Facilitating the Fungus: Insights from the Genome of the Rice Blast Fungus, Magnaporthe Oryzae

  • Nicole M. DonofrioEmail author
  • Jinnan Hu
  • Thomas K. Mitchell
  • Richard A. Wilson


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 adaptation , identification of avirulence 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-Seq , and discuss how proteomics 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 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.


Biochemical Pathway Rice Blast Field Isolate Fungal Genome Rice Blast Fungus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg  2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole M. Donofrio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jinnan Hu
    • 2
  • Thomas K. Mitchell
    • 2
  • Richard A. Wilson
    • 3
  1. 1.Plant and Soil Sciences DepartmentUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant PathologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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