Date of this Version
Nature Reviews: Microbiology (March 2009) 7: 185-195; DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2032.
The filamentous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae causes rice blast, the most serious disease of cultivated rice. Cellular differentiation of M. oryzae forms an infection structure called the appressorium, which generates enormous cellular turgor that is sufficient to rupture the plant cuticle. Here, we show how functional genomics approaches are providing new insight into the genetic control of plant infection by M. oryzae. We also look ahead to the key questions that need to be addressed to provide a better understanding of the molecular processes that lead to plant disease and the prospects for sustainable control of rice blast.