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The wheat durable, multi-pathogen resistance gene Lr34 confers partial blast resistance in rice

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Krattinger Simon, Sucher Justine, Selter Liselotte, Chauhan Harsh, Zhou Bo, Tang Mingzhi, Upadhyaya Narayana, Mieulet Delphine, Guiderdoni Emmanuel, Weidenbach Denise, Schaffrath Ulrich, Lagudah Evans, Keller Beat,
Project Functional characterization of broad-spectrum disease resistance in cereals
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Plant Biotechnology Journal
Volume (Issue) 14
Page(s) 1261 - 1268
Title of proceedings Plant Biotechnology Journal
DOI 10.1111/pbi.12491

Abstract

The wheat gene Lr34 confers durable and partial field resistance against the obligate biotrophic, pathogenic rust fungi and powdery mildew in adult wheat plants. The resistant Lr34 allele evolved after wheat domestication through two gain-of-function mutations in an ABC transporter gene. An Lr34-like fungal disease resistance with a similar broad-spectrum specificity and durability has not been described in other cereals. Here, we transformed the resistant Lr34 allele into the japonica rice cultivar Nipponbare. Transgenic rice plants expressing Lr34 showed increased resistance against multiple isolates of the hemibiotrophic pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae, the causal agent of rice blast disease. Host cell invasion during the biotrophic growth phase of rice blast was delayed in Lr34-expressing rice plants, resulting in smaller necrotic lesions on leaves. Lines with Lr34 also developed a typical, senescence-based leaf tip necrosis (LTN) phenotype. Development of LTN during early seedling growth had a negative impact on formation of axillary shoots and spikelets in some transgenic lines. One transgenic line developed LTN only at adult plant stage which was correlated with lower Lr34 expression levels at seedling stage. This line showed normal tiller formation and more importantly, disease resistance in this particular line was not compromised. Interestingly, Lr34 in rice is effective against a hemibiotrophic pathogen with a lifestyle and infection strategy that is different from obligate biotrophic rusts and mildew fungi. Lr34 might therefore be used as a source in rice breeding to improve broad-spectrum disease resistance against the most devastating fungal disease of rice.
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