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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Hfr-2, a Hessian Fly-Responsive Gene from Wheat, Has Similarity to a Seed Storage Protein, a Lectin and a Bacterial Toxin Protein

item Puthoff, David
item Nemacheck, Jill
item Williams, Christie

Submitted to: Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 3, 2003
Publication Date: January 10, 2004
Citation: Puthoff, D.P., Nemacheck, J.A., Williams, C.E. 2004. Hfr-2, a hessian fly-responsive gene from wheat, has similarity to a seed storage protein, a lectin and a bacterial toxin protein. In: Proceedings of the Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference. Plant and Animal Genomes XII Symposium, January 10-14, 2004, San Diego, California. 12(462):186. Available:

Technical Abstract: Hessian fly infestation of wheat is a devastating problem around the world. Plants attacked by virulent flies are stunted, have reduced yield and may be killed by the feeding larvae. Using the CuraGen GeneCalling process of RNA-profiling, many candidate Hessian fly-responsive genes (Hfr- genes) were identified. A near full-length cDNA for one of these genes, Hfr-2, was cloned and gene expression analyses were conducted using real-time PCR. Hfr-2 was highly up-regulated in leaf sheaths (up to 800 fold) following the initiation of feeding by virulent Hessian fly larvae. This novel gene responded during compatible interactions between several different wheat and Hessian fly genotypes, suggesting that it plays a role in accommodating the larvae. The Hfr-2 transcript accumulated to higher levels in plants hosting greater numbers of feeding larvae. Interestingly, the transcript did not accumulate in wheat seedlings following abiotic stresses such as wounding or desiccation, and showed minimal response to aphid feeding. Upon analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence of the encoded protein, we found similarity to a seed storage protein from Amaranthus, a mushroom lectin and a bacterial toxin protein. Transcript accumulation was assessed in developing seeds, however, low levels were detected. We concluded that Hfr-2 is a marker gene specific to compatible interactions between Hessian fly and wheat.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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