Crop Biotech Update

Chitinase Gene Confers Enhanced Resistance Against Rice Sheath Blight

April 6, 2017

Sheath blight disease (ShB), caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani is one of the most destructive diseases of rice (Oryza sativa L.), causing substantial yield loss in rice. Researchers, led by Richa Kamboj from the National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, cloned the rice chitinase gene LOC_Os11g47510 from R. solani-tolerant line Tetep and inserted it into the ShB susceptible japonica rice line Taipei 309 (TP309).

Analysis confirmed the presence of transgene in transgenic plants. Further analysis of the transgenic plants showed good correlation between transgene expression and sheath blight resistance among transformants. Assays then confirmed the effectiveness of the chitinase gene-mediated resistance in all the transgenic TP309 plants.

The novel chitinase gene will be of significant use in molecular plant breeding program for developing sheath blight resistance in rice.

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