The ‘Plant Pathology’ Best Student Paper prize for 2022 has been awarded to Carolina Orellana-Torrejon from the Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, Thiverval-Grignon, France, for her two papers ‘Annual dynamics of Zymoseptoria tritici populations in wheat cultivar mixtures: A compromise between the efficacy and durability of a recently broken-down resistance gene?’ (vol. 71, 289–303) https://bsppjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/
doi/10.1111/ppa.13458 and ‘The impact of wheat cultivar mixtures on virulence dynamics in Zymoseptoria tritici populations persists after interseason sexual reproduction’ (vol. 71, 1537–1549) https://bsppjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/
These two manuscripts contribute significant findings about the potential for using wheat cultivar mixtures as a means of sustaining the longevity of resistance gene efficacy in the field. In the first paper, it is shown that cultivar mixtures affect the dynamics of Z. tritici subpopulations, to highlight a potential compromise between efficacy and durability when deploying resistance in mixtures. The second paper then shows how evolution of the pathogen populations could be managed by using cultivar mixtures, which indicates that the use of mixtures is a promising strategy to extend the lifetime of resistance sources in the field.
The ‘Molecular Plant Pathology’ Best Student Paper prize for 2022 has been awarded to Adriana Trutzenberg from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, for her paper entitled ‘Barley guanine nucleotide exchange factor HvGEF14 is an activator of the susceptibility factor HvRACB and supports host cell entry by Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (vol. 23, 1524–1537)
GTPases are small molecular switches that serve as central signalling hubs for a variety of cellular processes in plants. This work provides new insight into how the fungal powdery mildew pathogen Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei hijacks a specific GTPase to enable pathogen entry into barley. This work was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.