Title:
RANK1, an ankyrin-repeat containing peptide from rice associated with disease resistance
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An isolated nucleic acid comprising a sequence of SEQ ID NO:2. The nucleic acid sequence can be transformed into plant cells. The nucleic acid codes for disease resistance in plants. The transformed plant cells can then be introduced to plants for regeneration of disease resistant plants.



Inventors:
He, Chaozu (Beijing, CN)
Wang, Guoliang (Dublin, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/310922
Publication Date:
07/03/2003
Filing Date:
12/06/2002
Assignee:
HE CHAOZU
WANG GUOLIANG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
800/320.2, 800/320.3, 800/320.1
International Classes:
A01H5/00; C07K14/415; C12N5/10; C12N15/09; C12N15/29; C12N15/82; (IPC1-7): A01H5/00; C12N15/82
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KRUSE, DAVID H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROTHWELL, FIGG, ERNST & MANBECK, P.C. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A method of conferring disease resistance to a monocotyledonous plant comprising: stably transforming into the genome of a monocotyledonous plant, a nucleic acid comprising SEQ ID No:2, whereby improved disease resistance relative to the untransformed plant is conferred.

2. A method of conferring rice blast resistance to rice comprising: stably transforming into the genome of a rice plant, a nucleic acid comprising SEQ ID NO:2, whereby improved disease resistance relative to the untransformed plant is conferred.

3. A method of conferring resistance to disease in a monocotyledonous plant comprising stably integrating into the genome of said plant a nucleic acid having a sequence which codes for a protein comprising the ankyrin motif consensus sequence.

4. The method according to claim 3 wherein said monocotyledonous plant is selected from the group consisting of rice, barley, corn, wheat, and asparagus.

5. A method of conferring resistance to rice blast disease in a monocotyledonous plant comprising stably integrating into the genome of said plant a nucleic acid having a sequence which codes for a protein comprising the ankyrin motif consensus sequence.

6. The method according to claim 5 wherein said monocotyledonous plant is selected from the group consisting of rice, barley, corn, wheat, and asparagus.

7. The method according to claim 1, wherein said monocotyledonous plant is a plant selected from the group consisting of rice, barley, corn, wheat, and asparagus.

8. A method according to claim 2, wherein said monocotyledonous plant is a plant selected from the group consisting of rice, barley, corn, wheat, and asparagus.

Description:

[0001] This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 09/525,223, which is a continuation-in-part of PCT international application No. PCT/SG97/00042 which has an international filing date of Sep. 15, 1997, which designated the United States, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Fungal, bacterial and viral diseases in crop plants result in reduced yields and product quality and are responsible for substantial losses to farmers. For example, rice blast, an often devastating disease that occurs in most rice growing areas worldwide, is estimated to cost farmers $5 billion a year (Moffat, 1994). The disease reduces rice yield significantly, particularly in the temperate flooded and tropical upland rice ecosystems. The use of resistant cultivars is the most economical and effective method of controlling the disease. Over the last decades, much has been learned about the genetics of resistance to the blast fungus. Many major genes for resistance have been identified and widely used in breeding programs. However, the molecular mechanism of host resistance to this pathogen is mostly unknown.

[0003] When a plant is attacked by a pathogen such as the rice blast fungus, it can in most cases fend off the infection by mounting a battery of defense responses (Lindsay et al., 1993). The activation of plant defense occurs upon pathogen recognition and results in the halt of pathogen ingress. Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is one important component of this complex system that plants use to defend themselves against pathogens (Ryals et al., 1996). SAR can be triggered by a local hypersensitive response(HR) to an avirulent pathogen, which renders uninfected parts of the plant resistant to a variety of normally virulent pathogens. SAR is a particularly important aspect of plant-pathogen response because it is a pathogen inducible, systemic resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens.

[0004] Significant progress has been made recently in deciphering molecular aspects of SAR. The Arabidopsis gene NPR1/NIM1 has been cloned using a map-based strategy (Cao et al., 1997; Ryals et al., 1997). Mutants with defects in NPRI/NIMl fail to respond to various SAR-inducing treatments, displaying little expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes and exhibiting increased susceptibility to infections. The gene encodes a novel protein containing ankyrin repeats and shows homology to the mammalian signal transduction factor IκB subclass a, suggesting that RPN1/NIM1 may interact with an NF-κB-related transcription factor to induce SAR gene expression and trigger disease resistance (Ryals et al., 1997).

