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A Rice Gene of De Novo Origin Negatively Regulates Pathogen-Induced Defense Response

Xiao, Wenfei, Liu, Hongbo, Li, Yu, Li, Xianghua, Xu, Caiguo, Long, Manyuan, Wang, Shiping
PloS one 2009 v.4 no.2 pp. -
Oryza sativa, rice, genes, host-pathogen relationships, disease resistance, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, blight, bacterial diseases of plants, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid
How defense genes originated with the evolution of their specific pathogen-responsive traits remains an important problem. It is generally known that a form of duplication can generate new genes, suggesting that a new gene usually evolves from an ancestral gene. However, we show that a new defense gene in plants may evolve by de novo origination, resulting in sophisticated disease-resistant functions in rice. Analyses of gene evolution showed that this new gene, OsDR10, had homologs only in the closest relative, Leersia genus, but not other subfamilies of the grass family; therefore, it is a rice tribe-specific gene that may have originated de novo in the tribe. We further show that this gene may evolve a highly conservative rice-specific function that contributes to the regulation difference between rice and other plant species in response to pathogen infections. Biologic analyses including gene silencing, pathologic analysis, and mutant characterization by transformation showed that the OsDR10-suppressed plants enhanced resistance to a broad spectrum of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae strains, which cause bacterial blight disease. This enhanced disease resistance was accompanied by increased accumulation of endogenous salicylic acid (SA) and suppressed accumulation of endogenous jasmonic acid (JA) as well as modified expression of a subset of defense-responsive genes functioning both upstream and downstream of SA and JA. These data and analyses provide fresh insights into the new biologic and evolutionary processes of a de novo gene recruited rapidly.