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Recent Progress in Understanding PAMP- and Effector-Triggered Immunity Against the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae

In this review, we summarize the recent research on the characterization of those genes in both M. oryzae and rice that are important for the PAMP- and effector-triggered immunity recognition and signaling processes. We also discuss future directions for research that will further our understanding of this pathosystem.

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Rice Blast
Scientific articles on rice blast and wheat blast 20 new articles each month !
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INCREASE OF FUNGAL PATHOGENICITY AND ROLE OF PLANT GLUTAMINE IN NITROGEN-INDUCED SUSCEPTIBILITY (NIS) TO RICE BLAST

INCREASE OF FUNGAL PATHOGENICITY AND ROLE OF PLANT GLUTAMINE IN NITROGEN-INDUCED SUSCEPTIBILITY (NIS) TO RICE BLAST | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Understanding why nitrogen fertilization increase the impact of many plant diseases is of major importance. The interaction between Magnaporthe oryzae and rice was used as a model for analyzing the molecular mechanisms underlying Nitrogen-Induced Susceptibility (NIS). We show that our experimental system in which nitrogen supply strongly affects rice blast susceptibility only slightly affects plant growth. In order to get insights into the mechanisms of NIS, we conducted a dual RNA-seq experiment on rice infected tissues under two nitrogen fertilization regimes. On the one hand, we show that enhanced susceptibility was visible despite an over-induction of defense gene expression by infection under high nitrogen regime. On the other hand, the fungus expressed to high levels effectors and pathogenicity-related genes in plants under high nitrogen regime. We propose that in plants supplied with elevated nitrogen fertilization, the observed enhanced induction of plant defense is over-passed by an increase in the expression of the fungal pathogenicity program, thus leading to enhanced susceptibility. Moreover, some rice genes implicated in nitrogen recycling were highly induced during NIS. We further demonstrate that the OsGS1-2 glutamine synthetase gene enhances plant resistance to M. oryzae and abolishes NIS and pinpoint glutamine as a potential key nutrient during NIS.
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Comparison and Validation of Putative Pathogenicity-Related Genes Identified by T-DNA Insertional Mutagenesis and Microarray Expression Profiling in Magnaporthe oryzae

Comparison and Validation of Putative Pathogenicity-Related Genes Identified by T-DNA Insertional Mutagenesis and Microarray Expression Profiling in Magnaporthe oryzae | Rice Blast | Scoop.it

High-throughput technologies of functional genomics such as T-DNA insertional mutagenesis and microarray expression profiling have been employed to identify genes related to pathogenicity in Magnaporthe oryzae. However, validation of the functions of individual genes identified by these high-throughput approaches is laborious. In this study, we compared two published lists of genes putatively related to pathogenicity in M. oryzae identified by T-DNA insertional mutagenesis (comprising 1024 genes) and microarray expression profiling (comprising 236 genes), respectively, and then validated the functions of some overlapped genes between the two lists by knocking them out using the method of target gene replacement. Surprisingly, only 13 genes were overlapped between the two lists, and none of the four genes selected from the overlapped genes exhibited visible phenotypic changes on vegetative growth, asexual reproduction, and infection ability in their knockout mutants. Our results suggest that both of the lists might contain large proportions of unrelated genes to pathogenicity and therefore comparing the two gene lists is hardly helpful for the identification of genes that are more likely to be involved in pathogenicity as we initially expected.

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Genome Sequence of a Unique Magnaporthe oryzae RMg-Dl Isolate from India That Causes Blast Disease in Diverse Cereal Crops, Obtained Using PacBio Single-Molecule and Illumina HiSeq2500 Sequencing

The whole-genome assembly of a unique rice isolate from India, Magnaporthe oryzae RMg-Dl that causes blast disease in diverse cereal crops is presented. Analysis of the 34.82 Mb genome sequence will aid in better understanding the genetic determinants of host range, host jump, survival, pathogenicity, and virulence factors of M. oryzae.
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IWGC International Wheat Genetics Symposium 2017 Satellite Meeting

IWGC  International Wheat Genetics Symposium 2017 Satellite Meeting | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Friday April 21, 2017: EMPHASIS – pan European infrastructure on phenotyping

The meeting will introduce the EMPHASIS project and assess plant phenotyping activities in dedicated countries accross Europe.

