Isolation of Blast Fungal Cerebroside Elicitor-responsive Genes in Rice Plants
To study molecular interactions that occur between the rice plant and the rice blast fungus upon infection, we isolated five elicitor-responsive genes from rice (Orysa sativa cv. Akitakomachi) treated with cerebroside elicitor derived from the blast fungus (Magnaporthe grisea) by the mRNA differential display method. Homology searches with isolated cDNA clones revealed that one cDNA shared strong similarities with the mammalian selenium-binding protein (SBP) (1). Three others had homologies with Arabidopsis thaliana putative β-1,3-glucanase (2), rice glucose-6-phosphate/ phosphate translocator (3) and A. thaliana kinase-like protein (4), respectively. The last one was not homologous to any known genes (5). Transcripts of the three genes (1, 3, 5) were induced by the rice blast fungus; two of the genes (1, 5) were quickly elevated in response to infection with an avirulent race of the fungus. On the other hand, a transcript of the other gene (3) was quickly elevated in response to the infection with a virulent race. These unique elicitor-responsive genes in rice may provide new understanding of host defense mechanisms against the blast fungus.
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