Facilitating the fungus: Insights from the genome of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe Oryzae

Nicole M. Donofrio, Jinnan Hu, Thomas K. Mitchell, Richard A. Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Magnaporthe oryzae is a filamentous, Ascomycete fungus and causal agent of the rice blast disease. As one of the most economically important plant pathogenic fungi globally, M. oryzae can kill enough rice to feed an estimated 60 million people per year, and repeated epidemics throughout the course of history dictates that it will continue to cause devastation to one of the world's most important food sources. In 2005, the M. oryzae genome sequence was released in a landmark publication, as it was the first plant pathogenic fungus to be sequenced. In this chapter, we examine many aspects of genome-enabled research including host adaptationAdaptation, identification of avirulence genesAvirulence genes, and the use of reverse genetics to provide insight into gene functions. We review important discoveries using next-generation sequencing platforms such as RNA-SeqRNA-Seq, and discuss how proteomicsProteomics have confirmed or provided additional information about linkages between biochemical pathways involved in nitrogen regulation, reactive oxygen species production, and virulence. The end of the Chapter explores future challenges and potential control measures; all of which are dependent upon the current genome sequences available for different strains of this fungus, as well as the hundreds of field strains that are currently awaiting to be sequenced. Harnessing the power of comparative genome analysesComparative genome analyses will provide critical information on how field isolates change, and will subsequently inform growers and breeders on the most appropriate rice cultivars to deploy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGenomics of Plant-Associated Fungi
Subtitle of host publicationMonocot Pathogens
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783662440568
ISBN (Print)3662440520, 9783662440551
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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