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Plant Cell. May 1996; 8(5): 771–781.
PMCID: PMC161136

Regulatory Genes Controlling MPG1 Expression and Pathogenicity in the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe grisea.


MPG1, a pathogenicity gene of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea, is expressed during pathogenesis and in axenic culture during nitrogen or glucose limitation. We initiated a search for regulatory mutations that would impair nitrogen metabolism, MPG1 gene expression, and pathogenicity. First, we developed a pair of laboratory strains that were highly fertile and pathogenic toward barley. Using a combinatorial genetic screen, we identified mutants that failed to utilize a wide range of nitrogen sources (e.g., nitrate or amino acids) and then tested the effect of these mutations on pathogenicity. We identified five mutants and designated them Nr- (for nitrogen regulation defective). We show that two of these mutations define two genes, designated NPR1 and NPR2 (for nitrogen pathogenicity regulation), that are essential for pathogenicity and the utilization of many nitrogen sources. These genes are nonallelic to the major nitrogen regulatory gene in M. grisea and are required for expression of the pathogenicity gene MPG1. We propose that NPR1 and NPR2 are major regulators of pathogenicity in M. grisea and may be novel regulators of nitrogen metabolism in fungi.

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Selected References

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