UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


The Role of Rice Leaf Surface Properties in the Appressorium Formation of Magnaporthe oryzae

Nicholas A. Bohlim, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Sangjin Ryu, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Donghee Lee, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Copyright (c) 2016 Nicholas A. Bohlim , Sangjin Ryu , Donghee Lee


The organism Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the leading causes of rice blast fungus, a disease that greatly affects rice crop yields. Given that rice supplies around twenty percent of the world’s total calories consumed, it is important to investigate factors that affect its harmful progression.

The goal of this study is to determine the effects of surface properties in the attachment of M. oryzae to the rice leaf, and how these properties affect appressorium formation. Properties investigated include stiffness, thickness, surface roughness, and wettability. For repeatability, a silicone-based elastomer with which these variables could be controlled was fabricated.

Tests were first carried out to mimic the surface roughness of the rice leaf. Surface roughness for both rice leaf surfaces and elastomer substrates were measured using a goniometer. Data from these test were compiled with Excel. Following these initial tests, substrates of varying thicknesses were created to test appressorium formation.