Crop Biotech Update

Modification of Resistance Gene Promoter for Broad-Spectrum Resistance to Bacterial Blight in Rice

September 9, 2015

The plant pathogenic bacteria Xanthomonas inject transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors into plant cells to promote disease susceptibility or trigger disease resistance. The rice TAL effector-dependent resistance gene Xa10 confers race-specific resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which causes the bacterial blight in rice.

To generate broad-spectrum and durable resistance to Xoo, Xuan Zeng of the University of Singapore, together with a research team developed a modified Xa10 gene, Xa10E5. The Xa10E5 gene had a modified promoter and was designed to be specifically induced by Xoo strains that harbour the corresponding TAL effectors. The modified gene confers TAL effector-dependent resistance to the pathogens at all developmental stages of rice.

Further evaluation demonstrated that Xa10E5 provided broad-spectrum disease resistance to 27 of the 28 Xoo strains. The development of Xa10E5 and transgenic rice lines provides new genetic materials for molecular breeding of rice for broad-spectrum resistance to bacterial blight.

For more information, read the full article on Plant Biotechnology Journal.