European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 128, Issue 3, pp 399–407 | Cite as

Influence of rice development on the function of bacterial blight resistance genes

  • Kimberly M. Webb
  • Epifania Garcia
  • Casiana M. Vera Cruz
  • Jan E. LeachEmail author


Disease resistance genes most commonly used in breeding programs are single, dominant genes with relative effectiveness that is sometimes influenced by plant developmental stage. Knowing the developmental stages at which a resistance gene is functional is important for disease management. In rice, resistance at the seedling stage is crucial, because wounding during transplanting increases the potential for bacterial blight disease, and not all bacterial blight resistance genes are effective at the seedling stage. Effectiveness of the bacterial blight resistance genes Xa4, xa5, and Xa7, all in a common genetic background, was evaluated at different developmental stages by measuring lesion length and bacterial numbers after inoculation with the bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. The Xa4 and xa5 genes controlled disease at all growth stages. In contrast, Xa7 was not fully functional in very young seedlings, but was completely effective by 21 days after sowing (das). The effects of plant developmental stage on interactions of the Xa7 gene with X. oryzae pv. oryzae strains carrying different mutant avrXa7 alleles were also tested. If a partial or fully functional avrXa7 allele was present, Xa7 resistance was effective at all growth stages tested after the transplant stage (>21 das).


Aggressiveness Avirulence/effector gene Oryza sativa Virulence Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae 



avirulence gene


bacterial blight


days after inoculation


days after sowing

R gene

resistance gene


Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae



We would like to thank Tim Todd, Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, who assisted in statistical data analysis. We also thank Florencio Balenson and Flavio Maghirang from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in helping to maintain experiments and data collection. Travel for K. M. Webb to collect data was supported by the Asia Rice Foundation and the James B. Person Fellowship. This research was supported by the Generation Challenge Program, a USAID Linkage Project, and the Colorado State Agricultural Experiment Station.


