Plant Pathol J > Volume 24(4); 2008 > Article
The Plant Pathology Journal 2008;24(4):375-383.
DOI:    Published online December 31, 2008.
Transgenic Rice Plants Expressing an Active Tobacco Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Kinase Induce Multiple Defense Responses
Jin A Jeong, Seung Jin Yoo, Douck Hee Yang, Seo Ho Shin, Myung Chul Lee, Baik Ho Cho, Kwang Yeol Yang
It is well known that NtMEK2, a tobacco MAPK kinase, is the upstream kinase of both salicylic acidinduced protein kinase and wound-induced protein kinase. In addition, expression of NtMEK2DD, a constitutively active mutant of NtMEK2, is known to induce multiple defense responses in tobacco. In this study, transgenic rice plants that contained an active or inactive mutant of NtMEK2 under the control of a steroid inducible promoter were generated and used to determine if a similar MAPK cascade is involved in disease resistance in rice. The expression of NtMEK2DD in transgenic rice plants resulted in HR-like cell death. The observed cell death was preceded by the activation of endogenous rice 48-kDa MBP kinase, which is also activated by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the bacterial blight pathogen of rice. In addition, prolonged activation of the MAPK induced the generation of hydrogen peroxide and up-regulated the expression of defense-related genes including the pathogenesis-related genes, peroxidases and glutathione S-transferases. These results demonstrate that NtMEK2 is functionally replaceable with rice MAPK kinase in inducing the activation of the downstream MAPK, which in turn induces multiple defense responses in rice.
Key Words: Defense-related genes, hydrogen peroxide, hypersensitive response-like cell death, mitogen-activated protein kinase, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae

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