The meeting is open to any particiapnts.

The meeting is structured in three parts:

1. Information about EMPHASIS and EMPHASIS-PREP

2. What is the status of the plant phenotyping in Austria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Hungary, Rumania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland?

3. Open discussion with the plant phenotyping community (users, technology providers and developers) within the focus countries

Saturday April 22, 2017: Wheat Initiative EWG Wheat Phenotyping to Support Wheat Improvement

The programm will address cases studies focussing on wheat phenotyping.

Details tbc.
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European Plant Science Retreat 2017-Toulouse (FRANCE)

European Plant Science Retreat 2017-Toulouse (FRANCE) | Rice Blast | Scoop.it

Via Kevin Bellande
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Biological control of rice blast disease with Trichoderma spp. under upland rice System

Rice blast caused by Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most devastating diseases of rice and account for yield loss up to 65% in susceptible cultivars of rice. Trichoderma spp. has emerged as a potential biological control agent against many plant pathogenic fungi and also improved plant growth parameters. An experiment was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of seed treatment with different Trichoderma spp. isolate against leaf blast in four rice varieties; Swarna, IR-64, Samba Mahsuri, and Sahbhagi Dhan under upland rice conditions at Almora and Hazaribag. Trichoderma spp. (isolate Th-3) treated seed of Samba Mahsuri (57%) showed maximum plant height percentage followed by Tv-12 isolate with Samba Mahsuri (44%) as compared to control. It also increases root length (51–93%), total number of leaves (6.-60.%), tillers (3.-41%), panicles (4–39%), flag leaf length (2.-30%) and panicle length (5–32%) as compared to untreated control. The Trichoderma treated seed showed low disease intensity at Almora and Hazaribag as compared to untreated seed. The present study showed that it reduces the disease intensity by 10–25%, suggested that Trichoderma spp. may be used as bio-inoculants for biological control of rice blast disease.
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Conservation agriculture cropping systems reduce blast disease in upland rice by affecting plant nitrogen nutrition

Conservation agriculture cropping systems reduce blast disease in upland rice by affecting plant nitrogen nutrition | Rice Blast | Scoop.it

Changes in N release dynamics hypothesized in CA cropping systems.
Leaf N content is higher at early growth stages in CT than in CA cropping systems.
Leaf N content during early growth stages explains the effect on blast severity.
When LAI is affected by the cropping system, it also explains the effect on blast severity.

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Climate Suitability for Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum Pathotype in the United States

Climate Suitability for Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum Pathotype in the United States | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Wheat blast, caused by the Triticum pathotype of Magnaporthe oryzae, is an emerging disease considered to be a limiting factor to wheat production in various countries. Given the importance of wheat blast as a high-consequence plant disease, weather-based infection models were used to estimate the probabilities of M. oryzae Triticum establishment and wheat blast outbreaks in the United States. The models identified significant disease risk in some areas. With the threshold levels used, the models predicted that the climate was adequate for maintaining M. oryzae Triticum populations in 40% of winter wheat production areas of the United States. Disease outbreak threshold levels were only reached in 25% of the country. In Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, the probability of years suitable for outbreaks was greater than 70%. The models generated in this study should provide the foundation for more advanced models in the future, and the results reported could be used to prioritize research efforts regarding the biology of M. oryzae Triticum and the epidemiology of the wheat blast disease.
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Avirulence (AVR) gene-based diagnosis complements existing pathogen surveillance tools for effective deployment of resistance (R) genes against rice blast disease

