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Isolation and characterization of disease resistance gene homologues from rice cultivar IR64.


We initiated a search for disease resistance (R) gene homologues in rice cultivar IR64, one of the most agronomically important rice varieties in the world, with the assumption that some of these homologues would correspond to previously identified disease resistance loci. A family of rice R gene homologues was identified using the Arabidopsis NBS-LRR disease resistance gene RPS2 as a hybridization probe. Because member genes of this rice R gene family exhibit features characteristic of the NBS-LRR class of resistance genes, the family was given the name NRH (for NBS-LRR resistance gene homologues). Three members of the NRH family, NRH1, NRH2, and NRH3, were cloned and studied in detail. In IR64, NRH1 and NRH2 appear to encode full-length polypeptides, whereas NRH3 is prematurely truncated with a stop codon generated by a frameshift. NRH1 maps on chromosome 5, and NRH2 and NRH3 are less than 48kb apart on chromosome 11. Although NRH1, NRH2, and NRH3 map to regions of the rice genome where disease resistance loci to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) have been identified, susceptible rice varieties transformed with either NRH1 or NRH2 failed to exhibit increased resistance to a set of well-characterized Xoo strains.

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