Plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, mustard, and Brussels sprout may have different tastes, but they have a common enemy: white rust. One kind of white rust, caused by the pathogen Albugo candida threatens cabbages.

Though not actually a fungus, A. candida acts like one and spreads under the right conditions of humidity and temperature, eating up the nutrients of the plants it attacks.

 

A team of researchers from eight European universities and research centers headed by Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich has identified four genes that are resistant to A. candida. These genes are nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) immune receptor that was identified using Arabidopsis thaliana. An additional gene was identified that confers resistance to an isolate of A. candida race 9 that infects Brassica oleracea.  The paper reports that immunity conferred by NLR genes provides species-wide resistance to the pathogen.

 

For more details, read the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

 

 

Figure: Identification of transgressive segregant MAGIC lines showing different susceptibility to B. juncea-infecting A. candida race Ac2V. Different levels of susceptibility to Ac2V are observed in an eds1-2 mutant and in four of 593 MAGIC recombinant inbred lines. Adaxial (Left) and abaxial (Right) sides of the leaves are presented. Examples of pustules (arrows) and necrotic patches (arrowheads) are indicated. Susceptibility was scored in 4-wk-old plants at 14 dpi. (Scale bars: 3 mm).