Avirulence (AVR) gene-based diagnosis complements existing pathogen surveillance tools for effective deployment of resistance (R) genes against rice blast disease | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Avirulence genes in Magnaporthe oryzae, the fungal pathogen that causes the devastating rice blast disease, have been documented to be major targets subject to mutations to avoid recognition by resistance (R) genes. In this study, an avirulence (AVR) gene-based diagnosis tool for determining the virulence spectrum of a rice blast pathogen population was developed and validated. A set of 77 single-spore field isolates was subjected to pathotype analysis using differential lines each containing a single R gene and classified into 20 virulent pathotypes except for four isolates that lost pathogenicity. Ten differential lines showed low frequency (<24%) of resistance whereas eight lines showed a high frequency (>95%), inferring the effectiveness of R genes present in respective differential lines. In addition, the haplotypes of seven AVR genes were determined by PCR amplification and sequencing, if applicable. The calculated frequency of different AVR genes displayed significant variations in the population. AVR-Pi9 and AVR-Pii were detected in 100% and 84.9% of the isolates, respectively. Five AVR genes such as AVR-Pik [-D (20.5%) and -E (1.4%)], AVRPiz-t (2.7%), AVR-Pita (0%), AVR-Pia (0%), and AVR1-CO39 (0%) displayed low or even zero frequency. The frequency of AVR genes correlated almost perfectly with the resistance frequency of the cognate R genes in differential lines except for IRBLzt-T, IRBLta-K1, and IRBLkp-K60. Both genetic analysis and molecular marker validation revealed an additional R gene, most likely Pi19 or its allele, in these three differential lines. This can explain the spuriously higher resistance frequency of each target R genes based on conventional pathotyping. This study demonstrates that AVR gene-based diagnosis provides a precise, R-gene specific, and differential line-free assessment method that can be used for determining the virulence spectrum of a rice blast pathogen population and for predicting the effectiveness of target R genes in rice varieties.
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Fungal Plant Pathogenesis Mediated by Effectors

The interactions between fungi and plants encompass a spectrum of ecologies ranging from saprotrophy (growth on dead plant material) through pathogenesis (growth of the fungus accompanied by disease on the plant) to symbiosis (growth of the fungus with growth enhancement of the plant). We consider pathogenesis in this article and the key roles played by a range of pathogen-encoded molecules that have collectively become known as effectors.
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Mitosis in the invasive hyphae of Magnaporthe oryzae

M. oryzae transformant expressing red fluorescent tagged histones and green fluorescent tagged nuclear localization signal. Video shows growth inside a ric
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Mitosis in the appressorium of Magnaporthe oryzae

Same transformant shown in both https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu_u7iPTbbg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXs59WhXP14 Video shows 3 rounds of mitosi
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Plant Responses to Combined Drought and Pathogen Infection: Current Understanding on the Role of Phytohormones

Plants under natural conditions encounter a number of abiotic and biotic stresses often being inflicted simultaneously. Plant responses to a stress are governed by intricate network of the hormone signaling pathways. Abscisic acid (ABA) forms the major component of the plant response to drought and cold stress. Salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene act as key regulators of plant response to pathogen infection. In fact, the extensive cross talk among the different hormone-mediated signaling pathways determines plant response to a particular stress. A large number of studies focus on hormone signaling under individual drought and pathogen stresses and the cross talk between the two stress responses. However, owing to the relatively few studies on combined drought and pathogen stresses, our understanding of phytohormonal signaling under combined stress is still obscure. Recent studies on combined drought and pathogen infection indicate that plants when simultaneously exposed to the two stresses often exhibit a transcriptional and metabolic response different from that exhibited under single stress conditions. This is also applicable to the phytohormonal signaling. The nature, time, and severity of the two stresses in combination modulate hormonal concentrations as well as the hormone signal transduction pathways involved. In this chapter, we provide a compendious description of the role of the three major hormones, namely, ABA, SA, and JA, in combined drought and pathogen infection. A brief description of the role of auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins has also been provided. Taking leads from few studies, we have discussed the potential role of hormones in conferring combined drought and pathogen stress tolerance to plants. We also briefly discussed the effect of different “stress elicitors” on hormone signaling.
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The Nup98 Homolog APIP12 Targeted by the Effector AvrPiz-t is Involved in Rice Basal Resistance Against Magnaporthe oryzae

