Crop Biotech Update

Tricoderma Gene Confers Sheath Blight Resistance to Rice

August 17, 2022

Punjab Agricultural University scientists developed sheath blight resistant rice using an antifungal gene from Trichoderma. Their findings are published in Transgenic Research.

Sheath blight, caused by the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani, is one of the most devastating threats to rice production that accounts for up to 50% of yield losses. The pathogen penetrates leaf blades and sheaths, which causes plant necrosis. At present, no major disease resistance gene against the pathogen has been found. This led the researchers to search for ways to confer disease resistance to rice.

Transgenic indica and japonica rice cultivars were developed by introducing antifungal β-1,3-glucanase transgene cloned from Trichoderma. Up to 5-fold expression of the transgene was confirmed. Plants carrying high levels of β-1,3-glucanase exhibited moderate resistance to the pathogen. Disease severity was also observed to be significantly reduced compared to non-transgenic plants.

Based on the results, β-1,3-glucanase has a role in imparting resistance to sheath blight in rice.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.

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