OsWRKY80-OsWRKY4 Module as a Positive Regulatory Circuit in Rice Resistance Against Rhizoctonia solani.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Plant WRKY transcription factors play pivotal roles in diverse biological processes but most notably in plant defense response to pathogens. Sheath blight represents one of the predominant diseases in rice. However, our knowledge about the functions of WRKY proteins in rice defense against sheath blight is rather limited. RESULTS:Here we demonstrate that the expression of Oryza sativa WRKY80 gene (OsWRKY80) is rapidly and strongly induced upon infection of Rhizoctonia solani, the causal agent of rice sheath blight disease. OsWRKY80 expression is also induced by exogenous jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene (ET), but not by salicylic acid (SA). OsWRKY80-GFP is localized in the nuclei of onion epidermal cells in a transient expression assay. Consistently, OsWRKY80 exhibits transcriptional activation activity in a GAL4 assay in yeast cells. Overexpression of OsWRKY80 in rice plants significantly enhanced disease resistance to R. solani, concomitant with elevated expression of OsWRKY4, another positive regulator in rice defense against R. solani. Suppression of OsWRKY80 by RNA interference (RNAi), on the other hand, compromised disease resistance to R. solani. Results of yeast one-hybrid assay and transient expression assay in tobacco cells have revealed that OsWRKY80 specifically binds to the promoter regions of OsWRKY4, which contain W-box (TTGAC[C/T]) or W-box like (TGAC[C/T]) cis-elements. CONCLUSIONS:We propose that OsWRKY80 functions upstream of OsWRKY4 as an important positive regulatory circuit that is implicated in rice defense response to sheath blight pathogen R. solani.
Project description:Sheath blight, caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani, is a serious and destructive disease of the rice. In order to improve sheath blight resistance, we developed three different kinds of transgenic rice lines. The first transgenic line overexpresses the rice chitinase gene (OsCHI11); the second contains the Arabidopsis NPR1 (AtNPR1) gene and, the third has pyramided constructs with both the genes (OsCHI11 and AtNPR1). This is a comparative study between the single-gene transgenic lines and the double gene transgenic in terms of their ability to activate the plant defense system. Rice plants of each individual construct were screened via PCR, Southern hybridization, activity assays, and expression analysis. The best transgenic lines of each construct were chosen for comparative study. The fold change in qRT-PCR and activity assays revealed that the pyramided transgenic rice plants show a significant upregulation of defense-related genes, PR genes, and antioxidant marker genes as compared to the single transgene. Simultaneous co-expression of both the genes was found to be more efficient in tolerating oxidative stress. In R. solani (RS) toxin assay, mycelial agar disc bioassay, and in vivo plant bioassay, pyramided transgenic plant lines were more competent at restricting the pathogen development and enhancing sheath blight tolerance as compared to single gene transformants.
Project description:Rhizoctonia solani is a soil-borne fungus causing sheath blight. In consistent with its necrotrophic life style, no rice cultivars fully resistant to R. solani are known, and agrochemical plant defense activators used for rice blast, which upregulate a phytohormonal salicylic acid (SA)-dependent pathway, are ineffective towards this pathogen. As a result of the unavailability of genetics, the infection process of R. solani remains unclear. We used the model monocotyledonous plants Brachypodium distachyon and rice, and evaluated the effects of phytohormone-induced resistance to R. solani by pharmacological, genetic and microscopic approaches to understand fungal pathogenicity. Pretreatment with SA, but not with plant defense activators used in agriculture, can unexpectedly induce sheath blight resistance in plants. SA treatment inhibits the advancement of R. solani to the point in the infection process in which fungal biomass shows remarkable expansion and specific infection machinery is developed. The involvement of SA in R. solani resistance is demonstrated by SA-deficient NahG transgenic rice and the sheath blight-resistant B. distachyon accessions, Bd3-1 and Gaz-4, which activate SA-dependent signaling on inoculation. Our findings suggest a hemi-biotrophic nature of R. solani, which can be targeted by SA-dependent plant immunity. Furthermore, B. distachyon provides a genetic resource that can confer disease resistance against R. solani to plants.
Project description:Rhizoctonia solani is a soil-borne necrotrophic fungus that causes sheath blight in grasses. The basal resistance of compatible interactions between R. solani and rice is known to be modulated by some WRKY transcription factors (TFs). However, genes and defense responses involved in incompatible interaction with R. solani remain unexplored, because no such interactions are known in any host plants. Recently, we demonstrated that Bd3-1, an accession of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon, is resistant to R. solani and, upon inoculation with the fungus, undergoes rapid induction of genes responsive to the phytohormone salicylic acid (SA) that encode the WRKY TFs BdWRKY38 and BdWRKY44. Here, we show that endogenous SA and these WRKY TFs positively regulate this accession-specific R. solani resistance. In contrast to a susceptible accession (Bd21), the infection process in the resistant accessions Bd3-1 and Tek-3 was suppressed at early stages before the development of fungal biomass and infection machinery. A comparative transcriptome analysis during pathogen infection revealed that putative WRKY-dependent defense genes were induced faster in the resistant accessions than in Bd21. A gene regulatory network (GRN) analysis based on the transcriptome dataset demonstrated that BdWRKY38 was a GRN hub connected to many target genes specifically in resistant accessions, whereas BdWRKY44 was shared in the GRNs of all three accessions. Moreover, overexpression of BdWRKY38 increased R. solani resistance in Bd21. Our findings demonstrate that these resistant accessions can activate an incompatible host response to R. solani, and BdWRKY38 regulates this response by mediating SA signaling.
Project description:WRKY transcription factors play a central role not only in plant growth and development but also in plant stress responses. However, the role of WRKY transcription factors in herbivore-induced plant defenses and their underlying mechanisms, especially in rice, remains largely unclear. Here, we cloned a rice WRKY gene OsWRKY45, whose expression was induced by mechanical wounding, by infestation of the brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens) and by treatment with jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic acid (SA). The antisense expression of OsWRKY45 (as-wrky) enhanced BPH-induced levels of H?O? and ethylene, reduced feeding and oviposition preference as well as the survival rate of BPH, and delayed the development of BPH nymphs. Consistently, lower population densities of BPH on as-wrky lines, compared to those on wild-type (WT) plants, were observed in field experiments. On the other hand, as-wrky lines in the field had lower susceptibility to sheath blight (caused by Rhizoctonia solani) but higher susceptibility to rice blast (caused by Magnaporthe oryzae) than did WT plants. These findings suggest that OsWRKY45 plays important but contrasting roles in regulating the resistance of rice to pathogens and herbivores, and attention should be paid if OsWRKY45 is used to develop disease or herbivore-resistant rice.
Project description:Rice sheath blight, caused by the necrotrophic fungus Rhizoctonia solani, is one of the most devastating and intractable diseases of rice, leading to a significant reduction in rice productivity worldwide. In this article, in order to examine sheath blight resistance, we report the generation of transgenic rice lines overexpressing the rice oxalate oxidase 4 (Osoxo4) gene in a green tissue-specific manner which breaks down oxalic acid (OA), the pathogenesis factor secreted by R.?solani. Transgenic plants showed higher enzyme activity of oxalate oxidase (OxO) than nontransgenic control plants, which was visualized by histochemical assays and sodium dodecylsulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Transgenic rice leaves were more tolerant than control rice leaves to exogenous OA. Transgenic plants showed a higher level of expression of other defence-related genes in response to pathogen infection. More importantly, transgenic plants exhibited significantly enhanced durable resistance to R.?solani. The overexpression of Osoxo4 in rice did not show any detrimental phenotypic or agronomic effect. Our findings indicate that rice OxO can be utilized effectively in plant genetic manipulation for sheath blight resistance, and possibly for resistance to other diseases caused by necrotrophic fungi, especially those that secrete OA. This is the first report of the expression of defence genes in rice in a green tissue-specific manner for sheath blight resistance.
Project description:Rice sheath blight disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani is one of the most devastating diseases in rice leading to heavy yield losses. Due to the polygenic nature of resistance, no major resistance gene with complete host resistance against R. solani has been reported. In this study, we have performed molecular and functional analysis of the genes associated with the major R. solani-resistance QTL qSBR11-1 in the indica rice line Tetep. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of a set of 11 tandem repeats containing genes with a high degree of homology to class III chitinase defense response genes. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that all the genes are strongly induced 36 h after R. solani infection. Comparison between the resistant Tetep and the susceptible HP2216 lines shows that the induction of the chitinase genes is much higher in the Tetep line. Recombinant protein produced in vitro for six of the eleven genes showed chitinolytic activity in gel assays but we did not detect any xylanase inhibitory activity. All the six in vitro expressed proteins show antifungal activity with a clear inhibitory effect on the growth of the R. solani mycelium. The characterized chitinase genes can provide an important resource for the genetic improvement of R. solani susceptible rice lines for sheath blight resistance breeding.
