Bph6 encodes an exocyst-localized protein and confers broad resistance to planthoppers in rice

Nat Genet. 2018 Feb;50(2):297-306. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0039-6. Epub 2018 Jan 22.


The brown planthopper (BPH) and white-backed planthopper (WBPH) are the most destructive insect pests of rice, and they pose serious threats to rice production throughout Asia. Thus, there are urgent needs to identify resistance-conferring genes and to breed planthopper-resistant rice varieties. Here we report the map-based cloning and functional analysis of Bph6, a gene that confers resistance to planthoppers in rice. Bph6 encodes a previously uncharacterized protein that localizes to exocysts and interacts with the exocyst subunit OsEXO70E1. Bph6 expression increases exocytosis and participates in cell wall maintenance and reinforcement. A coordinated cytokinin, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid signaling pathway is activated in Bph6-carrying plants, which display broad resistance to all tested BPH biotypes and to WBPH without sacrificing yield, as these plants were found to maintain a high level of performance in a field that was heavily infested with BPH. Our results suggest that a superior resistance gene that evolved long ago in a region where planthoppers are found year round could be very valuable for controlling agricultural insect pests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cyclopentanes / metabolism
  • Disease Resistance / genetics*
  • Exocytosis / genetics
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Insecta / pathogenicity
  • Insecta / physiology*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / immunology
  • Oryza / metabolism
  • Oryza / parasitology*
  • Oxylipins / metabolism
  • Pest Control, Biological / methods
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plant Diseases / immunology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism


  • Cyclopentanes
  • Oxylipins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • jasmonic acid