What is it about?
Blast disease is a worldwide concern affecting crops like rice and wheat. During plant penetration, the causative fungus Magnaporthe oryzae secretes an enzyme called a polysaccharide monooxygenase directly that is involved in fungal entry to the plant. Genetic deletion of this enzyme results in reduced pathogenicity in rice. This work provides insight into the biochemistry of this enzyme and supports a direct role in plant infection. Inhibitors of this enzyme would represent a novel approach to control over this rice plant pathogen.
Photo by Sergio Camalich on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Preventing rice blast disease would improve crop yields and feed an additional 60 million people annually. An effective antifungal could mitigate billions of dollars in crop loss annually, incentivizing farmers to purchase an effective treatment. The findings here on rice blast could also be applied to fungal pathogens in commercially grown grapes, tomatoes, and lettuce..
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This page is a summary of: Characterization of a unique polysaccharide monooxygenase from the plant pathogen
Magnaporthe oryzae, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
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