Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 1519–1532 | Cite as

Bacterial leaf blight resistance in rice: a review of conventional breeding to molecular approach

  • S. C. Chukwu
  • M. Y. RafiiEmail author
  • S. I. Ramlee
  • S. I. Ismail
  • M. M. Hasan
  • Y. A. Oladosu
  • U. G. Magaji
  • Ibrahim Akos
  • K. K. Olalekan


Breeding for disease resistant varieties remains very effective and economical in controlling the bacterial leaf blight (BLB) of rice. Breeders have played a major role in developing resistant rice varieties against the BLB infection which has been adjudged to be a major disease causing significant yield reduction in rice. It would be difficult to select rice crops with multiple genes of resistance using the conventional approach alone. This is due to masking effect of genes including epistasis. In addition, conventional breeding takes a lot of time before a gene of interest can be introgressed. Linkage drag is also a major challenge in conventional approach. Molecular breeding involving markers has facilitated the characterization and introgression of BLB disease resistance genes. Biotechnology has brought another innovation in form of genetic engineering (transgenesis) of rice. Although, molecular breeding cannot be taken as a substitute for conventional breeding, molecular approach for combating BLB disease in rice is worthwhile given the demand for increased production of rice in a fast growing population of our society. This present article highlights the recent progress from conventional to molecular approach in breeding for BLB disease resistant rice varieties.


Rice Bacterial leaf blight Conventional breeding Molecular breeding Gene pyramiding 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HiCoE) Research Grant, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, for the financial support to conduct research activities on improvement of rice varieties for adapatation to biotic and abiotic stresses. We delightfully thank all colleagues whose research works were resourceful while preparing the manuscript. We appreciate your insightful comments, suggestions and discussions that contributed to the success of this work. The author and all co-authors in this work contributed significantly by providing relevant research information to ensure a detailed review of the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Climate-Smart Food Crop Production, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Food SecurityUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Crop Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of AgricultureUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of Crop Production and Landscape ManagementEbonyi State UniversityAbakalikiNigeria

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