Mechanism by which bacterium Xoo interacts with rice plants uncovered

  • IASbaba
  • October 14, 2020
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Mechanism by which bacterium Xoo interacts with rice plants uncovered

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biotechnology

In news

  • Recently, scientists from the Centre for Plant Molecular Biology (CPMB) have uncovered the mechanism by which bacterium called Xoo causes disease in rice plants.
  • Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) causes a serious bacterial leaf blight disease in rice. 
  • It is also known as Bacterial blight.

Key takeaways

  • The most-common method of defending against rice bacterial blight is the cultivation of rice varieties with genes that confer resistance to Xoo infection.
  • However, this method involves breeding or gene manipulation techniques that are laborious and time-consuming.

New Approach

  • Scientists are working to identify and develop few molecules which are derived either from the Xoo bacterium or from the infected rice cell walls.
  • Treatment of rice with cellulase, a cell wall degrading enzyme secreted by Xoo induces rice immune responses and protects rice from subsequent infections by Xoo.

Important value additions


  • It is a gram-negative bacterium.
  • Xoo infection causes huge yield losses to rice cultivation throughout the world.
  • Since rice paddies are flooded throughout most of the growing season, Xoo may easily spread among crops. 
  • Bacteria travel through the water from infected plants to the roots and leaves of neighbouring rice plants.
  • Wind may also help spread the Xoo bacteria to other crops and rice paddies.

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