Researchers from Sichuan Agricultural University reported Rice receptor-like kinase (RLK) FERONIA genes encoding FERONIA-like receptor (FLRs) that may be involved in the resistance of rice plants to rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe oryzae). The findings are published in BMC Phytopathology Research.
Previous studies have shown that RLK FERONIA functions in immunity in Arabidopsis. To explore the potential of these genes in developing disease resistance in rice, 16 FLR genes were observed in response to rice blast infection among various rice varieties. Two independent mutants were generated for each gene using CRISPR-Cas9. Blast disease assay revealed that the mutants of genes FLR1 and FLR13 exhibited increased susceptibility, while mutants of FLR2 and FLR11 manifested improved resistance. Furthermore, FLR1 mutants enhanced the rice blast infection progress, while FLR2 mutants exhibited delays, which could be linked to the altered expression of defense-related genes.
The results indicate that FLR1, FLR13, FLR2, and FLR11 are vital in rice blast disease resistance.