Xingxuan Bai, first author of “Transcription factor BZR2 activates chitinase Cht20.2 transcription to confer resistance to wheat stripe rust”
Current Position: PhD student at College of Plant Protection of Northwest A&F University, China
Education: I obtained Bachelor and Master degree from College of Agriculture at Shanxi Agricultural University. During my master’s study, I have been worked as a visiting student at the Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Non-scientific Interests: Running.
I am currently perusing my Ph.D. in Prof. Jun Guo’s research group at the National Key Laboratory of Arid Area Crops in Northwest A&F University. My main research focuses on the study of broad-spectrum resistance to stripe rust in wheat. Stripe rust and drought have seriously threatened the safety of global wheat production. Utilizing the resistant varieties is the most economical and effective measure. However, the lack of resistant breeding resources has always been one of the main bottlenecks in wheat resistance breeding. Our previous study found that TaBZR2 functions positively in drought stress response by activating glutathione transferase 1 (TaGST1) gene. Fortunately, through the time series dual RNA-seq data using wheat plants inoculated with Pst, we found that TaBZR2 was also significantly up-regulated, and TaBZR2-OE wheat plants showed significant resistance to multiple races of stripe rust fungus. We further found that TaBZR2 activates transcription of a chitinase gene TaCht20.2, thereby increasing total chitinase activity in wheat. Our results indicate that TaBZR2 positively regulates wheat resistance to drought and stripe rust through different signal pathways, providing a good candidate gene for resistance breeding.