Research ArticlePLANT PATHOLOGY

The hijacking of a receptor kinase–driven pathway by a wheat fungal pathogen leads to disease

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Science Advances  26 Oct 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 10, e1600822
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600822

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Abstract

Necrotrophic pathogens live and feed on dying tissue, but their interactions with plants are not well understood compared to biotrophic pathogens. The wheat Snn1 gene confers susceptibility to strains of the necrotrophic pathogen Parastagonospora nodorum that produce the SnTox1 protein. We report the positional cloning of Snn1, a member of the wall-associated kinase class of receptors, which are known to drive pathways for biotrophic pathogen resistance. Recognition of SnTox1 by Snn1 activates programmed cell death, which allows this necrotroph to gain nutrients and sporulate. These results demonstrate that necrotrophic pathogens such as P. nodorum hijack host molecular pathways that are typically involved in resistance to biotrophic pathogens, revealing the complex nature of susceptibility and resistance in necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogen interactions with plants.

Keywords
  • Wheat
  • fungal disease
  • pathogens
  • necrotrophic pathogens
  • plants
  • receptor kinase

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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