This study is the first time report of utilization of Trichoderma spp. isolated from different tree bark from Odisha state of India for rice crop health management and higher productivity. Six isolates of Trichoderma spp. were identified based on the morphological characteristics and species determination was performed by molecular assays. One of the isolated strains determined as Trichoderma erinaceum outperformed others. Trichoderma erinaceum controlled three soil borne plant pathogens i.e. Rhizoctonia solani, Sclerotium rolfsii and Sclerotium oryzae effectively under controlled condition and R. solani and Helminthosporium oryzae under filed condition. Seed treatments with the formulated isolates improved the germination rate of rice and enhanced vigour. These parameters along with higher chlorophyll content could be related to higher yield observed in two rice varieties; Karuna and Sahabhagidhan. Among the six isolates tested, Trichoderma erinaceum treatment recorded highest yield. Significantly higher expression of some stress related enzymes was observed in Trichoderma treated plants which helped in better crop growth both under biotic and abiotic stresses. These isolates helped both the varieties to accumulate more nutrients. This study proves that Trichoderma erinaceum obtained from tree bark may be incorporated in integrated rice crop management both as biocontrol agent and biofertilizer.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) play crucial roles in various biological processes, including plant developmental processes and response to diverse biotic and abiotic stresses. However, no information is currently available about this gene family in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). In the present investigation, we identified the BZR gene family in wheat to understand the evolution and their role in diverse developmental processes and under different stress conditions. In this study, we performed the genome-wide analysis of the BZR gene family in the bread wheat and identified 20 TaBZR genes through a homology search and further characterized them to understand their structure, function, and distribution across various tissues. Phylogenetic analyses lead to the classification of TaBZR genes into five different groups or subfamilies, providing evidence of evolutionary relationship with Arabidopsis thaliana, Zea mays, Glycine max, and Oryza sativa. A gene exon/intron structure analysis showed a distinct evolutionary path and predicted the possible gene duplication events. Further, the physical and biochemical properties, conserved motifs, chromosomal, subcellular localization, and cis-acting regulatory elements were also examined using various computational approaches. In addition, an analysis of public RNA-seq data also shows that TaBZR genes may be involved in diverse developmental processes and stress tolerance mechanisms. Moreover, qRT-PCR results also showed similar expression with slight variation. Collectively, these results suggest that TaBZR genes might play an important role in plant developmental processes and various stress conditions. Therefore, this work provides valuable information for further elucidate the precise role of BZR family members in wheat.
This study is a unique report of the utilization of Trichoderma strains collected from even tree barks for rice plant growth, its health management, and paddy straw degradation. Seven different spp. of Trichoderma were characterized according to morphological and molecular tools. Two of the isolated strains, namely Trichoderma hebeiensis and Trichoderma erinaceum, outperformed the other strains. Both of the strains controlled four important rice pathogens, i.e., Rhizoctonia solani (100%), Sclerotium oryzae (84.17%), Sclerotium rolfsii (66.67%), and Sclerotium delphinii (76.25%). Seed bio-priming with respective Trichoderma strains reduced the mean germination time, enhanced the seedling vigor and total chlorophyll content which could be related to the higher yield observed in two rice varieties; Annapurna and Satabdi. All the seven strains accelerated the decomposition of rice straw by producing higher straw degrading enzymes like total cellulase (0.97–2.59 IU/mL), endoglucanase (0.53–0.75 IU/mL), xylanase (145.35–201.35 nkat/mL), and laccase (2.48–12.60 IU/mL). They also produced higher quantities of indole acetic acid (19.19–46.28 μg/mL), soluble phosphate (297.49–435.42 μg/mL), and prussic acid (0.01–0.37 μg/mL) which are responsible for plant growth promotion and the inhibition of rice pathogen populations. Higher expression of defense enzymes like catalase (≥250% both in shoot and root), peroxidase (≥150% in root and ≥100% in shoot), superoxide dismutase (≥ 150% in root and ≥100% in shoot), polyphenol oxidase (≥160% in shoot and ≥120% in shoot), and total phenolics (≥200% in root and ≥250% in shoot) as compared to the control indicates stress tolerance ability to rice crop. The expression of the aforementioned enzymes were confirmed by the expression of corresponding defense genes like PAL (>3-fold), DEFENSIN (>1-fold), POX (>1.5-fold), LOX (>1-fold), and PR-3 (>2-fold) as compared to the non-treated control plants. This investigation demonstrates that Trichoderma strains obtained from tree bark could be considered to be utilized for the sustainable health management of rice crop.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the incitant of bacterial leaf blight disease of rice acts as a bottleneck in productivity of rice. Chemical control measures impose hazards to human as well as soil health. So, there is always a quest for eco-friendly management strategies. In vitro and in vivo assays were employed to evaluate the sensitivity of the pathogen against crude aqueous extracts of different plants. Out of five plant extracts, Datura metel was most effective in restricting the pathogen followed by Allium sativum. The percent inhibition exhibited by D. metel extract were 46.73% and 58.04% at 15% and 20% concentrations, respectively. Aqueous extract spray of D. metel at 20% proved effective in restricting the disease by 11.9% and recorded 104% yield increase over control.
The Indian initiative for creating mutant resources in rice has generated 87,000 mutants in the background of a popular drought- and heat-tolerant upland cultivar, Nagina 22 (N22), through EMS mutagenesis. So far, 541 macro-mutants from this resource have been identified, maintained in the mutant garden and characterized in detail based on 44 descriptors pertaining to distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS) of rice and other agronomic parameters. The similarity index of the mutants was more than 0.6 for nearly 90% of the mutants with respect to DUS descriptors, further establishing the validity of the mutants. The available high-quality sequence resource of N22 has been improved by reducing the gaps by 0.02% in the coding sequence (CDS) region. This was made possible using the newly synthesized whole-genome data of N22 which helped to remove 9006 'Ns' and replace 12,746 existing nucleotides with the accurate ones. These sequence and morphological details have been updated in the mutant database 'EMSgardeN22'. Further, 1058 mutants have been identified for low-P tolerance, tolerance to sheath blight, blast, drought, heat, higher photosynthetic efficiency and agronomic and root traits from this resource. A novel herbicide-tolerant (imazethapyr) mutant earlier identified and characterized from this resource is now being used in introgressing the herbicide-tolerant trait in eight major rice varieties in India. Further, robust and simpler screening systems have been tested for studying low-P tolerance of the mutants. A grain-size mutant, heat-tolerant mutant, drought-tolerant mutant, stay-green mutant and low-P tolerant and water-use efficient high-root-volume mutants have been characterized at morphological and molecular levels. A brief account of all these mutants, the entire mutant resource and the elaborate trait-based screenings is presented in this chapter.
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