Biotech Updates

Study Shows Rice can Borrow Stronger Immunity from Other Plant Species

April 8, 2015

A new study led by University of California Davis (UC Davis) suggests that the built-in immunity of rice can be boosted further when the plant receives a receptor protein from a completely different plant species.

Led by Benjamin Schwessinger, the UC Davis team successfully transferred the gene for an immune receptor from the model plant Arabidopsis into rice. The rice plants that subsequently expressed this gene and produced the related immune receptor proteins were able to sense Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, an important bacterial disease of rice.

The study showed that receptors introduced to rice from the Arabidopsis plants through genetic engineering were able to make use of the rice plants' built-in immune signaling mechanisms and cause the rice plants to launch a stronger defensive immune response against the invading bacteria.

For more details, read the news release at the UC Davis website.