The inhibitor of apoptosis protein MoBir1 is involved in the suppression of hydrogen peroxide-induced fungal cell death, reactive oxygen species generation, and pathogenicity of rice blast fungus

  • Lisha Zhang
  • Kaili Zhong
  • Ruili Lv
  • Xiaobo Zheng
  • Zhengguang Zhang
  • Haifeng ZhangEmail author
Applied genetics and molecular biotechnology


The inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family has been identified in a variety of organisms. All IAPs contain one to three baculoviral IAP repeat (BIR) domains, which are required for anti-apoptotic activity. Here, we identified a type II BIR domain-containing protein, MoBir1, in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Expression of the MoBIR1 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae suppressed hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death and delayed yeast cell chronological aging. Delayed aging was found to require the carboxyl terminus of MoBir1. M. oryzae transformants overexpressing the MoBIR1 gene demonstrated increased growth rate and biomass, delayed mycelial aging, and enhanced resistance to hydrogen peroxide but reduced reactive oxygen species generation and virulence. Moreover, MoBIR1-overexpressing transformants exhibited anti-apoptotic activity. However, MoBIR1 silencing resulted in no obvious phenotypic changes, compared with the wild-type M. oryzae strain Guy11. Our findings broaden the knowledge on fungal type II BIR domain-containing proteins.


Magnaporthe oryzae Inhibitor of apoptosis Cell death ROS Pathogenicity 



This study was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant number 2016YFD0300700/2016YFD0300706), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant number KYZ201816), and the Outstanding Youth Foundation of Jiangsu Province (grant number BK20160074).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9931_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (568 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University and Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Crop Diseases and PestsMinistry of EducationNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Plant Biochemistry, Center of Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)Eberhard Karls University TübingenTübingenGermany

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