The wheat durable, multipathogen resistance gene Lr34 confers partial blast resistance in rice

Simon G. Krattinger, Justine Sucher, Liselotte L. Selter, Harsh Chauhan, Bo Zhou, Mingzhi Tang, Narayana M. Upadhyaya, Delphine Mieulet, Emmanuel Guiderdoni, Denise Weidenbach, Ulrich Schaffrath, Evans S. Lagudah, Beat Keller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The wheat gene Lr34 confers durable and partial field resistance against the obligate biotrophic, pathogenic rust fungi and powdery mildew in adult wheat plants. The resistant Lr34 allele evolved after wheat domestication through two gain-of-function mutations in an ATP-binding cassette transporter gene. An Lr34-like fungal disease resistance with a similar broad-spectrum specificity and durability has not been described in other cereals. Here, we transformed the resistant Lr34 allele into the japonica rice cultivar Nipponbare. Transgenic rice plants expressing Lr34 showed increased resistance against multiple isolates of the hemibiotrophic pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae, the causal agent of rice blast disease. Host cell invasion during the biotrophic growth phase of rice blast was delayed in Lr34-expressing rice plants, resulting in smaller necrotic lesions on leaves. Lines with Lr34 also developed a typical, senescence-based leaf tip necrosis (LTN) phenotype. Development of LTN during early seedling growth had a negative impact on formation of axillary shoots and spikelets in some transgenic lines. One transgenic line developed LTN only at adult plant stage which was correlated with lower Lr34 expression levels at seedling stage. This line showed normal tiller formation and more importantly, disease resistance in this particular line was not compromised. Interestingly, Lr34 in rice is effective against a hemibiotrophic pathogen with a lifestyle and infection strategy that is different from obligate biotrophic rusts and mildew fungi. Lr34 might therefore be used as a source in rice breeding to improve broad-spectrum disease resistance against the most devastating fungal disease of rice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1268
Number of pages8
JournalPlant biotechnology journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Durable disease resistance
  • Fungal pathogen
  • Lr34/Yr18/Sr57/Pm38
  • Rice
  • Rice blast
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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