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Wheat avenin-like protein and its significant Fusarium Head Blight resistant functions

Zhang, Y., Cao, X., Juhász, A., Islam, S., Qi, P., She, M., Zhu, Z., Hu, X., Yu, Z., Wylie, S.ORCID: 0000-0002-5639-7460, Dowla, M., Chen, X., Yang, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2563-2015, Xia, X., Zhang, J.ORCID: 0000-0002-1623-4675, Zhao, Y., Shi, N., Dell, B., He, Z. and Ma, W.ORCID: 0000-0002-1264-866X (2018) Wheat avenin-like protein and its significant Fusarium Head Blight resistant functions. bioRxiv .

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Wheat Avenin-like proteins (TaALP) are atypical storage proteins belonging to the Prolamin superfamily. Previous studies on ALPs have focused on the proteins’ positive effects on dough strength, whilst no correlation has been made between TaALPs and the plant immune system. Here, we performed genome-wide characterization of ALP encoding genes in bread wheat. In silico analyses indicated the presence of critical peptides in TaALPs that are active in the plant immune system. Pathogenesis-related nucleotide motifs were also identified in the putative promoter regions of TaALP encoding genes. RT-PCR was performed on TaALP and previously characterised pathogenesis resistance genes in developing wheat caryopses under control and Fusarium graminearum infection conditions. The results showed that TaALP and NMT genes were upregulated upon F. graminearum inoculation. mRNA insitu hybridization showed that TaALP genes were expressed in the embryo, aleurone and sub-aleurone layer cells. Seven TaALP genes were cloned for the expression of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli, which displayed significant inhibitory function on F. graminearum under anti-fungal tests. In addition, FHB index association analyses showed that allelic variations of two ALP genes on chromosome 7A were significantly correlated with FHB symptoms. Over-expression of an ALP gene on chromosome 7A showed an enhanced resistance to FHB. Yeast two Hybridization results revealed that ALPs have potential proteases inhibiting effect on metacaspases and beta-glucosidases. A vital infection process related pathogen protein, F. graminearum Beta-glucosidase was found to interact with ALPs. Our study is the first to report a class of wheat storage protein or gluten protein with biochemical functions. Due to its abundance in the grain and the important multi-functions, the results obtained in the current study are expected to have a significant impact on wheat research and industry.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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