Biotech Updates

Rice Genes Reveal Alternative Sources of Rice Blast Resistance

November 2, 2022

Researchers from Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology in Brazil reported two susceptibility genes that could be alternative sources of resistance to rice blast pathogen Pyricularia oryzae. Their findings are published in Rice Science.

Rice blast is one of the most ubiquitous and destructive diseases affecting rice production worldwide. Experts recommend genetic manipulation of host susceptibility genes as a powerful source of more durable rice-blast resistance. Thus, the researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to knockout susceptibility genes OsDjA2 and OsERF104, which significantly improved blast resistance. They reported that phenotyping of homozygous T1 mutant lines exhibited a substantial reduction in the number of blast lesions and a decrease in the percentage of diseased leaf area, compared with the infected control plants.

Read more findings in Rice Science.

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