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Plant J. 2010 Nov;64(3):498-510. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04348.x. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Durable panicle blast-resistance gene Pb1 encodes an atypical CC-NBS-LRR protein and was generated by acquiring a promoter through local genome duplication.

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Plant Disease Resistance Research Unit, Division of Plant Sciences, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Kannondai 2-1-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


Rice blast is one of the most widespread and destructive plant diseases worldwide. Breeders have used disease resistance (R) genes that mediate fungal race-specific 'gene-for-gene' resistance to manage rice blast, but the resistance is prone to breakdown due to high pathogenic variability of blast fungus. Panicle blast 1 (Pb1) is a blast-resistance gene derived from the indica cultivar 'Modan'. Pb1-mediated resistance, which is characterized by durability of resistance and adult/panicle blast resistance, has been introduced into elite varieties for commercial cultivation. We isolated the Pb1 gene by map-based cloning. It encoded a coiled-coil-nucleotide-binding-site-leucine-rich repeat (CC-NBS-LRR) protein. The Pb1 protein sequence differed from previously reported R-proteins, particularly in the NBS domain, in which the P-loop was apparently absent and some other motifs were degenerated. Pb1 was located within one of tandemly repeated 60-kb units, which presumably arose through local genome duplication. Pb1 transcript levels increased during the development of Pb1+ cultivars; this expression pattern accounts for their adult/panicle resistance. Promoter:GUS analysis indicated that genome duplication played a crucial role in the generation of Pb1 by placing a promoter sequence upstream of its coding sequence, thereby conferring a Pb1-characteristic expression pattern to a transcriptionally inactive 'sleeping' resistance gene. We discuss possible determinants for the durability of Pb1-mediated blast resistance.

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