This week Science published an Online First article describing a glutathione-S-transferase conferring resistance to Fusarium.
Hongwei Wang, et al. Science 09 Apr 2020, DOI: 10.1126/science.aba5435
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 based on 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 via de-epoxidation. Fhb7 GST homologs are absent in plants, and our evidence supports Th. elongatum has gained Fhb7 via 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.