Seminar: Rice holding its breath and recognising bacteria
On August 31, Pamela Ronald gave a seminar at the Biocenter at SLU, organized by Future Agriculture, Linnean Centre for Plant Biology and Mistra Biotech.
Pamela described her work with bacterial blight on rice. Ronalds research group has isolated the resistance gene coding for the receptor in rice which recognize the bacteria. This knowledge has been used to understand both the interaction between the bacteria and the plant and to produce rice varieties resistant to the bacterial disease.
Rice is grown in areas where flooding is common. Despite this, many of the current rice varieties are susceptible to prolonged flooding. In collaboration with researchers at IRRI Pamela has characterized the naturally occurring gene that enables the plant to "hold its breath" during prolonged flooding periods. The trait was subsequently crossed into several commonly grown rice varieties. These rice varieties now handles flooding up to 16 days compared to the usual 2-3 days, which secures the yield for many farmers.