J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2015, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (7): 641-652.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12306

Special Issue: Rice Genomics and Agriculture

• Plant-environmental Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Enhancement of innate immune system in monocot rice by transferring the dicotyledonous elongation factor Tu receptor EFR

Fen Lu1,2, Huiqin Wang1,2, Shanzhi Wang1,2, Wendi Jiang1,2, Changlin Shan3, Bin Li3, Jun Yang1,2,4, Shiyong Zhang4 and Wenxian Sun1,2*   

  1. 1Department of Plant Pathology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
    2Key Laboratory in Plant Pathology, Ministry of Agriculture, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
    3State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology and Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    4Rice Research Institute, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science, Jinan, China
  • Received:2014-08-12 Accepted:2014-10-28 Published:2014-10-31
  • About author:*Correspondence: E-mail: wxs@cau.edu.cn


The elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) receptor (EFR) in cruciferous plants specifically recognizes the N-terminal acetylated elf18 region of bacterial EF-Tu and thereby activates plant immunity. It has been demonstrated that Arabidopsis EFR confers broad-spectrum bacterial resistance in the EFR transgenic solanaceous plants. Here, the transgenic rice plants (Oryza sativa L. ssp. japonica cv. Zhonghua 17) and cell cultures with constitutive expression of AtEFR were developed to investigate whether AtEFR senses EF-Tu and thus enhances bacterial resistance in the monocot plants. We demonstrated that the Xanthomonas oryzae-derived elf18 peptide induced oxidative burst and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in the AtEFR transgenic rice cells and plants, respectively. Pathogenesis-related genes, such as OsPBZ1, were upregulated dramatically in transgenic rice plant and cell lines in response to elf18 stimulation. Importantly, pretreatment with elf18 triggered strong resistance to X. oryzae pv. oryzae in the transgenic plants, which was largely dependent on the AtEFR expression level. These plants also exhibited enhanced resistance to rice bacterial brown stripe, but not to rice fungal blast. Collectively, the results indicate that the rice plants with heterologous expression of AtEFR recognize bacterial EF-Tu and exhibit enhanced broad-spectrum bacterial disease resistance and that pattern recognition receptor-mediated immunity may be manipulated across the two plant classes, dicots and monocots.


Lu F, Wang H, Wang S, Jiang W, Shan C, Li B, Yang J, Zhang S, Sun W (2015) Enhancement of innate immune system in monocot rice by transferring the dicotyledonous elongation factor Tu receptor EFR. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 641–652. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12306

Key words: Bacterial disease resistance, elongation factor Tu receptor, interspecific gene transfer, pattern recognition receptor, rice

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