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PLoS One. 2017 Apr 18;12(4):e0175734. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175734. eCollection 2017.

Enhanced disease resistance and drought tolerance in transgenic rice plants overexpressing protein elicitors from Magnaporthe oryzae.

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The State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.


Exogenous application of the protein elicitors MoHrip1 and MoHrip2, which were isolated from the pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe oryzae (M. oryzae), was previously shown to induce a hypersensitive response in tobacco and to enhance resistance to rice blast. In this work, we successfully transformed rice with the mohrip1 and mohrip2 genes separately. The MoHrip1 and MoHrip2 transgenic rice plants displayed higher resistance to rice blast and stronger tolerance to drought stress than wild-type (WT) rice and the vector-control pCXUN rice. The expression of salicylic acid (SA)- and abscisic acid (ABA)-related genes was also increased, suggesting that these two elicitors may trigger SA signaling to protect the rice from damage during pathogen infection and regulate the ABA content to increase drought tolerance in transgenic rice. Trypan blue staining indicated that expressing MoHrip1 and MoHrip2 in rice plants inhibited hyphal growth of the rice blast fungus. Relative water content (RWC), water usage efficiency (WUE) and water loss rate (WLR) were measured to confirm the high capacity for water retention in transgenic rice. The MoHrip1 and MoHrip2 transgenic rice also exhibited enhanced agronomic traits such as increased plant height and tiller number.

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