Speaker: Prof. Ralph Panstruga, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
mlo-based powdery mildew resistance: An apparently universal “weapon” to combat powdery mildew disease
Loss-of-function mutations of one or more of the appropriate Mildew resistance locus o (Mlo) genes are an apparently reliable "weapon" to protect plants from infection by powdery mildew fungi, as they confer durable broad-spectrum resistance. Originally detected as a natural mutation in an Ethiopian barley landrace, this so-called mlo-based resistance has been successfully employed in European barley agriculture for nearly four decades. More recently, mlo-mediated resistance was discovered to be inducible in virtually every plant species of economic or scientific relevance. By now, mlo resistance has been found (as natural mutants) or generated (by induced mutagenesis, gene silencing, and targeted or nontargeted gene knock-out) in a broad range of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plant species. I will present the latest news regarding the elucidation of the underlying resistance mechanism, the function of Mlo proteins as well as the phytopathological and molecular analysis of a powdery mildew isolate that is able to partially overcome mlo resistance in barley.