A CNL protein in wild emmer wheat confers powdery mildew resistance

Miaomiao Li, Lingli Dong, Beibei Li, Zhengzhong Wang, Jingzhong Xie, Dan Qiu, Yahui Li, Wenqi Shi, Lijun Yang, Qiuhong Wu, Yongxing Chen, Ping Lu, Guanghao Guo, Huaizhi Zhang, Panpan Zhang, Keyu Zhu, Yiwen Li, Yan Zhang, Rongge Wang, Chengguo YuanWei Liu, Dazhao Yu, Ming Cheng Luo, Tzion Fahima, Eviatar Nevo, Hongjie Li, Zhiyong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Powdery mildew, a fungal disease caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt), has a serious impact on wheat production. Loss of resistance in cultivars prompts a continuing search for new sources of resistance. Wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides, WEW), the progenitor of both modern tetraploid and hexaploid wheats, harbors many powdery mildew resistance genes. We report here the positional cloning and functional characterization of Pm41, a powdery mildew resistance gene derived from WEW, which encodes a coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding site and leucine-rich repeat protein (CNL). Mutagenesis and stable genetic transformation confirmed the function of Pm41 against Bgt infection in wheat. We demonstrated that Pm41 was present at a very low frequency (1.81%) only in southern WEW populations. It was absent in other WEW populations, domesticated emmer, durum, and common wheat, suggesting that the ancestral Pm41 was restricted to its place of origin and was not incorporated into domesticated wheat. Our findings emphasize the importance of conservation and exploitation of the primary WEW gene pool, as a valuable resource for discovery of resistance genes for improvement of modern wheat cultivars.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1027-1037
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici
  • Pm41
  • Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides
  • coiled-coil–nucleotide-binding site–leucine-rich repeat (CC-NBS-LRR)
  • positional cloning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A CNL protein in wild emmer wheat confers powdery mildew resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this