Intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species-Aided Localized Cell Death Contributing to Immune Responses Against Wheat Powdery Mildew Pathogen

Yinghui Li, Rajib Roychowdhury, Liubov Govta, Samidha Jaiwar, Zhen Zhen Wei, Imad Shams, Tzion Fahima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reactive oxygen species (ROS)- and hypersensitive response (HR)mediated cell death have long been known to play critical roles in plant immunity to pathogens. Wheat powdery mildew caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt) is a destructive wheat pathogen. Here, we report a quantitative analysis of the proportion of infected cells with local apoplastic ROS (apoROS) versus intracellular ROS (intraROS) accumulation in various wheat accessions that carry different disease resistance genes (R genes) at a series of time points postinfection. The proportion of apoROS accumulation was 70 to 80% of the infected wheat cells detected in both compatible and incompatible host−pathogen interactions. However, intensive intraROS accumulation followed by localized cell death responses was detected in 11 to 15% of the infected wheat cells, mainly in wheat lines that carried nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat R genes (e.g., Pm3F, Pm41, TdPm60, MIIW72, and Pm69). The lines that carry unconventional R genes, Pm24 (Wheat Tandem Kinase 3) and pm42 (a recessive R gene), showed fewer intraROS responses, whereas 11% of Pm24 line-infected epidermis cells still showed HR cell death, suggesting that different resistance pathways are activated there. Here, we also demonstrated that ROS could not act as a strong systemic signal for inducing high resistance to Bgt in wheat, although it induced the expression of pathogenesis-related genes. These results provide new insights into the contribution of intraROS and localized cell death to immune responses against wheat powdery mildew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-892
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Phytopathological Society. All rights reserved.


  • cell death
  • hypersensitive response
  • powdery mildew
  • reactive oxygen species
  • wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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