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Kansas State University scientists say they've demonstrated resistance to
bacterial streak disease in maize can be transferred to rice, October 2005.
Researchers in Manhattan, Kan., transferred a disease resistance gene from
maize to rice and found it controls the disease, which is prevalent in Asia.
Scot Hulbert and colleagues identified and isolated a gene from maize, Rxo1,
which recognizes the bacterium that causes bacterial streak in rice, a
disease in which water-soaked lesions spread throughout the leaves. That
gene also controls resistance to an unrelated bacterium that produces stripe
disease in sorghum and maize.
The researchers transferred Rxo1 to rice and found 36 of the 82 transgenic
rice lines displayed strong resistance when infected with the bacterium,
characterized by a limited spreading of the lesions. All 36 resistant rice
plants contained the Rxo1 gene when sequenced.
The scientists say that ability to transfer resistance between two distantly
related plants may open the possibility for using "non-host" resistance
genes, such as Rxo1, to control diseases in a variety of crops.
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