Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2021, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (5): 513-515.DOI: 10.11983/CBB21160

• COMMENTARIES •     Next Articles

A Ca2+-ROS Signaling Axis in Rice Provides Clues to Rice-pathogen Coevolution and Crop Improvements

Jian-Min Zhou()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2021-09-14 Accepted:2021-09-17 Online:2021-09-01 Published:2021-09-30
  • Contact: Jian-Min Zhou

Abstract: Chinese scientists have made multiple breakthroughs in recent years in rice disease resistance studies, particularly in the areas of durable resistance and resistance-yield coordination. Most recently, a team led by Zuhua He and Weibing Yang at the CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences made another major advance in our understanding of disease resistance and host-pathogen co-evolution in rice. They showed that the calcium sensor protein ROD1 directly enhances the activity of catalase protein CatB to remove reactive oxygen species during immune responses, preventing excessive immune responses and ensuring optimum rice plant growth. Remarkably, they also illustrated that a functionally attenuated variant of ROD1 is enriched in wild and domesticated Indica rice from tropical and subtropical regions and that this variant allows elevated resistance against sheath blight disease. Importantly, this variant is likely useful for breeding as it does not compromise rice growth and yield. Interestingly, they further demonstrated that an effector protein from the rice blast fungus structurally and functionally mimics ROD1 to suppress rice immunity. Thus, this study uncovers an immune regulatory axis defined by ROD1 and CatB that is at the center of rice-pathogen co-evolution.

Key words: rice, disease resistance, yield, plant immunity, effectors