Pelota genes regulate root development and defense responses in rice

Seeds of the grass species rice (Oryza sativa) serve as the most widely consumed staple food especially in Asia. One of its major threats is Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), the causal agent of rice bacterial blight, which could severely reduce the production.


Ding et al. identify a rice mutant of OsPELO, whose counterparts in animals are involved in ribosome rescue and meiotic cell division. The mutant shows impaired root development and spotted-leaf phenotype. Surprisingly, the mutant is highly resistant to several Xoo strains. Further transcriptome analysis attributes the enhanced resistance to the systemic pre-activation of defence response.

Further reading

Ding, W., Wu, J., Ye, J., Zheng, W., Wang, S., Zhu, X., … Zhu, S. (2018). A Pelota-like gene regulates root development and defence responses in rice. Annals of Botany, 122(3), 359–371.