Transgenic strategies for improving rice disease resistance
Rice diseases are among the most significant limiting factors threatening food productivity. Genetic engineering provides promising strategies to develop and improve disease resistance in rice. This minireview summarizes the recent progress on studies of genetic engineering for improvement of rice disease resistance against fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens. Improvement of virus resistance can be achieved by generating transgenic rice lines with expression of genes encoding viral coat protein or replication enzymes, expression of RNA interference constructs and suppression of insect vectors. Varieties with improved resistance against fungal and bacterial pathogens can be developed through transgenic expression of cloned disease resistance genes, antimicrobial protein genes, and defense signaling genes or through pyramiding different defense genes. Future direction and strategies on genetic engineering of rice disease resistance are also discussed.