The Nup98 Homolog APIP12 Targeted by the Effector AvrPiz-t is Involved in Rice Basal Resistance Against Magnaporthe oryzae | Rice Blast | Scoop.it

In this study, we analyzed the function of AvrPiz-t interacting protein 12 (APIP12) in rice immunity. APIP12 significantly bound to AvrPiz-t and APIP6 in its middle portion and N-terminus, respectively, in yeast two-hybrid assay. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down assay further verified the interactions of APIP12 with AvrPiz-t and APIP6. APIP12 encodes a homologue of nucleoporin protein Nup98 without the conserved domain of Phe-Gly repeats and has no orthologue in other plants. Both knockout and knockdown of APIP12 caused enhanced susceptibility of rice plants to virulent isolates of M. oryzae. The expression of some pathogenesis-related (PR) genes was reduced in both knockout and knockdown mutants, suggesting that APIP12 is required for the accumulation of transcripts of PR genes upon the infection. It is worth noting that neither knockout/knockdown nor overexpression of APIP12 attenuates Piz-t resistance.

Taken together, our results demonstrate that APIP12 is a virulence target of AvrPiz-t and is involved in the basal resistance against M. oryzae in rice.

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IWGS 2017 Trailer

Trailer for the 13th International Wheat Genetics Symposium which will be held in Tulln/Lower Austria near Vienna from 23. to 28. April 2017
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Pathogenicity of isolates of Magnaporthe spp. from wheat and grasses infecting seedlings and mature wheat plants in Argentina

Pathogenicity of isolates of Magnaporthe spp. from wheat and grasses infecting seedlings and mature wheat plants in Argentina | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Wheat blast of wheat (Triticum aestivum), caused by Magnaporthe oryzae pathotype triticum (MoT; anamorph Pyricularia oryzae) is a destructive disease in the South American countries of Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. In Argentina, the fungus was recently recorded on wheat and barley plants in the northeast part of the country, Buenos Aires and Corrientes Provinces, with a potential for spreading. This work aimed to study, for the first time, the morphocultural and pathogenic characteristics of Magnaporthe isolates collected from wheat and other herbaceous species in Argentina and three neighbouring countries (Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia) and determine their aggressiveness on wheat varieties. Statistical differences among isolates, culture media, and development conditions were found for conidia colour, growth rate, size and sporulation rate. Pathogenicity tests performed on seedlings with 19 isolates of Magnaporthe spp. under greenhouse conditions showed a maximum disease severity of 55.3% and 66.7% for varieties BIOINTA 3004 and Baguette 18, respectively. Weed and grass isolates were infectious on wheat, demonstrating their potential epidemiological role on the disease. Spike disease severity was 34.6% for the host × pathogen interaction of BIOINTA 3004 × PY22. Observed symptoms included partial or total spike bleaching, and glume and rachis discolouration. The 1000-grain weight was significantly reduced to 38.5% and 63.1% for cultivars BIOINTA 3004 and Baguette 18, respectively. The disease affected grain germination, which fell to 65.9% for seeds infected with the PYAR22 isolate. Symptoms observed in infected grains were partial spotting, grain softening, and rot symptoms with the presence of a greyish mould.
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Antifungal activity of Biscogniauxia sp. culture filtrates against the rice pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae

An ethyl acetate extract of a culture filtrate (ECF) from an unidentified fungal isolate O821 was evaluated for antifungal activity against the rice pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. The O821-ECF significantly inhibited spore germination, appressorium formation, and mycelial growth of M. oryzae, and its antifungal activity was heat-stable. It also significantly suppressed the number and size of blast lesions. In an analysis of the ITS sequence of this isolate, it shared similarities with species of the fungus Biscogniauxia. These results suggest that isolate O821 of the genus Biscogniauxia produces a heat-stable antifungal compound(s) in its culture filtrate.
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Cropping system diversification for food production in Mindanao rubber plantations: a rice cultivar mixture and rice intercropped with mungbean

