Breeding crops with resistance is an efficient way to control diseases. However, increased resistance often has a fitness penalty. Thus, simultaneously increasing disease resistance and yield potential is a challenge in crop breeding. In this study, we found that downregulation of microRNA-156 (miR-156) and overexpression of Ideal Plant Architecture1 (IPA1) and OsSPL7, two target genes of miR-156, enhanced disease resistance against bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), but reduced rice yield. We discovered that gibberellin signalling might be partially responsible for the disease resistance and developmental defects in IPA1 overexpressors. We then generated transgenic rice plants expressing IPA1 with the pathogen-inducible promoter of OsHEN1; these plants had both enhanced disease resistance and enhanced yield-related traits. Thus, we have identified miR-156–IPA1 as a novel regulator of the crosstalk between growth and defence, and we have established a new strategy for obtaining both high disease resistance and high yield.
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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0100600), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu (BK20170027 and BK20150659), the National Key Transformation Program (2016ZX08001002), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (KYZ201503, KJJQ201801 and KYZ201812), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31671340), the Innovative Project of State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement (ZZ2017009), and Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Crop Production to D.-L.Y.
Based on the results in this study, the authors have applied for patents (application no. 201811001480.8 and 201811002033.4).
Journal peer review information: Nature Plants thanks Beat Keller and Mingliang Xu for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Liu, M., Shi, Z., Zhang, X. et al. Inducible overexpression of Ideal Plant Architecture1 improves both yield and disease resistance in rice. Nat. Plants 5, 389–400 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-019-0383-2
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