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Sheath blight, caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, is a major disease of rice world-wide, but little is known about the host response to infection. The objective of this study was to identify proteins and DNA markers in resistant and susceptible rice associated with response to infection by R. solani. Replicated two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis experiments were conducted to detect proteins differentially expressed under inoculated and non-inoculated conditions. Tandem mass spectra analysis using electrospray ionization quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry (ESI Q-TOF MS) was carried out for protein identification with the NCBI non-redundant protein database. Seven proteins were increased after inoculation in both susceptible and resistant plants. Six of the seven proteins were identified with presumed antifungal, photosynthetic and proteolytic activities. An additional 14 proteins were detected in the response of the resistant line. Eleven of the 14 proteins were identified with presumed functions relating to antifungal activity, signal transduction, energy metabolism, photosynthesis, molecular chaperone, proteolysis and antioxidation. The induction of 3-β- hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/isomerase was detected for the first time in resistant rice plants after pathogen challenge, suggesting a defensive role of this enzyme in rice against attack by R. solani. The chromosomal locations of four induced proteins were found to be in close physical proximity to genetic markers for sheath blight resistance in two genetic mapping populations. The proteomic and genetic results from this study indicate a complex response of rice to challenge by R. solani that involves simultaneous induction of proteins from multiple defence pathways. © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Molecular Plant Pathology

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