American Society of Plant Biologists
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Poster: Environmental Stress and Adaptation to Stress: General

Abs # P06017: Increased Wax Deposition on the Epicuticular Layer of Wheat Leaves May Lower Incidence of Leaf Rust Infection.

Presenter: Pacheco, Arlene       Contact Presenter
AuthorsPacheco, Arlene  (A)   Hays, Dirk B (A)  
Affiliations: (A): Texas A&M University

Leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) is the most common and one of the most important cereal diseases of the world where up to 40% yield loss may occur on susceptible wheat varieties. Pathogen infection involves a series of complex interactions much of which are not fully understood. Studies of this pathogen-host interaction have been difficult because of the complex multifaceted interaction between host and pathogen which is further complicated by its obligate biotroph nature that hinders detailed studies of structures and development. As a result, development of methods conferring resistance to leaf rust has been equally challenging. However, wax has long been shown to act as a protective structure against pathogen infection by providing a physical barrier between pathogen and host. Physical characteristics conferred by wax such as changes in water tension and morphology, are responsible for resistance in some plants to the rust pathogens due to alteration of spore behavior, or by stomata occlusion. The objective of this study is to identify wax deposition that contributes to disease resistance to leaf rust. Our hypothesis is that an increased epicuticular wax deposition on leaf surfaces may prevent infection by forming a hydrophobic layer that prevents attachment and penetration of spores to the leaf.

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