Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Technology identified could reduce the spread of rice virus

12.02.2009
Discovery could lead to better rice yields

Building on plant virus research started more than 20 years ago, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis and his colleague at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis have discovered a technology that reduces infection by the virus that causes Rice Tungro Disease, a serious limiting factor for rice production in Asia.

Roger N. Beachy, Ph.D., WUSTL professor of biology in Arts & Sciences and president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Danforth Center research scientist Shunhong Dai, Ph.D., demonstrated that transgenic rice plants that overexpress either of two rice proteins are tolerant to infection caused by the rice tungro bacilliform virus (RTVB), which is largely responsible for the symptoms associated with Rice Tungro disease.

The two proteins, RF2a and RF2b, were discovered in Beachy's lab several years ago and are transcription factors known to be important for plant development; the new data suggest that they may be involved in regulating defense mechanisms that protect against virus infection. The discovery, published in the December 22, 2008, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may open new avenues in the search for disease resistance genes and pathways in plants and other organisms.

Plant viral diseases cause serious economic losses in agriculture, second only to those caused by fungal diseases. Rice Tungro disease is prevalent primarily in south and southeast Asia and accounts for nearly $1.5 billion annual loss in rice production worldwide. Preventing the occurrence and spread of this virus could result in increased yields ranging from five to 10 percent annually in affected areas.

"Rice Tungro disease is complex and requires interactions between two different viruses, an insect vector and the host. It has taken a great deal of research effort through the years to gain sufficient information and knowledge about the virus and the host to come to the point of developing a type of resistance to the disease. Hopefully, the results of these studies will lead to improved yields of rice in areas of the world most affected by the disease," said Beachy.

Beachy and Dai's research laboratory and greenhouse findings conducted in St. Louis were confirmed in a greenhouse trial conducted in partnership with the Philippine Rice Research Institute. This breakthrough provides a clearer understanding of how these two specific transcription factors 'turn on' specific genes in rice plants as well as which proteins help the virus complete the cycle of infection. Understanding the development of disease symptoms is critical for engineering plants that can resist the biological effects of viral pathogen infection.

Virus infections alter gene expression and physiological status in the host, resulting in disease symptoms. Although viruses are relatively simple genetically speaking, little is known about the mechanisms that underlie the development of disease symptoms caused by viral pathogens.

A major challenge for the treatment or prevention of viral infections is the identification of specific factors in host organisms that contribute to disease susceptibility and symptoms. Some of these factors include genetic and biochemical pathways and gene expression that influence multiple aspects of host biology.

In this case of Rice Tungro disease, viral infection is commonly transmitted by the green leafhopper. Combining genes that overexpress RF2a and RF2b with genes that provide resistance to the insect vector could generate new rice varieties with significantly improved resistance to Rice Tungro disease in vulnerable regions in the world.

Karla R. Goldstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>