Cropping system diversification for food production in Mindanao rubber plantations: a rice cultivar mixture and rice intercropped with mungbean | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Including food production in non-food systems, such as rubber plantations and biofuel or bioenergy crops, may contribute to household food security. We evaluated the potential for planting rice, mungbean, rice cultivar mixtures, and rice intercropped with mungbean in young rubber plantations in experiments in the Arakan Valley of Mindanao in the Philippines. Rice mixtures consisted of two- or three-row strips of cultivar Dinorado, a cultivar with higher value but lower yield, and high-yielding cultivar UPL Ri-5. Rice and mungbean intercropping treatments consisted of different combinations of two- or three-row strips of rice and mungbean. We used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate the yield of each crop alone and in the mixture or intercropping treatments. We also evaluated a land equivalent ratio for yield, along with weed biomass (where Ageratum conyzoides was particularly abundant), the severity of disease caused by Magnaporthe oryzae and Cochliobolus miyabeanus, and rice bug (Leptocorisa acuta) abundance. We analyzed the yield ranking of each cropping system across site-year combinations to determine mean relative performance and yield stability. When weighted by their relative economic value, UPL Ri-5 had the highest mean performance, but with decreasing performance in low-yielding environments. A rice and mungbean intercropping system had the second highest performance, tied with high-value Dinorado but without decreasing relative performance in low-yielding environments. Rice and mungbean intercropped with rubber have been adopted by farmers in the Arakan Valley.
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There was evidence that panicle blast was higher in Dinorado in the 0.2 MB intercrop and lower in the 0.5 MB intercrop in 2006 compared to other treatments (Table S10). Leaf blast could be evaluated in 2007 and 2008. Leaf blast severity was generally higher in Dinorado than in ULP Ri-5 (Table S12), but there were no significant cropping treatment effects (Table S13).
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Identification of SNP for rice blast resistance gene Pike and development of the gene-specific markers

Identification of SNP for rice blast resistance gene Pike and development of the gene-specific markers | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Rice blast disease caused by Magnaporthe oryzae is an important limiting factor to rice production in the world. Introgression of blast resistance genes into improved germplasm by marker-assisted selection has been considered as an effective and environmentally beneficial means to control this disease. Pike, a broad-spectrum blast resistance gene, was cloned by map-based strategy recently in our laboratory. Two adjacent CC-NBS-LRR genes (designated as Pike-1 and Pike-2) were required for Pike-mediated resistance. In the current study, sequence alignment of the SNP G1328C and the SNP-surrounding region let us find that the Pik DNA variants of the studied rice lines appear to be divided into G-, C-, T- and G’-types. Based on the four genotypes, a Pike-specific marker system consisting of three PCR-based markers CP-G1328C, CP-G1328T and CP-G1328G’ was developed and used to effectively differentiate G-type allele from each of the others. Using this marker system, we investigated distribution of the Pik DNA variants in a set of 326 rice varieties or breeding lines and found that there were 2, 130, 135 and 59 rice lines identified to carry G-, C-, T- and G’-type alleles, respectively. In addition, with sequence data of the SNP G1328C-containing genomic region derived from 56 rice lines, we constructed a phylogenetic tree with three major clades which just corresponded to the types of the Pik DNA variants described above.
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Frontiers | Using Population and Comparative Genomics to Understand the Genetic Basis of Effector-Driven Fungal Pathogen Evolution | Plant Microbe Interactions

Frontiers | Using Population and Comparative Genomics to Understand the Genetic Basis of Effector-Driven Fungal Pathogen Evolution | Plant Microbe Interactions | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Epidemics caused by fungal plant pathogens pose a major threat to agro-ecosystems and impact global food security. High-throughput sequencing enabled major advances in understanding how pathogens cause disease on crops. Hundreds of fungal genomes are now available and analyzing these genomes highlighted the key role of effector genes in disease. Effectors are small secreted proteins that enhance infection by manipulating host metabolism. Fungal genomes carry 100s of putative effector genes, but the lack of homology among effector genes, even for closely related species, challenges evolutionary and functional analyses. Furthermore, effector genes are often found in rapidly evolving chromosome compartments which are difficult to assemble. We review how population and comparative genomics toolsets can be combined to address these challenges. We highlight studies that associated genome-scale polymorphisms with pathogen lifestyles and adaptation to different environments. We show how genome-wide association studies can be used to identify effectors and other pathogenicity-related genes underlying rapid adaptation. We also discuss how the compartmentalization of fungal genomes into core and accessory regions shapes the evolution of effector genes. We argue that an understanding of genome evolution provides important insight into the trajectory of host-pathogen co-evolution