[0005] The ankyrin repeat is a 33-amino acid motif present in a number of proteins of diverse functions including transcription factors, cell differentiation molecules, and structural proteins (Bennet, 1993). The ankyrin motif consensus sequence contains the following sequence of amino acids shown as SEQ ID NO:1:

-D----G-TPLH-AA-------V--LL--GA-

[0006] (LaMarco, 1991). This motif has been shown to mediate protein interactions and is usually present in tandem arrays of four to seven copies (Michaely and Bennett, 1993). Ankyrin repeat-containing proteins have been shown to have diverse functions and to be involved in protein-protein interactions. Some of these proteins in mammals are transcription-regulating proteins, such as the NF-κB, inhibitor IκB (Baldwin, A. 1996; Whiteside et al., 1997). The NF-κB/IκB signal transduction pathways are conserved in both mammals and flies. A stimulus such as IL-1 treatment or bacterial inoculation leads to activation of a signal transduction pathway because of the degradation of IκB or its homolog and the release of the NF-κB transcription factor to the nucleus to stimulate transcription (Baeuerie and Baltimore, 1996; Baldwin, 1996). In Arabidopsis, NPR1/NIM1, which is homologous to the NF-κB inhibitor IκB, controls the onset of SAR. The transcription factor targeted by NPR1/NIM1 serves as a repressor of SAR gene expression and disease resistance either by direct or indirect action (Ryals et al., 1997).

[0007] SAR is an important plant defense mechanism against infectious pathogens. For example, evidence suggests that SAR can protect plants against rice blast disease. The SAR inducer benzo (1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (“BHT”) was found to be effective in controlling the blast disease in field conditions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] A gene has been isolated from blast resistant plants that encodes a novel protein containing ankyrin repeats. This gene, designated RANK1, for rice ankyrin repeats, has significant homology to the Arabidopsis gene NPR1/NIM1 and the mammalian signal transduction factor inhibitor I-κB. The RANK1 gene encodes a protein that is believed to play an important role in rice defense to the blast pathogen infection as well as to other diseases which respond through SAR. Since both the RPN1/NIM1 and RANK1 genes code for ankyrin repeats, it is believed that these repeats may be responsible for SAR induced resistance to plant disease, especially rice blast disease.

[0009] Accordingly, the present invention provides, in one embodiment thereof, an isolated nucleic acid comprising a sequence of SEQ ID NO:2.

[0010] In another embodiment, the invention provides recombinant DNA expression vectors functional in a plant cell comprising a nucleic acid of SEQ ID NO:2.

[0011] A third embodiment is a plant cell stably transformed with a nucleic acid comprising a sequence of SEQ ID NO:2.

[0012] Yet another embodiment provides a transgenic plant transformed with a nucleic acid comprising a sequence of SEQ ID NO:2.

[0013] The invention further provides a method of conferring resistance to disease in a monocotyledonous plant comprising stably integrating into the genome of said plant the nucleic acid having the sequence which codes for a protein comprising the ankyrin motif sequence.

[0014] Another embodiment of the invention provides a method of conferring resistance to rice blast disease in a monocotyledonous plant comprising stably integrating into the genome of said plant the nucleic acid having the sequence which codes for a protein comprising the ankyrin motif sequence.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 Shows the alignment of RANK1's predicted amino acid sequence (SEQ ID NO:3) with Iκβ-E (SEQ ID NO:4), Iκβ-α (SEQ ID NO:5), Cactus (SEQ ID NO:6) and NPR1 (SEQ ID NO:7) proteins containing ankyrin repeats.

[0016] FIG. 2 Agarose gel electrophoresis showing accumulation of NPR1 RNA in blast resistant plants post-inoculation. RANK1 specific primers were used to amplify cDNAs isolated from the resistant (C101A51) and susceptible (CO039) plants.

[0017] FIG. 3 Shows alignment of the RANK1 partial cDNA (SEQ ID NO:2) and genomic DNA (SEQ ID NO:8).

[0018] FIG. 4 Shows the Southern analysis of the resistant (C101A51) and susceptible (Co39) plants with the RANK1 gene.

[0019] FIG. 5 Shows the Northern analysis of the resistant (C101A51) and susceptible (Co39) plants with the RANK1 gene.

