Plants respond to both biotic and abiotic stresses through a common signaling system to provide defense and protection against many adverse environments. Many genes/QTLs governing resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses have been studied and mapped in rice. Sub1, a major QTL for submergence tolerance is collocated with a gene Gm1 for gall midge resistance on chromosome 9 (Region 1). Likewise a bigger region on chromosome 5 (Region 2) has a minor QTL for submergence tolerance collocated with genes for bacterial blight resistance. Utilizing the rice sequence and annotation data (TIGR) and rice genome annotation project database (RAP-DB), we wanted to know the kinds of genes underlying these two chromosomal regions where genes/QTL governing tolerance to both biotic and abiotic stresses are collocated. We also analyzed the pattern of distribution of these genes across the BAC/PAC clones spanning the region so that candidate genes can be short listed for a functional analysis. Genes known to have a role in submergence tolerance were present in both the regions. Region 1, had a unique transcription factor like trithorax protein, which is a positional candidate gene for submergence tolerance. Pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) gene for alcohol fermentation and cation transporting ATPase c-terminal domain are likely candidates for submergence QTL in Region 2. Genes such as SKP1 and elicitor induced cytochrome p450 associated with tissue necrosis and insect resistance were found in region 1. Multiple copies of ORFs for signal transduction proteins, transcription factors, genes for systemic acquired resistance, Ubiquitin proteins and pathogen elicitor identification and degrading proteins were located as a cluster in Region 2, where bacterial blight resistance genes mapped. Validation of the data obtained from TIGR with other databases (RAP and KOME) confirmed our findings. The functional role of some of the significant candidate genes needs to be established. Allele/gene specific markers can then be designed for use in MAS thus enhancing durable tolerance/resistance faster.
Biotechnology Advances (2006) 24 (6) 561-589 [doi:10.1016/j.biotechadv.2006.05.003]