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A Novel Jasmonic Acid-Inducible Rice myb Gene Associates with Fungal Infection and Host Cell Death

April 2001 , Volume 14 , Number  4
Pages  527 - 535

Min-Woo Lee , Min Qi , and Yinong Yang

Department of Plant Pathology, 217 Plant Science Building, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701, U.S.A.

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Accepted 21 December 2000.

Endogenous signal molecules such as jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) play an important role in induced resistance against pathogen infection and insect herbivory. In rice seedlings, JA is an effective inducer of systemic acquired resistance (SAR) against infection of blast fungus (Pyricularia grisea). To gain further insights into JA-mediated defense signaling pathways, we isolated and characterized a pathogen- and JA-induced rice gene (JAmyb) that encodes a Myb transcription factor. The JAmyb gene was induced within 1 day after fungal infection in resistant and susceptible interactions prior to lesion formation. Unlike most defense-related genes that are activated faster and stronger in resistant interactions, JAmyb induction by blast fungus is much higher in susceptible interactions, accompanied by large lesions and extensive tissue damage. Significant induction of JAmyb also was observed during cell death and lesion formation in certain lesion mimic mutants. Interestingly, JAmyb was activated rapidly by JA or wounding, independent of de novo protein synthesis, but not by other endogenous signal molecules such as SA and abscisic acid or SAR inducers such as benzothiadiazole and probenazole. We used SA-deficient transgenic plants to further demonstrate that depletion of SA in rice did not abolish but rather enhanced blast-induced JAmyb expression. These results suggest that JAmyb is related closely to host cell death and is involved in the JA-mediated, SA-independent signaling pathways in rice.

Additional keywords: disease susceptibility, hypersensitive response, plant defense response, rice blast fungus.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society