[0020] FIG. 6 Shows the full-length cDNA of RANK1 gene (SEQ ID NO:9) which obtained from rice line C101A51 by 5′ RACE (5′ Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends), RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction) and screening of a cDNA library. The full-length cDNA of RANK1 is 2127 bp of which the nucleotides from 1 to 999 were obtained by 5′ RACE and the nucleotides from 798 to 2127 were inferred from a cDNA clone. The 5′ RACE product and the cDNA clone have an overlapping region of 202 bp corresponding to nucleotide position from 798 to 999. The ORF (Open Reading Frame) to RANK1 corresponds to nucleotide position from 808 to 1830 (including the stop code “TAG”) which encodes a protein of 340 amino acids.

[0021] The partial cDNA (SEQ ID NO:2), is a total of 573 bp which corresponds to nucleotide position from 1311 to 1883 on the full-length cDNA of RANK1 gene.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The present invention relates to an isolated nucleic acid conferring resistance to rice blast disease. The nucleic acid codes for a protein which is predicted to have ankyrin repeats. The nucleic acid advantageously has nucleotide sequence SEQ ID NO:2. It will be recognized, however, that the nucleotide sequence may vary, as permitted by the degeneracy of the genetic code while still encoding the same protein. Expression of the gene in a plant may be enhanced by replacing one or more of the codons shown in SEQ ID NO:2 with codons that are preferred by the plant into which the nucleic acid is inserted.

[0023] The nucleic acid can be incorporated in plant or bacterium cells using conventional recombinant DNA technologies. Generally, such techniques involve inserting the nucleic acid into a DNA expression vector. Such vector advantageously contains the necessary elements for the transcription and translation of the inserted protein coding sequences and one or more marker sequences to facilitate selection of transformed cells or plants.

[0024] A number of plant-active promoters are known in the art and may be used to effect expression of the nucleic acid sequences disclosed herein. Suitable promoters include, for example, the nos promoter, the small subunit chlorophyll A/B binding polypeptide, the 35S promoter of cauliflower mosaic virus, and promoters isolated from plant genes. The promoter may be isolated from the type of plant to be transformed. The 35S or actin promoters may also be used for isolated cDNA clones. These are also useful to test overexpression of the gene.

[0025] Once the nucleic acid of the present invention has been cloned into an expression vector, it is ready to be transformed into a plant cell. The term plant cell includes any cell derived from a plant; this includes undifferentiated tissues such as callus and suspension cultures, as well as plant seeds, pollen or plant embryos. Plant tissues suitable transformation include leaf tissues, root tissues, meristems, protoplasts, hypocotyls cotyledons, scutellum, shoot apex, root, immature embryo, pollen, and anther.

[0026] One technique of transforming plants with the nucleic acid conferring disease resistance in accordance with the present invention is by contacting tissue of such plants with an inoculum of a bacteria transformed with a vector comprising a nucleic acid in accordance with the present invention. Generally, this procedure involves inoculating the plant tissue with a suspension of bacteria and incubating the tissue for 48 to 72 hours on regeneration medium without antibiotics at 250-280°C.

[0027] Bacteria from the genus Agrobacterium can be utilized to transform plant cells. Suitable species of such bacterium include Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Agrobacterium rhizogens. Agrobacterium tumefaciens (eg., strains LBA4404 or EHA105) is particularly useful due to its well-known ability to transform plants.

[0028] Another approach to transforming plant cells with the nucleic acid of this invention involves propelling inert or biologically active particles at plant cells. This technique is disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,945,050, 5,036,006 and 5,100,792 all to Sanford et. al., which are hereby incorporated by reference. Generally, this procedure involves propelling inert or biologically active particles at the cells under conditions effective to penetrate the outer surface of the cell and to be incorporated within the interior thereof. When inert particles are utilized, the vector can be introduced into the cell by coating the particles with the vector containing the nucleic acid conferring disease resistance. Biologically active particles (e.g., dried yeast cells, dried bacterium or a bacteriophage, each containing DNA sought to be introduced) can also be propelled into a plant cell tissue.

[0029] Another method of transforming plant cells is the electroporation method. This method involves mixing the protoplasts and the desired nucleic acid and forming holes in the cell membranes by electric pulse so as to introduce the DNA in the cells, thereby transforming the cells. This method currently has high reproducibility and various genes have been introduced into monocotyledons, especially rice plants by this method (Toriyama et. al., (1988); Shimamoto et al., (1989; Rhodes et al., (1988)).

