Background: Rice is a major crop worldwide. Bacterial blight (BB) caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) has become one of the most devastating diseases for rice. It has been clear that phosphorylation plays essential roles in plant disease resistance. However, the role of phosphorylation is poorly understood in rice-Xoo system. Here, we report the first study on large scale enrichment of phosphopeptides and identification of phosphosites in rice before and 24 h after Xoo infection.
Results: We have successfully identified 2367 and 2223 phosphosites on 1334 and 1297 representative proteins in 0 h and 24 h after Xoo infection, respectively. A total of 762 differentially phosphorylated proteins, including transcription factors, kinases, epi-genetic controlling factors and many well-known disease resistant proteins, are identified after Xoo infection suggesting that they may be functionally relevant to Xoo resistance. In particular, we found that phosphorylation/dephosphorylation might be a key switch turning on/off many epi-genetic controlling factors, including HDT701, in response to Xoo infection, suggesting that phosphorylation switch overriding the epi-genetic regulation may be a very universal model in the plant disease resistance pathway.
Conclusions: The phosphosites identified in this study would be a big complementation to our current knowledge in the phosphorylation status and sites of rice proteins. This research represents a substantial advance in understanding the rice phosphoproteome as well as the mechanism of rice bacterial blight resistance.