Rice acquires stronger immunity through gene transfer | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Rice acquires stronger immunity through gene transfer

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Gene transfer from a completely different plant species can significantly boost the built-in immunity of rice plants, suggests a new study.The findings reported online in the journal PLOS Pathogens may help increase the health and productivity of rice, the staple food of half of the world’s population.”Our results demonstrate that disease resistance in rice — and possibly related crop species — could very likely be enhanced by transferring genes responsible for specific immune receptors from dicotyledonous plants into rice, which is a monocotyledonous crop,” said lead author Benjamin Schwessinger, post-doctoral scholar at the University of California, Davis.  Receptors are specialised proteins that can recognise molecular patterns associated with disease-causing microbes, including bacteria and fungi, at the beginning of an infection.These receptors are found on the surface of plant cells, where they play a key role in the plant’s early warning system.Some of the receptors, however, occur only in certain groups of plant species.For example, the monocotyledon plant group, including rice and other grasses that sprout with a single seed leaf, contains different receptor proteins than does the dicotyledon group, including plants like beans, which germinate with two seed leaves.In this study, Schwessinger and colleagues successfully transferred the gene for an immune receptor from the model plant Arabidopsis, a member of the mustard family, into rice.The rice plants that subsequently expressed this gene and produced the related immune receptor proteins were able to sense Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, an important bacterial disease of rice.

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