[0030] Similar to the electroporation method is a method in which the desired gene and protoplasts are mixed and the mixture is treated with PEG, thereby introducing the gene into the protoplasts. This method is different from the electroporation method in that polyethylene glycol (“PEG”) is used instead of the electric pulse. (Zhang W. et. al., (1988); Datta et al. (1990; Christou et al. (1991).

[0031] Other methods include 1) culturing seeds or embryos with nucleic acids (Topfer R. et al., (1989)); Ledoux et al., (1974); 2) treatment of pollen tube, (Luo et al. (1988)); 3) liposome method (Caboche (1990)) ; Gad et al.(1990); and 4) the microinjection method (Neuhaus et al. (1987).

[0032] Known methods for regenerating plants from transformed plant cells may be used in preparing transgenic plants of the present invention. Generally, explants, callus tissues or suspension cultures can be exposed to the appropriate chemical environment (e.g., cytokinin and auxin) so the newly grown cells can differentiate and give rise to embryos which then regenerate into roots and shoots.

[0033] The nucleic acid sequence of the present invention can be used to confer to monocotyledonous plants, resistance to rice blast disease and other diseases regulated by SAR. Such plants include but are not limited to rice, wheat, barley, maize and asparagus.

[0034] The invention is further illustrated by the following examples, which are intended to be illustrative and not to be limiting.

EXAMPLES

Materials and Methods

[0035] Rice Plants and Blast Inoculation:

[0036] The resistant isogenic line C1o1A51 carrying the Pi-2 gene and the susceptible cultivar CO39 were used in the experiment. Three-week old rice plants were inoculated with isolate PO6-6 and kept in a dew chamber for 24 hours at 26 C. Leaf tissue was harvested from both cultivars at 0, 4, 8, 12, 24, 48, 72 hours after inoculation.

[0037] RNA Isolation and RT-PCR

[0038] RNeasy mini kit (Qiagen, USA) was used to isolate total RNA from 150-200 mg rice leaf tissue. Poly(A)+RNA fractionated from total RNA using Qiagen Oligotex Spin Column, was used as a template in a reverse transcriptase-mediated polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using 10-mer random primers (Operon Technology, Inc). RT-PCR was conducted following protocols provided by the manufacturer (GIBCO-BRL, USA). The amplified cDNAs were then separated in 4.5% sequencing gel.

[0039] Cloning and DNA Sequencing

[0040] Specific bands were cloned into pGEM-T vector (Promega, USA). Clones were sequenced using the ABI PRISM 377 DNA sequencer (Perkin-Elmer, Calif., USA). The sequence was analyzed with softwares DNAstar and Sequencer 3.0.

Results

[0041] RANK1 was Strongly Induced in the Resistant Plants

[0042] Twenty-eight random primers have been used to amplify cDNAs from C1O1A51 and CO39. When primer OPF-1 (ACGGATCCTG; SEQ ID NO:10) was used in the RT-PCR reaction, a specific band (about 600 bp) was observed only in the inoculated resistant plants. It was strongly induced as early as 4 hours post-inoculation. This band was cut from the sequencing gel, re-amplified using the same primer and cloned into the PGEM-T vector. The DNA sequence of this cDNA clone is provided in SEQ ID NO:2. It was compared to databases of known genes to search for homology to known genes. The search revealed that the predicted amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by this gene (RANK1) has significant homology to those proteins containing ankyrin repeats including the Arabidopsis gene RPN1/NIM1 and mammalian gene family Iκβ (FIG. 1).

[0043] A pair of RANK1 specific primers was designed and used to amplify cDNAs isolated from the second inoculation experiment. Amplified cDNAs were run on agarose gel. The 600 bp fragment was only observed in the resistant plants (FIG. 2).

[0044] A Southern and Northern Analysis of the resistant (C101A5) and susceptible (CO39) plants were performed as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

[0045] Isolation of the RANK1 Genomic Clone from a Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) Library.

[0046] The RANK1 partial cDNA clone was used as the probe to screen a BAC library made from an indica cultivar IR64. Six positive BAC clones were identified and minipreped for further subcloning. The sequence of a 2.0 kb subclone revealed the presence of introns in the region spanned by the 600 bp cDNA fragment, designating the RANK1 gene. The sequence of the RANK1 genomic clone is set forth in SEQ ID No.:8.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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