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  • 1 Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Fungal Molecular Biology Laboratory, Division of Plant Pathology New Delhi 110 012 India
  • 2 Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres Biotechnology Unit, Division of Crop Improvement Barrackpore, Kolkata 700 120 India
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Bipolaris sorokiniana causes spot blotch, an important disease of wheat in Asia and America. To understand the host response to challenge by B. sorokiniana, we calculated the plant disease index (PDI) of twelve popular wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes and examined the expression levels of PR protein genes and wax synthesizing genes on an inoculation time-course using semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Gene expression was studied in a resistant (R) and a highly susceptible (HS) genotype selected from a PDI experiment under glasshouse conditions. A gene (β-1,3-glucanase II) was induced at 24 h post inoculation and to higher levels in the resistant genotype Chiriya-3 (PDI = 1.3) than in the highly susceptible genotype Agra Local (PDI = 40.1). Densitometry analysis showed that expression of an Actin gene was the same at all stages of inoculation due to its constitutive expression in both the resistant and susceptible genotypes, while a 7-fold increase in expression of β-1,3-glucanase II was observed 24 h post inoculation in Chiriya-3. The findings reported in the present study indicate that β-1,3-glucanase production in the B. sorokiniana infected wheat leaves may be involved in resistance to the pathogen.

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