Expression of a bacterial chitosanase in rice plants improves disease resistance to the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae

Yusuke Kouzai, Susumu Mochizuki, Akihiro Saito, Akikazu Ando, Eiichi Minami, Yoko Nishizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plant fungal pathogens change their cell wall components during the infection process to avoid degradation by host lytic enzymes, and conversion of the cell wall chitin to chitosan is likely to be one infection strategy of pathogens. Thus, introduction of chitosan-degradation activity into plants is expected to improve fungal disease resistance. Chitosanase has been found in bacteria and fungi, but not in higher plants. Here, we demonstrate that chitosanase, Cho1, from Bacillus circulans MH-K1 has antifungal activity against the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Introduction of the cho1 gene conferred chitosanase activity to rice cells. Transgenic rice plants expressing Cho1 designed to be localized in the apoplast showed increased resistance to M. oryzae accompanied by increased generation of hydrogen peroxide in the infected epidermal cells. These results strongly suggest that chitosan exists in the enzyme-accessible surface of M. oryzae during the infection process and that the enhancement of disease resistance is attributable to the antifungal activity of the secreted Cho1 and to increased elicitation of the host defense response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-636
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Cell Reports
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2012

Keywords

  • Chitosan
  • Chitosanase
  • Disease resistance
  • MAMPs
  • Magnaporthe oryzae
  • Rice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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