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Plant Cell. Nov 1997; 9(11): 1973–1983.
PMCID: PMC157051

The adenylate cyclase gene MAC1 of Magnaporthe grisea controls appressorium formation and other aspects of growth and development.


Magnaporthe grisea, the causal agent of rice blast disease, differentiates a specialized infection structure called an appressorium that is crucial for host plant penetration. Previously, it was found that cAMP regulates appressorium formation. To further understand the cellular mechanisms involved in appressorium formation, we have cloned a gene (MAC1) encoding adenylate cyclase, a membrane-bound enzyme that catalyzes the production of cAMP from ATP, by using a polymerase chain reaction-based strategy. The entire gene was isolated and subcloned from a large insert bacterial artificial chromosome library. Sequence characterization showed that MAC1 has a high degree of identity with other adenylate cyclase genes from several filamentous fungi as well as yeasts. Gene deletion resulted in reduced vegetative growth, conidiation, and conidial germination. Transformants lacking MAC1 were unable to form appressoria on an inductive surface and were unable to penetrate susceptible rice leaves. mac1- transformants were also sterile and produced no perithecia. Appressorium formation was restored in the presence of exogenous cAMP derivatives. These results confirm that cell signaling involving cAMP plays a central role in the development and pathogenicity of M. grisea.

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Selected References

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