Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Plant Pathology and Microbiology


Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

First Advisor

Roger P. Wise


Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh) is the causal agent of powdery mildew on barley. Bgh secretes over 700 proteins that may function to modify host processes for colonization. Differential expression analysis of Bgh genes encoding secreted proteins in an isogenic panel of host immune signaling mutants, including a novel mutation Rar3 (Required for Mla6 Resistance3), identified fungal membrane trafficking genes. Infection phenotyping and kinetics show that immune compromised mutants have similar fungal growth, thereby, attributing any differences observed in expression to mutation rather than development. Thus, we hypothesize that powdery mildew genes may be targeting the host membrane trafficking pathway to both internalize effector proteins and suppress plant defense signal relay. Next, to address the modulation of host membrane trafficking genes, we utilized differential expression analysis. This identified over 100 genes in all immune-compromised mutants, including ADP Ribosylation Factor 1 (ARF1) during host penetration by Bgh. ARF1 is a GTP-binding protein, involved in protein trafficking, ER-to-Golgi transport and Golgi-derived transport to the plasma membrane. Additionally, we utilized an expression Quantitative Trait Locus (eQTL) approach to focus on genes associated with Mla. This led to the discovery of 3,296 genes, including those in membrane trafficking pathways, that are directly or indirectly regulated by the Mla region (1HS). Taken together, these results corroborate the pivotal role membrane trafficking plays in R gene-mediated defense against powdery mildew.

Copyright Owner

Priyanka Surana



File Format


File Size

120 pages