【Shanghai Daily】Rice disease immunity protein discovered by Shanghai scientists

Shanghai scientists have discovered a new immune protein against the fungal rice blast disease, offering new approaches to reduce the use of chemical pesticides.

Rice is vulnerable to a variety of pathogens. Rice blast, described as the cancer of rice, leads to loss of up to 10 percent of the world's rice yield. Every year, it causes China to lose 3 billion kilograms of rice. To fight against the disease, farmers usually apply chemical pesticides, which, however, foster severe environmental pollution.

The latest study has offered a possible solution. P1C1 was found in rice to acts as a hub for the plant's immune mechanisms, according to the Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences (CEMPS) under the Chinese Academy of Science.

The protein plays an important role in enabling crops to obtain broad-spectrum resistance to rice blast. It can stabilize methionine synthetases to promote the rice's defense metabolism.

Researchers further found that the natural variation of P1C1 contributes to divergence in field blast resistance between the rice subspecies indica and japonica, providing a potential breeding target for broad-spectrum blast resistance in crops.

The research results were published on the website of the leading scientific journal "Nature" on Thursday.

Link: https://www.shine.cn/news/metro/2112169598/