Biotech Updates

Rice Genes OsBON1 and OsBON3 Suppress Broad-Spectrum Disease Resistance

March 7, 2018

Breeding for disease resistance is the most effective strategy to control diseases. However, knowledge on genes and mechanism of broad-spectrum resistance and trade-off between defense and growth in crops is limited. The team of Xin Yin from the Chinese Academy of Sciences aimed to prove that rice copine genes OsBON1 and OsBON3 are suppressors of immunity since both genes changed their protein localization upon pathogen challenge.

Knockdown of OsBON1 and OsBON3 enhanced resistance to rice bacterial and fungal pathogens. However, the defense activation in OsBON1 knockdown mutants were associated with reduced growth. In contrast, overexpression of either OsBON1 or OsBON3 decreased disease resistance, but promoted plant growth.

This study shows that rice copine genes play a negative role in regulating disease resistance and their expression level and protein location have a large impact on the balance between immunity and agronomic traits.

For more information, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.