Open Access Research article

BAC and RNA sequencing reveal the brown planthopper resistance gene BPH15 in a recombination cold spot that mediates a unique defense mechanism

Wentang Lv1, Ba Du1, Xinxin Shangguan1, Yan Zhao1, Yufang Pan1, Lili Zhu1, Yuqing He2 and Guangcun He1*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Hybrid Rice, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

2 National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China

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BMC Genomics 2014, 15:674  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-674

Published: 11 August 2014



Brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens Stål), is the most destructive phloem-feeding insect pest of rice (Oryza sativa). The BPH-resistance gene BPH15 has been proved to be effective in controlling the pest and widely applied in rice breeding programs. Nevertheless, molecular mechanism of the resistance remain unclear. In this study, we narrowed down the position of BPH15 on chromosome 4 and investigated the transcriptome of BPH15 rice after BPH attacked.


We analyzed 13,000 BC2F2 plants of cross between susceptible rice TN1 and the recombinant inbred line RI93 that carrying the BPH15 gene from original resistant donor B5. BPH15 was mapped to a 0.0269 cM region on chromosome 4, which is 210-kb in the reference genome of Nipponbare. Sequencing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones that span the BPH15 region revealed that the physical size of BPH15 region in resistant rice B5 is 580-kb, much bigger than the corresponding region in the reference genome of Nipponbare. There were 87 predicted genes in the BPH15 region in resistant rice. The expression profiles of predicted genes were analyzed. Four jacalin-related lectin proteins genes and one LRR protein gene were found constitutively expressed in resistant parent and considered the candidate genes of BPH15. The transcriptomes of resistant BPH15 introgression line and the susceptible recipient line were analyzed using high-throughput RNA sequencing. In total, 2,914 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. BPH-responsive transcript profiles were distinct between resistant and susceptible plants and between the early stage (6 h after infestation, HAI) and late stage (48 HAI). The key defense mechanism was related to jasmonate signaling, ethylene signaling, receptor kinase, MAPK cascades, Ca2+ signaling, PR genes, transcription factors, and protein posttranslational modifications.


Our work combined BAC and RNA sequencing to identify candidate genes of BPH15 and revealed the resistance mechanism that it mediated. These results increase our understanding of plant–insect interactions and can be used to protect against this destructive agricultural pest.

Brown planthopper; BPH15; Recombination coldspot; Candidate gene; RNA sequencing; Transcriptome; Defense mechanism