Review: Optimizing nutrient transporters to enhance disease resistance in rice

Plants rely on an array of mineral nutrients for their growth, development, and reproductive processes. The molecular mechanisms governing the uptake, translocation, storage, and utilization of these essential minerals are orchestrated by specific nutrient transporters and their associated regulatory elements, including microRNAs and the ubiquitylation system. Intriguingly, mounting evidence indicates that beyond the traditional roles in plant physiology, mineral nutrients also play pivotal roles in bolstering plant defense mechanisms against pathogens. On one front, the modulation of plant nutrient status, achieved through adjustments in external nutrient availability or the manipulation of nutrient transporter expression, can significantly impact the output of the plant’s immune response. Conversely, the expression levels of nutrient transporters themselves can be influenced by pathogen invasion. This intricate bi-directional interplay underscores the close nexus between nutrient status and the efficacy of plant immunity. Hui and colleagues offer a comprehensive review of existing literature, elucidating the connections between nutrient transporters and disease resistance in rice. Their work not only underscores the pivotal role of nutrient transporters in fortifying plant defenses but also presents promising avenues for enhancing disease resistance in rice through genetic engineering strategies targeting these transporters. (Summary by Ching Chan @ntnuchanlab) J. Exp. Bot. 10.1093/jxb/erae087