastomosis group 8 (AG8). Here we explore variation in resistance to R. solani AG8 in Bd, to determine whether genomic tools could be used to find Bd genes involved in the grass defence response, with the aim of using this information for the improvement of Rhizoctonia root rot resistance in wheat. We looked for variation in resistance to R. solani AG8 in a diverse Bd natural accession collection and in Bd T-DNA insertion lines selected based on putative mechanisms reported for tagged genes. All lines were susceptible to the pathogen. Repeatable and significant variation in resistance was measured in both groups, with greater variation in resistance found across the natural accessions than in the T-DNA lines. The widest and most repeatable variation in resistance was between lines Koz-3 and BdTR 13a. The ratio of R. solani AG8-inoculated to uninoculated root length for line Koz-3 was 33% greater than the same ratio for line BdTR 13a. The increased resistance of Koz-3 was associated with nodal root initiation in response to the pathogen. A negative correlation between seedling vigour and resistance was observed, but found not to be the sole source of variation in resistance to R. solani AG8. The only T-DNA line with significantly greater resistance to R. solani AG8 than the reference line had an insertion in a putative galactosyltransferase gene; however, this result needs further confirmation. Genetic resistance to Rhizoctonia root rot is not available in wheat cultivars and only a few instances of quantitative resistance to the pathogen have been described within close relatives of wheat. Brachypodium distachyon offers potential for further investigation to find genes associated with quantitative resistance and mechanisms of tolerance to R. solani AG8.

Additional keywords: adventitious roots, crown roots, defense, growth defence trade-off, monocot, nodal roots, plant–pathogen interaction.


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