The role of DNA hypomethylation and ethylene in induced resistance in rice

01 November 2022 → 31 October 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Plant cell and molecular biology
    • Plant immunology
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Agricultural plant protection
    • Sustainable agriculture
Plant immunity DNA methylation Ethylene
Project description

There is an urgent need for innovative approaches to combat the enormous crop losses caused by plant pathogens. Hereto, compounds that establish induced resistance (IR) in plants constitute promising alternatives to the progressively banned agrochemicals. Optimal screening for IR compounds demands knowledge on their physiological impact in the plant. Recent data demonstrated the importance of the epigenetic machinery and ethylene (ET) accumulation in IR in rice. Here, we intend to further elucidate these processes at the molecular level and aim to unravel the missing link(s) between IR establishment, DNA methylation and ET accumulation. In addition, we will investigate whether these processes are heritable and are key players in transgenerational acquired resistance (TAR). Spatiotemporal dynamics of DNA methylation, SAM and hormone accumulation will be evaluated with state-of-the-art techniques. Experiments in mutant and transgenic lines will aid in confirming the role of these changes in IR. Lastly, infection experiments in offspring of IR plants will be performed and DNA methylation and hormone accumulation will be quantified to increase our knowledge on the TAR phenomenon. Methylome profiling will further enhance our understanding of heritable changes related to plant immunity. This project will provide substantial added value in the field of plant immunity and will enhance screening and optimization of IR compounds for commercial purposes in Flanders and the world.