Metabolomic Reconfiguration in Primed Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Plants in Response to Pyrenophora teres f. teres Infection

Claude Y. Hamany Djande, Fidele Tugizimana, Paul A. Steenkamp, Lizelle A. Piater, Ian A. Dubery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Necrotrophic fungi affect a wide range of plants and cause significant crop losses. For the activation of multi-layered innate immune defences, plants can be primed or pre-conditioned to rapidly and more efficiently counteract this pathogen. Untargeted and targeted metabolomics analyses were applied to elucidate the biochemical processes involved in the response of 3,5-dichloroanthranilic acid (3,5-DCAA) primed barley plants to Pyrenophora teres f. teres (Ptt). A susceptible barley cultivar (‘Hessekwa’) at the third leaf growth stage was treated with 3,5-DCAA 24 h prior to infection using a Ptt conidia suspension. The infection was monitored over 2, 4, and 6 days post-inoculation. For untargeted studies, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS) was used to analyse methanolic plant extracts. Acquired data were processed to generate the data matrices utilised in chemometric modelling and multi-dimensional data mining. For targeted studies, selected metabolites from the amino acids, phenolic acids, and alkaloids classes were quantified using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry. 3,5-DCAA was effective as a priming agent in delaying the onset and intensity of symptoms but could not prevent the progression of the disease. Unsupervised learning methods revealed clear differences between the sample extracts from the control plants and the infected plants. Both orthogonal projection to latent structure-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) and ‘shared and unique structures’ (SUS) plots allowed for the extraction of potential markers of the primed and naïve plant responses to Ptt. These include classes of organic acids, fatty acids, amino acids, phenolic acids, and derivatives and flavonoids. Among these, 5-oxo-proline and citric acid were notable as priming response-related metabolites. Metabolites from the tricarboxylic acid pathway were only discriminant in the primed plant infected with Ptt. Furthermore, the quantification of targeted metabolites revealed that hydroxycinnamic acids were significantly more prominent in the primed infected plants, especially at 2 d.p.i. Our research advances efforts to better understand regulated and reprogrammed metabolic responses that constitute defence priming in barley against Ptt.

Original languageEnglish
Article number997
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Pyrenophora teres
  • barley
  • defence-related metabolites
  • dichloroanthranilic acid
  • hydroxycinnamic acids
  • metabolomics
  • net-blotch disease
  • priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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