Brasiliaceae crops

Researchers identify the genes that make plants resistant to Albugo candida

An international team made up of researchers from eight universities -including the University of Córdoba (UCO) - and European research centers has identified the genes that make plants resistant to 'Albugo candida', a pathogen that attacks Brassicaceae crops, which includes cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and even mustard, from around the world.

As indicated by the university institution in a note, the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)' published on Tuesday the work led by the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich (United Kingdom). Amey Redkar, a researcher at the Department of Genetics of the University of Cordoba, participated in the research.

Specifically, the team that has managed to identify multiple genes that are resistant to 'Albugo candida'. The genes are of the nucleotide-binding leucine richrepeats (NLR) variety and have been identified using a standard model plant in plant biotechnology laboratories: the 'Arabidopsisthaliana', which allows the extrapolation of the results to other crops.

In fact, the identification of those genes that make them resistant to white rust will allow the design of new genetic improvement strategies for different cultivated plant species.

The Brassicaceae are threatened by the disease caused by a pathogen called Albugo candida, which, operates exactly like fungi, that is, spreading in adequate humidity and temperature conditions and phagocytosing the nutrients of the plants it attacks.

The disease is not lethal and quite common. It can be identified because white pustules that change color to brown appear on the leaves and deteriorate the affected part leaving it useless for consumption. Due to its similarity with fungi the treatments against this type of white rust repeat models designed as fungicide treatments. However, the need to find long-term solutions that avoid reducing the harvest has put the international scientific community to work.

It is, then, a new achievement of basic research with clear biotechnological applications. A line of work in which the research team headed by the professor of Genetics at the University of Cordoba, Antonio Di Pietro, in which Amey Redkar is currently working, has specialized.

Redkar is part of the Foundation project, funded by the European Union's 'Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions' program, which aims to study the mechanisms of infection of 'Fusarium oxysporum', an important pathogenic fungus that causes vascular wilt in more than one hundred cultivated species, including tomatoes and bananas. The UCO team's goal is to identify new mechanisms of infection that serve as targets to reduce the damage caused by this pathogenic species.

Source: Europa Press

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