Contribution of ethylene biosynthesis for resistance to blast fungus infection in young rice plants

Plant Physiol. 2006 Nov;142(3):1202-15. doi: 10.1104/pp.106.085258. Epub 2006 Sep 29.


The role of ethylene (ET) in resistance to infection with blast fungus (Magnaporthe grisea) in rice (Oryza sativa) is poorly understood. To study it, we quantified ET levels after inoculation, using young rice plants at the four-leaf stage of rice cv Nipponbare (wild type) and its isogenic plant (IL7), which contains the Pi-i resistance gene to blast fungus race 003. Small necrotic lesions by hypersensitive reaction (HR) were formed at 42 to 72 h postinoculation (hpi) in resistant IL7 leaves, and whitish expanding lesions at 96 hpi in susceptible wild-type leaves. Notable was the enhanced ET emission at 48 hpi accompanied by increased 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) levels and highly elevated ACC oxidase (ACO) activity in IL7 leaves, whereas only an enhanced ACC increase at 96 hpi in wild-type leaves. Among six ACC synthase (ACS) and seven ACO genes found in the rice genome, OsACS2 was transiently expressed at 48 hpi in IL7 and at 96 hpi in wild type, and OsACO7 was expressed at 48 hpi in IL7. Treatment with an inhibitor for ACS, aminooxyacetic acid, suppressed enhanced ET emission at 48 hpi in IL7, resulting in expanding lesions instead of HR lesions. Exogenously supplied ACC compromised the aminooxyacetic acid-induced breakdown of resistance in IL7, and treatment with 1-methylcyclopropene and silver thiosulfate, inhibitors of ET action, did not suppress resistance. These findings suggest the importance of ET biosynthesis and, consequently, the coproduct, cyanide, for HR-accompanied resistance to blast fungus in young rice plants and the contribution of induced OsACS2 and OsACO7 gene expression to it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Ethylenes / biosynthesis*
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Magnaporthe / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family / physiology
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Oryza / microbiology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism


  • Ethylenes
  • Plant Proteins
  • ethylene