Prevalence and importance of sensitivity to Stagonospora nodorum necrotrophic effector SnTox3 in current Western Australian wheat cultivars.
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Stagonospora nodorum is a major pathogen of wheat in many parts of the world and particularly in Western Australia. The pathosystem is characterised by interactions of multiple pathogen necrotrophic effectors (NE) (formerly host-specific toxins) with corresponding dominant host sensitivity loci. To date, five NE interactions have been reported in S. nodorum. Two proteinaceous NE (ToxA and SnTox3) have been cloned and expressed in microbial systems. The identification of wheat cultivars lacking sensitivity to one or more NE is a promising way to identify cultivars suitable for use in breeding for increased resistance to this economically important pathogen. The prevalence of sensitivity to the NE SnTox3 was investigated in 60 current Western Australian-adapted bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars. Infiltration of SnTox3 into seedling leaves caused a moderate or strong necrotic response in 52 cultivars. Six cultivars were insensitive and two cultivars exhibited a weak chlorotic response. Five of the cultivars that were insensitive or weakly sensitive to SnTox3 were noticeably more resistant to the disease. The 60 cultivars gave a very similar reaction to SnTox3 and to the crude S. nodorum SN15 culture filtrate demonstrating that SnTox3 is the dominant NE in this isolate. We conclude that a simple screen using both SnTox3 and ToxA effectors combined with simple greenhouse disease evaluation, will allow breeders to select cultivars that are more resistant to the disease, allowing them to concentrate resources on other still intractable breeding objectives.
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