Much research has been devoted to understanding the biology of plant-pathogen interactions. The extensive genetic analysis of disease resistance in rice, coupled with the sequenced genome and genomic resources, provides the opportunity to seek convergent evidence implicating specific chromosomal segments and genes in the control of resistance. Published data on quantitative and qualitative disease resistance in rice were synthesized to evaluate the distributions of and associations among resistance loci. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) for resistance to multiple diseases and qualitative resistance loci (R genes) were clustered in the rice genome. R genes and their analogs of the nucleotide binding site-leucine-rich repeat class and genes identified on the basis of differential representation in disease-related EST libraries were significantly associated with QTL. Chromosomal segments associated with broad-spectrum quantitative disease resistance (BS-QDR) were identified. These segments contained numerous positional candidate genes identified on the basis of a range of criteria, and groups of genes belonging to two defense-associated biochemical pathways were found to underlie one BS-QDR region. Genetic dissection of disease QTL confidence intervals is needed to reduce the number of positional candidate genes for further functional analysis. This study provides a framework for future investigations of disease resistance in rice and related crop species.
Genetics (2005) 169 (4) 2277-2293 [doi: 10.1534/genetics.104.036327]