The effect of virus induced gene silencing of fas associated factor1 in blumeria graminis infected barley

Bozhanaj, Kreshnik
Cereal loss due to fungal pathogens is an ongoing setback in agriculture. Elucidating plant’s resistance and susceptibility mechanisms against these cereal killers, promises progress in agriculture. In the way of understanding barley resistance against fungus Blumeria Graminis we silenced FAS-Associated Factor 1 (FAF1) gene in its mRNA level with Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) technique. Previous research in our lab had shown an augmentation in mRNA levels of FAF1 gene in fungus infected wheat, suggesting a role of this gene in the resistance mechanism. We hypothesized that the apoptotic role of FAF1 protein in metazoan is conserved in plants by including FAF1 as a factor in hypersensitive response. Barley lines Pallas01 and Pallas03 which are respectively resistant and susceptible against fungus Blumeria graminis hordei 103 (Bgh103) were used for fungal inoculations after FAF1 silencing, to test if the hypersensitive response against fungus Bgh103 was prevented. In this aspect the formation of death lesions on the Pallas01 leaf due to fungal resistance was not prevented demonstrating that FAF1 silencing with VIGS in the resistant Pallas01 line of barley is not sufficient to stop apoptosis. On the other hand the FAF1-silenced barley susceptible line Pallas03 became more sensitive to fungal stress based on conidia (body part of the fungus) counting after trypan blue staining of the infected leaves. In the C-terminus of FAF1 an ubiquitin like domain-X (UBX) is found, which is the cause of stress sensitivity based on the reported data obtained about this domain’s loss of function in other proteins. These results suggest that FAF1 is a catalyst in the hypersensitive response and its loss of function makes barley more susceptible to fungal stress. On the other hand a short mRNA homology was found among FAF1 and many pathogen disease related proteins making this homology a possible target site for VIGS of FAF1 generated siRNAs, which might cause some other protein to be responsible for the barley susceptibility against the fungus.


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Citation Formats
K. Bozhanaj, “The effect of virus induced gene silencing of fas associated factor1 in blumeria graminis infected barley,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2009.