Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes identified that could lead to tough, disease-resistant varieties of rice

Date:
April 1, 2014
Source:
Michigan Technological University
Summary:
A meta-data analysis has uncovered more than 1,000 genes in rice that may be key targets for developing new strains of super rice. In an era of climate change, pollution, a growing population and the global spread of pathogens, new grains must be able to handle stress. Now, researchers have identified a set of genes that could be key to the development of the next generation of super rice.

As Earth's human population marches toward 9 billion, the need for hardy new varieties of grain crops has never been greater.

It won't be enough to yield record harvests under perfect conditions. In an era of climate change, pollution and the global spread of pathogens, these new grains must also be able to handle stress. Now, researchers at Michigan Technological University have identified a set of genes that could be key to the development of the next generation of super rice.

A meta-data analysis by biologist Ramakrishna Wusirika and PhD student Rafi Shaik has uncovered more than 1,000 genes in rice that appear to play key roles in managing its response to two different kinds of stress: biotic, generally caused by infectious organisms like bacteria; and abiotic, caused by environmental agents, like nutrient deficiency, flood and salinity.

Traditionally, scientists have believed that different sets of genes regulated plants' responses to biotic and abiotic stress. However, Wusirika and Shaik discovered that 1,377 of the approximately 3,800 genes involved in rice's stress response played a role in both types stress. "These are the genes we think are involved in the cross talk between biotic and abiotic stesses," said Wusirika.

About 70 percent of those "master" genes are co-expressive -- they turn on under both kinds of stress. Typically, the others turn on for biotic stress and turn off for abiotic stress.

The scientists looked at the genes' response to five abiotic stresses -- drought, heavy metal contamination, salt, cold and nutrient deprivation -- and five biotic stresses -- bacteria, fungus, insect predation, weed competition and nematodes. A total of 196 genes showed a wide range of expressions to these stresses.

"The top genes are likely candidates for developing a rice variety with broad stress-range tolerance," Wusirika said.

Next, they would like to test their findings. "We want to do experimental analysis to see if five or 10 of the genes work as predicted," he said.

Their study is described in the paper, "Machine Learning Approaches Distinguish Multiple Stress Conditions using Stress-Resposive Genes and Identify Candidate Genes for Broad Resistance in Rice," published in the January edition of Plant Physiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan Technological University. The original article was written by Marcia Goodrich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Shaik, W. Ramakrishna. Machine Learning Approaches Distinguish Multiple Stress Conditions using Stress-Responsive Genes and Identify Candidate Genes for Broad Resistance in Rice. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, 2013; 164 (1): 481 DOI: 10.1104/pp.113.225862

Cite This Page:

Michigan Technological University. "Genes identified that could lead to tough, disease-resistant varieties of rice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401101429.htm>.
Michigan Technological University. (2014, April 1). Genes identified that could lead to tough, disease-resistant varieties of rice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401101429.htm
Michigan Technological University. "Genes identified that could lead to tough, disease-resistant varieties of rice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401101429.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins