Salicylic Acid Is Required for Broad-Spectrum Disease Resistance in Rice

Bingbing Liang, Han Wang, Ce Yang, Luyao Wang, Linlu Qi, Zejian Guo, Xujun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Rice plants contain high basal levels of salicylic acid (SA), but some of their functions remain elusive. To elucidate the importance of SA homeostasis in rice immunity, we characterized four rice SA hydroxylase genes (OsSAHs) and verified their roles in SA metabolism and disease resistance. Recombinant OsSAH proteins catalyzed SA in vitro, while OsSAH3 protein showed only SA 5-hydroxylase (SA5H) activity, which was remarkably higher than that of other OsSAHs that presented both SA3H and SA5H activities. Amino acid substitutions revealed that three amino acids in the binding pocket affected SAH enzyme activity and/or specificity. Knockout OsSAH2 and OsSAH3 (sahKO) genes conferred enhanced resistance to both hemibiotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens, whereas overexpression of each OsSAH gene increased susceptibility to the pathogens. sahKO mutants showed increased SA and jasmonate levels compared to those of the wild type and OsSAH-overexpressing plants. Analysis of the OsSAH3 promoter indicated that its induction was mainly restricted around Magnaporthe oryzae infection sites. Taken together, our findings indicate that SA plays a vital role in immune signaling. Moreover, fine-tuning SA homeostasis through suppression of SA metabolism is an effective approach in studying broad-spectrum disease resistance in rice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1354
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Dioxygenase
  • Hydroxylation
  • Immunity
  • Jasmonic acid
  • Oryza sativa
  • Salicylic acid


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