  1. Bai, J. (1990). Infection types of rice bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae. Dissertation, University of the Philippines, Los Baños.Google Scholar
  2. Bai, J., Choi, S., Ponciano, G., Leung, H., & Leach, J. E. (2000). Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae avirulence genes contribute differently and specifically to pathogen aggressiveness. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 13, 1322–1329.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartos, P., Dyck, L., & Samborski, D. J. (1969). Adult-plant leaf rust resistance in Thatcher and Marquis wheat: a genetic analysis of the host-parasite interaction. Canadian Journal of Botany, 47, 267–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Campbell, C., & Madden, L. (1990). Introduction to plant disease epidemiology. Wiley: New York.Google Scholar
  5. Cao, Y., Ding, X., Cai, M., Zhao, J., Lin, Y., Li, X., et al. (2007). The expression pattern of a rice disease resistance gene Xa3/Xa26 is differentially regulated by the genetic backgrounds and developmental stages that influence its function. Genetics, 177, 523–533.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Cao, Y., Duan, L., Li, H., Sun, X., Zhao, Y., Xu, C., et al. (2007). Functional analysis of Xa3/Xa26 family members in rice resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 115, 887–895.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Century, K. S., Lagman, R. A., Adkisson, M., Morlan, J., Tobias, R., Schwartz, K., et al. (1999). Developmental control of Xa21-mediated disease resistance in rice. Plant Journal, 20(2), 231–236.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Flor, H. H. (1971). Current status of the gene-for-gene concept. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 9, 275–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. German-Retana, S., Walter, J., & Le Gall, O. (2008). Lettuce mosaic virus: from pathogen diversity to host interactors. Molecular Plant Pathology, 9(2), 127–136.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodman, R. N., & Novacky, A. J. (1994). The hypersensitive reaction in plants to pathogens: A resistance phenomenon. St. Paul: APS.Google Scholar
  11. Greenberg, J. T. (1997). Programmed cell death in plant-pathogen interactions. Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology, 48(1), 525–545.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Guo, A., Reimers, P., & Leach, J. E. (1993). Effect of light on incompatible interactions between Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and rice. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 42, 413–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heagle, A. S., & Moore, M. B. (1970). Some effects of moderate adult-plant resistance to crown rust of oats (Avena sativa). Phytopathology, 60, 461–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hopkins, C. M., White, F. F., Choi, S., Guo, A., & Leach, J. E. (1992). Identification of a family of avirulence genes from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 5, 451–459.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Iyer-Pascuzzi, A., & McCouch, S. (2004). The rice bacterial blight resistance gene xa5 encodes a novel form of disease resistance. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 17, 1348–1354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Iyer-Pascuzzi, A., Jiang, H., Huang, L., & McCouch, S. (2008). Genetic and functional characterization of the rice bacterial blight disease resistance gene xa5. Phytopathology, 98, 289–295.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Keen, N. T. (1990). Gene-for-gene complementarity in plant-pathogen interactions. Annual Review of Genetics, 24, 447–463.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Leach, J. E., Vera Cruz, C. M., Bai, J. F., & Leung, H. (2001). Pathogen fitness penalty as a predictor of durability of disease resistance genes. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 39, 187–224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Li, Z., Sanchez, A., Angeles, E., Singh, S., Domingo, J., Huang, N., et al. (2001). Are the dominant and recessive plant disease resistance genes similar? A case study of rice R genes and Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae races. Genetics, 159, 757–765.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Mazzola, M., Leach, J. E., Nelson, R. J., & White, F. F. (1994). Analysis of the interaction between Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and the rice cultivars IR24 and IRBB21. Phytopathology, 84, 392–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mew, T. W. (1987). Current status and future prospects of research on bacterial blight of rice. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 25, 359–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mew, T. W., Leung, H., Savary, S., Vera Cruz, C. M., & Leach, J. E. (2004). Looking ahead in rice disease research and management. Clinical Reviews in Plant Science, 23, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Noda, T., & Ohuchi, A. (1989). Study of resistance of rice to Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae during the seedling stage. Bulletin Hokuriku National Agricultural Experiment Station, 30, 25–104.Google Scholar
  24. Ogawa, K., Yamamoto, K., Khush, G., & Mew, T. W. (1991). Breeding of near isogenic lines of rice with single genes for resistance to bacterial blight pathogen (Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae). Japan Journal of Breeding, 41, 523–529.Google Scholar
  25. Ponciano, G., Webb, K. M., Bai, J. F., Vera Cruz, C. M., & Leach, J. E. (2004). Molecular characterization of the avrXa7 locus from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae field isolates. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 64, 145–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rafiqi, M., Bernoux, M., Ellis, J. G., & Dodds, P. N. (2009). In the trenches of plant pathogen recognition: role of NB-LRR proteins. Sem. Cell & Developmental Biology, 20, 1017–1024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sidhu, G., & Khush, G. (1978). Dominance reversal of bacterial leaf blight resistance gene in some rice cultivars. Phytopathology, 68, 461–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Suwa, T. (1962). Studies on the culture media of Xanthomonas oryzae (Uyeda et Ishiyama) Dowson. Annals of the Phytopathological Society of Japan, 27, 165–171.Google Scholar
  29. Tao, Y., Xie, Z., Chen, W., Glazebrook, J., Chang, H., Han, B., et al. (2003). Quantitative nature of Arabidopsis responses during compatible and incompatible interactions with the bacterial pathogen Pseduomonas syringae. Plant Cell, 15, 317–330.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Van der Plank, J. E. (1963). Plant diseases: Epidemics and control. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  31. Van der Plank, J. E. (1982). Host-pathogen interaction in plant disease. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  32. Vera Cruz, C. M., Bai, J., Oña, I., Leung, H., Nelson, R. J., Mew, T. W., et al. (2000). Predicting durability of a disease resistance gene based on an assessment of the fitness loss and epidemiological consequences of avirulence gene mutation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97, 13500–13505.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Webb, K. M., Oña, I., Bai, J., Garrett, K. A., Mew, T., Vera Cruz, C. M., et al. (2010). A benefit of high temperature: increased effectiveness of a rice bacterial blight disease resistance gene. New Phytologist, 185, 568–576.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Xiang, Y., Cao, Y., Xu, C., Li, X., & Wang, S. (2006). Xa3, conferring resistance for rice bacterial blight and encoding a receptor kinase-like protein, is the same as Xa26. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 113, 1347–1355.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhang, Q., & Mew, T. W. (1985). Adult-plant resistance of rice cultivars to bacterial blight. Plant Disease, 69, 896–898.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© KNPV 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly M. Webb
    • 1
    • 2
  • Epifania Garcia
    • 2
  • Casiana M. Vera Cruz
    • 2
  • Jan E. Leach
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.USDA-ARS Sugarbeet Research UnitFt. CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Plant Breeding, Genetics, and BiotechnologyInternational Rice Research InstituteLos BañosPhilippines
  3. 3.Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest ManagementColorado State UniversityFt. CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations