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Crop Biotech Update

ZmNBS25 from Maize Functions as a Disease Resistance Gene Across Species

July 18, 2018

Nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins are immune sensors and play roles in plant disease resistance. Researchers from Anhui Agricultural University in China recently characterized a new NBS-LRR gene in maize, ZmNBS25.

The team found that ZmNBS25 could respond to pathogen inoculation and salicylic acid (SA) treatment in maize. Furthermore, overexpression of ZmNBS25 in tobacco induced a hypersensitive response. ZmNBS25 overexpression in Arabidopsis and rice resulted in higher SA levels compared to control plants.

By triggering the expression of certain defense-responsive genes, ZmNBS25-overexpressing lines enhanced the resistance of Arabidopsis and rice to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato and sheath blight disease, respectively. Moreover, there was also a little change in grain size and 1000-grain weight between ZmNBS25-overexpressing rice lines and the controls.

These results suggest that ZmNBS25 can function as a disease resistance gene across different species. It could be a valuable candidate for engineering resistance in breeding programs.

For more information, read the article in Frontiers in Plant Science.