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Scientists Sequence Genome of Destructive Rice Pathogen M. grisea

NEW YORK, April 22 (GenomeWeb News) - Scientists have sequenced the genome sequence of the rice pathogen Magnaprothe grisea.


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 than2 kilobases in length were sequenced, the scientists said. The contigs are ordered and orientated within 159 scaffolds. The total length of all the sequence contigs is 38.8 megabases, and the total length of the scaffolds, including estimated sizes for gaps, is 40.3 Mb.


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.

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