Via Christophe Jacquet, Francis Martin
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Population Dynamics Among six Major Groups of the Oryza rufipogon Species Complex, Wild Relative of Cultivated Asian Rice

Population Dynamics Among six Major Groups of the Oryza rufipogon Species Complex, Wild Relative of Cultivated Asian Rice | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Our results suggest that the cultivated aus subpopulation is most closely related to an annual wild relative, japonica to a perennial wild relative, and indica to an admixed population of diverse annual and perennial wild ancestors. Gene flow between ORSC and O. sativa is common in regions where rice is cultivated, threatening the identity and diversity of wild ORSC populations. The three geographically isolated ORSC populations harbor variation rarely seen in cultivated rice and provide a unique window into the genetic composition of ancient rice subpopulations.
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Virulence spectrum of populations of Pyricularia oryzae in irrigated rice ecosystems in Kenya

Virulence spectrum of populations of Pyricularia oryzae in irrigated rice ecosystems in Kenya | Rice Blast | Scoop.it
Pyricularia oryzae is a common pathogen in rice fields causing significant yield loss in Kenya. The virulence spectrum of the populations of P. oryzae in irrigated ecosystems in Kenya is not fully understood. Fifty-one rice lines carrying single resistance genes, recurrent parents and 3 local varieties were field-evaluated at Mwea, West Kano and Gamba to characterize virulence spectrum of populations of P. oryzae. West Kano, Mwea and Gamba had 68.63 %, 49.02 % and 40.2 %, respectively of the lines showing susceptibility to the populations of P. oryzae. The virulence spectrum of the populations of P. oryzae varied significantly suggesting the existence of a high pathogenic variability at the three locations. Lines with Piz-t, Pik-s, Pik-p, Pik-h, Piz-5, Piz, Pit, Pish, Pi1, Pi5 (t), Pi12 (t), Pik-m, Pita-2, Pib and Pik were resistant to the population of P. oryzae at various locations. A local variety, BW196 was resistant to the populations of P. oryzae across the locations. Some lines carrying the same resistance genes showed different reaction to the populations of P. oryzae, suggesting existence of additional genes. Variation in resistance reaction was observed for some rice lines carrying the same genes in the CO39 and Lijiangxintuanheigu (LTH) genetic backgrounds. Most promising resistance genes observed in this study would be introgressed into preferred yet susceptible rice varieties in Kenya. Resistance gene(s) in BW196 should be identified for inclusion in breeding programs.
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Mitosis during host cell-to-cell movement of Magnaporthe oryzae invasive hyphae

Same transformant of M. oryzae as shown in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu_u7iPTbbg An invasive hypha enters a new host rice cell, the video shows th
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Plant Tolerance to Combined Stress: An Overview - Springer

The demand for food is predicted to increase by 70% in 2050 due to increasing world population. Efforts are being made to increase food production. However, abiotic and biotic stresses, which tend to reduce crop yield and grain quality, are hindering these efforts. Significant improvement in crop productivity can be accomplished by developing plants tolerant to multiple abiotic and biotic stresses. Plants adapt and tolerate multiple stresses using sophisticated biochemical and molecular mechanisms. These are mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phytohormones such as abscisic acid, ethylene, jasmonic acid and salicylic acid which in turn regulate ion channels and kinase cascades. Several transcription factors (TFs) including WRKY, ERF, NAC, and MYB TFs are involved in this process. Understanding these known and novel mechanisms is an important step toward developing tolerance to multiple stresses. Future directions in this field for enhancing crop productivity are discussed.
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