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Mol Cells. 2019 Sep 30;42(9):637-645. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2019.0070.

Pi5 and Pii Paired NLRs Are Functionally Exchangeable and Confer Similar Disease Resistance Specificity.

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Graduate School of Biotechnology and Crop Biotech Institute, Kyung Hee University, Yongin 17104, Korea.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Department of Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 37673, Korea.
Present address: Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
Department of Plant Medicine, Sunchon National University, Suncheon 57922, Korea.
Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 38541, Korea.
Department of Plant Bioscience, Pusan National University, Miryang 46241, Korea.
School of Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Bioengineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 37673, Korea.


Effector-triggered immunity (ETI) is an effective layer of plant defense initiated upon recognition of avirulence (Avr) effectors from pathogens by cognate plant disease resistance (R) proteins. In rice, a large number of R genes have been characterized from various cultivars and have greatly contributed to breeding programs to improve resistance against the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. The extreme diversity of R gene repertoires is thought to be a result of co-evolutionary history between rice and its pathogens including M. oryzae. Here we show that Pii is an allele of Pi5 by DNA sequence characterization and complementation analysis. Pii-1 and Pii-2 cDNAs were cloned by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction from the Pii -carrying cultivar Fujisaka5 . The complementation test in susceptible rice cultivar Dongjin demonstrated that the rice blast resistance mediated by Pii , similar to Pi5 , requires the presence of two nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat genes, Pii-1 and Pii-2 . Consistent with our hypothesis that Pi5 and Pii are functionally indistinguishable, the replacement of Pii-1 by Pi5-1 and Pii-2 by Pi5-2 , respectively, does not change the level of disease resistance to M. oryzae carrying AVR-Pii. Surprisingly, Exo70F3, required for Pii-mediated resistance, is dispensable for Pi5-mediated resistance. Based on our results, despite similarities observed between Pi5 and Pii, we hypothesize that Pi5 and Pii pairs require partially distinct mechanisms to function.


Magnaporthe oryzae; Pi5; Pii; allelism; resistance; rice

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