Horizontal gene transfer of Fhb7 from fungus underlies Fusarium head blight resistance in wheat

Hongwei Wang, Silong Sun, Wenyang Ge, Lanfei Zhao, Bingqian Hou, Kai Wang, Zhongfan Lyu, Liyang Chen, Shoushen Xu, Jun Guo, Min Li, Peisen Su, Xuefeng Li, Guiping Wang, Cunyao Bo, Xiaojian Fang, Wenwen Zhuang, Xinxin Cheng, Jianwen Wu, Luhao DongWuying Chen, Wen Li, Guilian Xiao, Jinxiao Zhao, Yongchao Hao, Ying Xu, Yu Gao, Wenjing Liu, Yanhe Liu, Huayan Yin, Jiazhu Li, Xiang Li, Yan Zhao, Xiaoqian Wang, Fei Ni, Xin Ma, Anfei Li, Steven S. Xu, Guihua Bai, Eviatar Nevo, Caixia Gao, Herbert Ohm, Lingrang Kong

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Fusarium head blight (FHB), a fungal disease caused by Fusarium species that produce food toxins, currently devastates wheat production worldwide, yet few resistance resources have been discovered in wheat germplasm. Here, we cloned the FHB resistance gene Fhb7 by assembling the genome of Thinopyrum elongatum, a species used in wheat distant hybridization breeding. Fhb7 encodes a glutathione S-transferase (GST) and confers broad resistance to Fusarium species by detoxifying trichothecenes through de-epoxidation. Fhb7 GST homologs are absent in plants, and our evidence supports that Th. elongatum has gained Fhb7 through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from an endophytic Epichloë species. Fhb7 introgressions in wheat confers resistance to both FHB and crown rot in diverse wheat backgrounds without yield penalty, providing a solution for Fusarium resistance breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaba5435
Issue number6493
StatePublished - 22 May 2020

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