A post-haustorial defense mechanism is mediated by the powdery mildew resistance gene, PmG3M, derived from wild emmer wheat

Zhen Zhen Wei, Valentyna Klymiuk, Valeria Bocharova, Curtis Pozniak, Tzion Fahima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The destructive wheat powdery mildew disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt). PmG3M, derived from wild emmer wheat Triticum dicoccoides accession G305-3M, is a major gene providing a wide-spectrum resistance against Bgt. PmG3M was previously mapped to wheat chromosome 6B using an F6 recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping population generated by crossing G305-3M with the susceptible T. durum wheat cultivar Langdon (LDN). In the current study, we aimed to explore the defense mechanisms conferred by PmG3M against Bgt. Histopathology of fungal development was characterized in artificially inoculated leaves of G305-3M, LDN, and homozygous RILs using fluorescence and light microscopy. G305-3M exhibited H2O2 accumulation typical of a hypersensitive response, which resulted in programmed cell death (PCD) in Bgt-penetrated epidermal cells, while LDN showed well-developed colonies without PCD. In addition, we observed a post-haustorial resistance mechanism that arrested the development of fungal feeding structures and pathogen growth in both G305-3M and resistant RIL, while LDN and a susceptible RIL displayed fully developed digitated haustoria and massive accumulation of fungal biomass. In contrast, both G305-3M and LDN exhibited callose deposition in attempt to prevent fungal invasion, supporting this as a mechanism of a basal defense response not associated with PmG3M resistance mechanism per se. The presented results shed light on the resistance mechanisms conferred by PmG3M against wheat powdery mildew.

Original languageEnglish
Article number418
Issue number6
StatePublished - 28 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: Z.W. was supported by the China Scholarship Council for financial support and the University of Haifa Graduate School. Many thanks to Tamar Kis-Papo for her technical support.

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, Grant Number 1719/08 and 1366/18.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • HO accumulation
  • PmG3M
  • Post-haustorial resistance
  • Powdery mildew
  • Programmed cell death
  • Wild emmer wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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