The Stagonospora nodorum-wheat pathosystem involves multiple proteinaceous host-selective toxins and corresponding host sensitivity genes that interact in an inverse gene-for-gene manner


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We recently showed that the wheat pathogen Stagonospora nodorum produces proteinaceous host-selective toxins (HSTs). These toxins include SnTox1 as well as SnToxA, a HST first identified from Pyrenophora tritici-repentis that was implicated in a very recent horizontal gene transfer event from S. nodorum to P. tritici-repentis. Compelling evidence implicating SnToxA and SnTox1 in disease development has been obtained. Here, we report the partial purification and characterization of a third HST designated SnTox2, as well as the genetic characterization of the corresponding host-sensitivity gene. SnTox2 was protease sensitive and is estimated between 7 and 10 kDa in size. Sensitivity to SnTox2 was conferred by a single dominant gene designated Snn2, which mapped to the short arm of wheat chromosome 2D. Genetic analysis of reaction to conidial inoculations in a segregating wheat population indicated that both the Snn2-SnTox2 and the Tsn1-SnToxA interactions were involved in disease development, and together they accounted for the majority of the phenotypic variation. Therefore, S. nodorum produces multiple toxins that rely on specific interactions with host gene products to cause disease. The identification of multiple HST–host gene interactions important for disease development and the availability of the S. nodorum whole genome sequence indicate the potential for this pathosystem to serve as a toxin-based, inverse gene-for-gene model.