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Multiline breeding and functional analysis of genes for resistance against Magnaporthe oryzae in rice

Yi-Chia Chen: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, National Taiwan University

<div>Rice blast can cause serious yield loss in rice production. Due to rapid evolution of <em>Magnaporthe oryzae </em>population, rice resistance to blast is generally easy to be overcome. To effectively control the disease, it is important to keep developing resistant varieties and exploring novel resistant genes. As part of the ongoing effort in our lab, this study continues to introgress resistance genes from 11 IRBLs into Kaohsiung 145 through marker-assisted backcrossing. The progeny were evaluated for blast resistance by artificial inoculation or blast nursery tests, and then selected according to their stable resistance and agronomic performance in the field. Development of Kaohsiung 145 multiline varieties is expected to provide durable resistance to blast fungus. Several candidate blast resistance genes were previously mapped by genome-wide association study (GWAS) using rice diversity panel 1 (RDP1). To validate the gene effects, trait-marker association was tested using available F<sub>2:3</sub> mapping populations. Expression profiles of the candidate genes in susceptible and resistant lines were investigated by qRT-PCR. To further characterize the function of gene(s) of the most interest, we conducted gene cloning and <em>Agrobacterium</em>-mediated transformation to insert the target gene(s) into a susceptible variety. The transformant(s) will be evaluated for resistance against <em>M. oryzae</em>. The results will provide useful information for resistance breeding and disease control.</div>