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Plant Physiol. 2011 Jun;156(2):856-72. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.174334. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

The Bphi008a gene interacts with the ethylene pathway and transcriptionally regulates MAPK genes in the response of rice to brown planthopper feeding.

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State Key Laboratory of Hybrid Rice, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, People's Republic of China.


We examined ways in which the Brown planthopper induced008a (Bphi008a; AY256682) gene of rice (Oryza sativa) enhances the plant's resistance to a specialist herbivore, the brown planthopper (BPH; Nilaparvata lugens). Measurement of the expression levels of ethylene synthases and of ethylene emissions showed that BPH feeding rapidly initiated the ethylene signaling pathway and up-regulated Bphi008a transcript levels after 6 to 96 h of feeding. In contrast, blocking ethylene transduction (using 1-methylcyclopropene) reduced Bphi008a transcript levels in wild-type plants fed upon by BPH. In vitro kinase assays showed that Bphi008a can be phosphorylated by rice Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase5 (OsMPK5), and yeast two-hybrid assays demonstrated that the carboxyl-terminal proline-rich region of Bphi008a interacts directly with this kinase. Furthermore, bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays showed that this interaction occurs in the nucleus. Subsequently, we found that Bphi008a up-regulation and down-regulation were accompanied by different changes in transcription levels of OsMPK5, OsMPK12, OsMPK13, and OsMPK17 in transgenic plants. Immunoblot analysis also showed that the OsMPK5 protein level increased in overexpressing plants and decreased in RNA interference plants after BPH feeding. In transgenic lines, changes in the expression levels of several enzymes that are important components of the defenses against the BPH were also observed. Finally, yeast two-hybrid screening results showed that Bphi008a is able to interact with a b-ZIP transcription factor (OsbZIP60) and a RNA polymerase polypeptide (SDRP).

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