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Trends Biotechnol. 2009 Mar;27(3):141-50. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

Against the grain: safeguarding rice from rice blast disease.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3RB, UK.


Rice is the staple diet of more than three billion people. Yields must double over the next 40 years if we are to sustain the nutritional needs of the ever-expanding global population. Between 10% and 30% of the annual rice harvest is lost due to infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Evaluation of genetic and virulence diversity of blast populations with diagnostic markers will aid disease management. We review the M. oryzae species-specific and cultivar-specific avirulence determinants and evaluate efforts towards generating durable and broad-spectrum resistance in single resistant cultivars or mixtures. We consider modern usage of fungicides and plant defence activators, assess the usefulness of biological control and categorize current approaches towards blast-tolerant genetically modified rice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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