Project description:Rice sheath blight, caused by Rhizoctonia solani, is a globally important rice disease and the increasing resistance of this pathogen highlights the need for new active compounds against rice sheath blight. In this study, natural β-carboline alkaloids were optimized to obtain a series of 1,2,4,9-tetrahydro-3-thia-9-aza-fluorene derivatives and evaluated for their fungicidal activity and mode of action against R. solani. Of these compounds, 18 exhibited significant in vitro fungicidal activity against R. solani, with an EC50 value of 2.35 μg/mL, and was more active than validamycin A. In vivo bioassay also demonstrated that 18 displayed superior protective and curative activities as compared to validamycin A. Mechanistically, 18 not only induced the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and accumulation of reactive oxygen species, but also interfered with DNA synthesis. Therefore, compound 18 displayed pronounced in vitro and in vivo fungicidal activity against R. solani and could be used as a potential candidate for the control of rice sheath blight.
Project description:Sheath blight caused by the soil borne fungus <i>Rhizoctonia solani</i> AG1-IA is one of the major diseases of rice in the world. Genetic resistance in rice against this disease has not been very successful. <i>Brachypodium distachyon</i> is considered as a model species for several cereal crops and it has been studied in the past to identify novel sources of disease resistance against cereal crop diseases. Therefore, the current study was designed to explore nonhost disease resistance in <i>Brachypodium</i> accessions against sheath blight pathogen of rice, <i>Rhizoctonia solani</i>. A total of 19 <i>Brachypodium distachyon</i> accessions were screened for resistance against <i>Rhizoctonia solani</i> AG1-IA. Different levels of resistance reactions were observed among accessions. Quantification of jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) concentration in selected resistant (Bd3-1), moderately susceptible (Bd21), and susceptible (Bd30-1) inbred accessions revealed that Bd3-1 accumulated more JA upon pathogen infection compared to Bd21 or Bd30-1. In contrary, no differences were observed for SA accumulation in tested accessions suggesting that the resistance to <i>R. solani</i> in <i>Brachypodium</i> is due to an SA-independent defense pathway. Our study provides a new foundation to explore this area for more durable resistance against this disease.
Project description:Pathogen-host interaction is a complicated process; pathogens mainly infect host plants to acquire nutrients, especially sugars. Rhizoctonia solani, the causative agent of sheath blight disease, is a major pathogen of rice. However, it is not known how this pathogen obtains sugar from rice plants. In this study, we found that the rice sugar transporter OsSWEET11 is involved in the pathogenesis of sheath blight disease. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and ?-d-glucuronidase expression analyses showed that R. solani infection significantly enhanced OsSWEET11 expression in leaves amongst the clade III SWEET members. The analyses of transgenic plants revealed that Ossweet11 mutants were less susceptible, whereas plants overexpressing OsSWEET11 were more susceptible, to sheath blight compared with wild-type controls, but the yield of OsSWEET11 mutants and overexpressors was reduced. SWEETs become active on oligomerization. Split-ubiquitin yeast two-hybrid, bimolecular fluorescence complementation and co-immunoprecipitation assays showed that mutated OsSWEET11 interacted with normal OsSWEET11. In addition, expression of conserved residue mutated AtSWEET1 inhibited normal AtSWEET1 activity. To analyse whether inhibition of OsSWEET11 function in mesophyll cells is related to defence against this disease, mutated OsSWEET11 was expressed under the control of the Rubisco promoter, which is specific for green tissues. The resistance of transgenic plants to sheath blight disease, but not other disease, was improved, whereas yield production was not obviously affected. Overall, these results suggest that R. solani might acquire sugar from rice leaves by the activation of OsSWEET11 expression. The plants can be protected from infection by manipulation of the expression of OsSWEET11 without affecting the crop yield.
Project description:Sheath blight disease (ShB), caused by the fungus <i>Rhizoctonia solani</i> Kühn, is one of the most destructive diseases of rice (<i>Oryza sativa</i> L.), causing substantial yield loss in rice. In the present study, a novel rice chitinase gene, <i>LOC_Os11g47510</i> was cloned from QTL region of <i>R. solani</i> tolerant rice line Tetep and used for functional validation by genetic transformation of ShB susceptible japonica rice line Taipei 309 (TP309). The transformants were characterized using molecular and functional approaches. Molecular analysis by PCR using a set of primers specific to CaMv 35S promoter, chitinase and <i>HptII</i> genes confirmed the presence of transgene in transgenic plants which was further validated by Southern hybridization. Further, qRT-PCR analysis of transgenic plants showed good correlation between transgene expression and the level of sheath blight resistance among transformants. Functional complementation assays confirmed the effectiveness of the chitinase mediated resistance in all the transgenic TP309 plants with varying levels of enhanced resistance against <i>R. solani</i>. Therefore, the novel chitinase gene cloned and characterized in the present study from the QTL region of rice will be of significant use in molecular plant breeding program for developing sheath blight resistance in rice.