Plant pathogen interaction study on rice published in Nature Scientific Reports
Alterations in rice chloroplast integrity, photosynthesis and metabolome associated with pathogenesis of Rhizoctonia solani
Sheath blight disease is caused by a necrotrophic fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani and it continues to be a challenge for sustainable rice cultivation. In this study, we adopted a multi-pronged approach to understand the intricacies of rice undergoing susceptible interactions with R. solani. Extensive anatomical alteration, chloroplast localized ROS, deformed chloroplast ultrastructure along with decreased photosynthetic efficiency were observed in infected tissue. GC-MS based metabolite profiling revealed accumulation of glycolysis and TCA cycle intermediates, suggesting enhanced respiration. Several aromatic and aliphatic amino acids along with phenylpropanoid intermediates were also accumulated, suggesting induction of secondary metabolism during pathogenesis. Furthermore, alterations in carbon metabolism along with perturbation of hormonal signalling were highlighted in this study. The gene expression analysis including RNAseq profiling reinforced observed metabolic alterations in the infected tissues. In conclusion, the present study unravels key events associated during susceptible rice-R. solani interactions and identifies metabolites and transcripts that are accumulated in infected tissues.