Identification and Functional Characterisation of Two Oat UDP-Glucosyltransferases Involved in Deoxynivalenol Detoxification

Alfia Khairullina, Nikos Tsardakas Renhuldt, Gerlinde Wiesenberger, Johan Bentzer, David B. Collinge, Gerhard Adam, Leif Bülow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oat is susceptible to several Fusarium species that cause contamination with different trichothecene mycotoxins. The molecular mechanisms behind Fusarium resistance in oat have yet to be elucidated. In the present work, we identified and characterised two oat UDP-glucosyltransferases orthologous to barley HvUGT13248. Overexpression of the latter in wheat had been shown previously to increase resistance to deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV) and to decrease disease the severity of both Fusarium head blight and Fusarium crown rot. Both oat genes are highly inducible by the application of DON and during infection with Fusarium graminearum. Heterologous expression of these genes in a toxin-sensitive strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae conferred high levels of resistance to DON, NIV and HT-2 toxins, but not C4-acetylated trichothecenes (T-2, diacetoxyscirpenol). Re-combinant enzymes AsUGT1 and AsUGT2 expressed in Escherichia coli rapidly lost activity upon purification, but the treatment of whole cells with the toxin clearly demonstrated the ability to convert DON into DON-3-O-glucoside. The two UGTs could therefore play an important role in counteracting the Fusarium virulence factor DON in oat.

Original languageEnglish
Article number446
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology

Free keywords

  • deoxynivalenol
  • glycosylation
  • oats
  • UDP-glucosyltransferase


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