White blister rust caused by Albugo candida (Pers.) Kuntze is a common and often devastating disease of oilseed and vegetable brassica crops worldwide. Physiological races of the parasite have been described, including races 2, 7 and 9 from Brassica juncea, B. rapa and B. oleracea, respectively, and race 4 from Capsella bursa-pastoris (the type host). A gene named WRR4 has been characterized recently from polygenic resistance in the wild brassica relative Arabidopsis thaliana (accession Columbia) that confers broad-spectrum white rust resistance (WRR) to all four of the above Al. candida races. This gene encodes a TIR-NB-LRR (Toll-like/interleukin-1 receptor-nucleotide binding-leucine-rich repeat) protein which, as with other known functional members in this subclass of intracellular receptor-like proteins, requires the expression of the lipase-like defence regulator, enhanced disease susceptibility 1 (EDS1). Thus, we used RNA interference-mediated suppression of EDS1 in a white rust-resistant breeding line of B. napus (transformed with a construct designed from the A. thaliana EDS1 gene) to determine whether defence signalling via EDS1 is functionally intact in this oilseed brassica. The eds1-suppressed lines were fully susceptible following inoculation with either race 2 or 7 isolates of Al. candida. We then transformed white rust-susceptible cultivars of B. juncea (susceptible to race 2) and B. napus (susceptible to race 7) with the WRR4 gene from A. thaliana. The WRR4-transformed lines were resistant to the corresponding Al. candida race for each host species. The combined data indicate that WRR4 could potentially provide a novel source of white rust resistance in oilseed and vegetable brassica crops
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