Transcriptional profiling of indica rice cultivar IET8585 (Ajaya) infected with bacterial leaf blight pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae

An indica rice cultivar IET8585 (Ajaya) resists diverse races of the Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae pathogen attack, and is often cultivated as bacterial leaf blight (blb) resistant check in India. Earlier we reported a recessive blb resistance gene mapped to the long arm of chromosome 5 in IET8585. Recessive gene-mediated blb resistance mechanism is not yet clearly understood. Here we analyzed the transcriptional profile of the blb infected resistant cultivar by rice 22K oligo array. Microarray analysis revealed differential expression of numerous genes at both early (6 h) and late (120 h) stages of infection in the resistant IET8585 cultivar over the susceptible IR24. Some of the differential gene expressions were validated by both RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Higher expression of ethylene response element binding protein (EREBP) transcription factor along with lower expression of alcohol dehydrogenase gene and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging system may be responsible for hypersensitive cell death in the resistant cultivar upon bacterial infection. Induction of glutathione-mediated detoxification and flavonoid biosynthetic pathways along with up-regulation of defense genes during infection may inhibit pathogen spread in the host tissues. In light of this and previous studies a mechanism of recessive gene-mediated bacterial blight resistance in indica rice is discussed.