Rice is an important food crop for half the world’s population and has been in cultivation for over 10,000 years. During the last few decades, rice has evolved intricate relationships with associated pathogens and pests, bacterial blight (BB) being one of the most important among them. Utilization of resistant varieties with agricultural management practices is a more effective way to control BB. Of the 42 different resistance (R) genes identified to confer BB resistance, 9 have been isolated and cloned, whereas a few of the avirulence genes and a large number of candidate pathogenicity genes have been isolated from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. The complete genome sequences of two different rice subspecies japonica and indica and three different races of BB pathogen are available. Therefore, the interaction between rice-Xoo could be deciphered and pave a way to study the molecular aspects of bacterial pathogenesis and host counter measures like innate immunity and R gene–mediated immunity. Although several of the type III effectors of Xoo have been characterized and the host targets of a few of them identified, a relatively large number of candidate effectors remain to be studied and their functional analysis may provide key for developing broad spectrum and durable resistance to BB.
Part of the book: Advances in International Rice Research