Barley is one of the most important cereal crops grown worldwide. Spot blotch caused by the hemibiotrophic fungus Cochliobolus sativus, is a destructive disease of barley leading to significant yield losses globally. Barley plants have evolved complex and orchestrated defense mechanisms to protect themselves towards this disease. Therefore, understanding the molecular basis of barley - C. sativus interaction is crucial to efficiently breed for durable and long lasting resistance. A number of pathogenesis-related proteins (PRs) genes have been identified and studied. Overexpression of PR genes (chitinase, glucanase and thaumatin) individually or in combination has significantly uplifted the level of defense response in barley plants against C. sativus pathogen. However, the detailed comprehension of signaling pathways that regulates the expression of these PRs is critical for improving crop plants to the pathogen challenge, which is the future theme of plant stress biology. Here, we summarize the advances in studies on interactions between barley and the C. sativus pathogen through these PR genes, by reviewing a comprehensive body of research on their interaction and the advances recently made.
Key words: Barley, Cochliobolus sativus, defense signaling, PR proteins