Nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins are immune
sensors and play roles in plant disease resistance. Researchers from Anhui
Agricultural University in China recently characterized a new NBS-LRR gene
in maize, ZmNBS25.
The team found that ZmNBS25 could respond to pathogen inoculation and
salicylic acid (SA) treatment in maize. Furthermore, overexpression of
ZmNBS25 in tobacco induced a hypersensitive response. ZmNBS25 overexpression
in Arabidopsis and rice resulted in higher SA levels compared to control
By triggering the expression of certain defense-responsive genes,
ZmNBS25-overexpressing lines enhanced the resistance of Arabidopsis and rice
to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato and sheath blight disease, respectively.
Moreover, there was also a little change in grain size and 1000-grain weight
between ZmNBS25-overexpressing rice lines and the controls.
These results suggest that ZmNBS25 can function as a disease resistance gene
across different species. It could be a valuable candidate for engineering
resistance in breeding programs.