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, 39 (4), 561-5

Genome-wide Functional Analysis of Pathogenicity Genes in the Rice Blast Fungus

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Genome-wide Functional Analysis of Pathogenicity Genes in the Rice Blast Fungus

Junhyun Jeon et al. Nat Genet.

Abstract

Rapid translation of genome sequences into meaningful biological information hinges on the integration of multiple experimental and informatics methods into a cohesive platform. Despite the explosion in the number of genome sequences available, such a platform does not exist for filamentous fungi. Here we present the development and application of a functional genomics and informatics platform for a model plant pathogenic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. In total, we produced 21,070 mutants through large-scale insertional mutagenesis using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. We used a high-throughput phenotype screening pipeline to detect disruption of seven phenotypes encompassing the fungal life cycle and identified the mutated gene and the nature of mutation for each mutant. Comparative analysis of phenotypes and genotypes of the mutants uncovered 202 new pathogenicity loci. Our findings demonstrate the effectiveness of our platform and provide new insights on the molecular basis of fungal pathogenesis. Our approach promises comprehensive functional genomics in filamentous fungi and beyond.

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