According to the researchers, M. grisea is the most destructive pathogen of rice worldwide. The fungus serves as the principal model organism for elucidating the molecular basis of fungal disease in plants.
M. grisea's genome, published in draft form in this week's issue of Nature, encodes a large and diverse set of secreted proteins, including a number with unusual carbohydrate-binding domains, the scientists said. Experiments showed that several genes involved in fungal pathogenesis are upregulated during the early stages of infection-related development.
For the draft genome, 2,273 sequence contigs of longer t
This is the first analysis of the genome of a plant pathogenic fungus, the scientists wrote.
The scientific consortium, which included over 35 scientists from the US, England, France and Korea, was led by Bruce Birren of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Ralph Dean of the Center for Integrated Fungal Research at North Carolina State University.