Battle through signaling between wheat and the fungal pathogen Septoria tritici revealed by proteomics and phosphoproteomics

Fen Yang, Marcella N. Melo-Braga, Martin R. Larsen, Hans J L Joørgensen, Giuseppe Palmisano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fungus Septoria tritici causes the disease septoria tritici blotch in wheat, one of the most economically devastating foliar diseases in this crop. To investigate signaling events and defense responses in the wheat-S. tritici interaction, we performed a time-course study of S. tritici infection in resistant and susceptible wheat using quantitative proteomics and phosphoproteomics, with special emphasis on the initial biotrophic phase of interactions. Our study revealed an accumulation of defense and stress-related proteins, suppression of photosynthesis, and changes in sugar metabolism during compatible and incompatible interactions. However, differential regulation of the phosphorylation status of signaling proteins, transcription and translation regulators, and membraneassociated proteins was observed between two interactions. The proteomic data were correlated with a more rapid or stronger accumulation of signal molecules, including calcium, H2O2, NO, and sugars, in the resistant than in the susceptible cultivar in response to the infection. Additionally, 31 proteins and 5 phosphoproteins from the pathogen were identified, including metabolic proteins and signaling proteins such as GTP-binding proteins, 14-3-3 proteins, and calcium-binding proteins. Quantitative PCR analysis showed the expression of fungal signaling genes and genes encoding a superoxide dismutase and cell-wall degrading enzymes. These results indicate roles of signaling, antioxidative stress mechanisms, and nutrient acquisition in facilitating the initial symptomless growth. Taken in its entirety, our dataset suggests interplay between the plant and S. tritici through complex signaling networks and downstream molecular events. Resistance is likely related to several rapidly and intensively triggered signal transduction cascades resulting in a multiple-level activation of transcription and translation processes of defense responses. Our sensitive approaches and model provide a comprehensive (phospho)proteomics resource for studying signaling from the point of view of both host and pathogen during a plant-pathogen interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2497-2508
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Analytical Chemistry


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