A fictional field case study to understand the genetic basis of host-fungal pathogen interactions using the wheat powdery mildew-wheat pathosystem

Article


Sotiropoulos, Alexandros G., Sánchez-Martín, Javier, Widrig, Victoria, Isaksson, Jonatan, Bernasconi, Zoe, Koller, Teresa, Bearth, Giulia, Herren, Gerhard, Wicker, Thomas and Keller, Beat. 2022. "A fictional field case study to understand the genetic basis of host-fungal pathogen interactions using the wheat powdery mildew-wheat pathosystem." Journal of Biological Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2022.2147574
Article Title

A fictional field case study to understand the genetic basis of host-fungal pathogen interactions using the wheat powdery mildew-wheat pathosystem

ERA Journal ID20635
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsSotiropoulos, Alexandros G., Sánchez-Martín, Javier, Widrig, Victoria, Isaksson, Jonatan, Bernasconi, Zoe, Koller, Teresa, Bearth, Giulia, Herren, Gerhard, Wicker, Thomas and Keller, Beat
Journal TitleJournal of Biological Education
Number of Pages13
Year2022
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0021-9266
2157-6009
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2022.2147574
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00219266.2022.2147574
Abstract

Wheat powdery mildew is an important fungal pathogen of wheat with an obligatory biotrophic lifestyle (a parasite that can only develop on a living host). We investigated the genetics of this host-pathogen interaction by using phenotyping and PCR assays to detect genes in both wheat and powdery mildew, which are known determinants of the outcome of these interactions (resistance or susceptibility). The mildew genes increase or decrease the pathogen virulence, while the wheat genes provide specific immunity against the mildew isolates expressing the corresponding avirulence genes. Here, we describe the experiments performed to understand the genetic basis of race-specific resistance of wheat to powdery mildew, which is part of the course ‘Mechanisms of Plant Disease Resistance against Fungal Pathogens’ designed for advanced third-year students of biology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. In this course, students learn how plants and their pathogenic fungi engage in an arms race against each other to survive.

KeywordsHost-pathogen interactions; fungal pathogen; powdery mildew; Blumeria graminis; wheat
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020310407. Host-parasite interactions
390409. Learning sciences
310510. Molecular evolution
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Zurich, Switzerland
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