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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Find Resistance Gene Against Rice Blast

May 30, 2018

Plant resistance genes usually encode proteins with nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat (NLR) domains. However, the team of Haijun Zhao from the USDA ARS Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in USA studied the Ptr gene from rice (Oryza sativa), which encodes a different protein compared to a typical resistance gene, and hypothesizes that it may also be a resistance gene in rice.

Ptr was found to be required for broad-spectrum blast resistance mediated by the NLR R gene, Pi-ta, and by the associated R gene, Pi-ta2. Ptr was also found to be s expressed constitutively and is localized in the cytoplasm. A two base pair deletion within the Ptr coding region in the mutant line M2354 resulted in susceptibility to rice blast caused by Magnaporthe oryzae. Targeted mutation of Ptr in a resistant cultivar using the CRISPR-Cas9 system led to blast susceptibility, further confirming its resistance function.

The study suggests that Ptr is involved in blast resistance and can be a candidate gene for the development of broad spectrum blast resistant rice.

For more information, read the article in Nature Communications.