J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (9): 1639-1648.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13145

Special Issue: Development Genome editing

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Engineering broad-spectrum disease-resistant rice by editing multiple susceptibility genes

Hui Tao1,2, Xuetao Shi2, Feng He2, Dan Wang1, Ning Xiao4, Hong Fang1,2, Ruyi Wang2, Fan Zhang2, Min Wang2, Aihong Li4, Xionglun Liu1, Guo‐Liang Wang3* and Yuese Ning2*   

  1. 1 College of Agronomy, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
    2 State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China
    3 Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
    4 Institute of Agricultural Sciences for Lixiahe Region in Jiangsu, Yangzhou 225009, China

    *Correspondences: Guo‐Liang Wang (wang.620@osu.edu); Yuese Ning (ningyuese@caas.cn, Dr. Ning is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2021-03-14 Accepted:2021-06-22 Online:2021-06-25 Published:2021-09-01

Abstract: Rice blast and bacterial blight are important diseases of rice (Oryza sativa) caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and the bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), respectively. Breeding rice varieties for broad-spectrum resistance is considered the most effective and sustainable approach to controlling both diseases. Although dominant resistance genes have been extensively used in rice breeding and production, generating disease-resistant varieties by altering susceptibility (S) genes that facilitate pathogen compatibility remains unexplored. Here, using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we generated loss-of-function mutants of the S genes Pi21 and Bsr-d1 and showed that they had increased resistance to M. oryzae. We also generated a knockout mutant of the S gene Xa5 that showed increased resistance to Xoo. Remarkably, a triple mutant of all three S genes had significantly enhanced resistance to both M. oryzae and Xoo. Moreover, the triple mutant was comparable to the wild type in regard to key agronomic traits, including plant height, effective panicle number per plant, grain number per panicle, seed setting rate, and thousand-grain weight. These results demonstrate that the simultaneous editing of multiple S genes is a powerful strategy for generating new rice varieties with broad-spectrum resistance.

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