Transcriptomic insights into shared responses to Fusarium crown rot infection and drought stresses in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Zhouyang Su, Shang Gao, Zhi Zheng, Jiri Stiller, Shuwen Hu, Meredith Diane McNeil, Sergey Shabala, Meixue Zhou, Chunji Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Key message: Shared changes in transcriptomes caused by Fusarium crown rot infection and drought stress were investigated based on a single pair of near-isogenic lines developed for a major locus conferring tolerance to both stresses. Abstract: Fusarium crown rot (FCR) is a devastating disease in many areas of cereal production worldwide. It is well-known that drought stress enhances FCR severity but possible molecular relationship between these two stresses remains unclear. To investigate their relationships, we generated several pairs of near isogenic lines (NILs) targeting a locus conferring FCR resistance on chromosome 2D in bread wheat. One pair of these NILs showing significant differences between the two isolines for both FCR resistance and drought tolerance was used to investigate transcriptomic changes in responsive to these two stresses. Our results showed that the two isolines likely deployed different strategies in dealing with the stresses, and significant differences in expressed gene networks exist between the two time points of drought stresses evaluated in this study. Nevertheless, results from analysing Gene Ontology terms and transcription factors revealed that similar regulatory frameworks were activated in coping with these two stresses. Based on the position of the targeted locus, changes in expression following FCR infection and drought stresses, and the presence of non-synonymous variants between the two isolines, several candidate genes conferring resistance or tolerance to these two types of stresses were identified. The NILs generated, the large number of DEGs with single-nucleotide polymorphisms detected between the two isolines, and the candidate genes identified would be invaluable in fine mapping and cloning the gene(s) underlying the targeted locus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Number of pages15
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptomic insights into shared responses to Fusarium crown rot infection and drought stresses in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this