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ENHANCING BLAST DISEASE RESISTANCE BY OVEREXPRESSION OF THE OSCPK4 GENE IN RICE

Date : 25 November 2015

Rice blast is the most serious disease affecting rice production. Mireia Bundó and María Coca report on the function of the isoform OsCPK4 of the rice calcium-dependent protein kinase family in the regulation of rice immunity to blast fungal infection.

 

Overexpression of OsCPK4 gene in rice plants enhanced its resistance to blast disease by preventing fungal penetration. The constitutive accumulation of OsCPK4 protein prepares rice plants for a rapid and increased defense response, including the production of reactive oxygen species, callose deposition and defense genes expression.

 

OsCPK4 overexpression also led to constitutive increased content of the glycosylated salicylic acid hormone in leaves without compromising rice yield. Since OsCPK4 overexpression was also known to confer salt and drought tolerance in rice, the results suggest that OsCPK4 acts as a component that positively modulates both biotic and abiotic signalling pathways.

 

These findings indicate that OsCPK4 is a potential target gene for improving biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in rice.

 

For more information, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12500/full.