Rice blast is perhaps the most devastating disease of rice because of its wide distribution and its destructiveness. Within the past decade, rice production has been greatly hampered by the large amount of crop losses resulting from rice blast. Rice blast can infect the rice plant at virtually any growth stage. Rice seedlings or plants within the early stages at the time of infection are often completely killed.
To understand the molecular basis of broad-spectrum resistance to rice blast, researchers at Ohio State University have developed unique compositions and methods for creating or enhancing resistance to plant pests by cloning and characterizing the resistance gene Pi2 within rice. The Pi2 gene exhibits highly effective broad-spectrum resistance to a diverse population of blast disease isolates and, consequently, remains effective in a wide range of rice cultivation areas. The methods are useful in controlling plant pests, including fungal pathogens, viruses, nematodes, insects, and the like. The candidate genes from the Pi2 locus are being transformed into a susceptible rice cultivar for disease resistance tests.
- Plant Genetics
- Crop Production
Cloning and characterizing the broad-spectrum resistance of gene Pi-2 will enhance resistance in rice crops for against a devastating infection of rice blast.