Home • Pyricularia oryzae GY0011 v1.0
P. oryzae epidemics on young rice plants in West-Africa.
P. oryzae epidemics on young rice plants in West-Africa. Susceptible cultivars on left are heavily damaged by the disease, while resistant cultivars in the center are immune. Credit: J-L. Notteghem, CIRAD.
Crosses between P. oryzae isolates from different mating types
Crosses between P. oryzae isolates from different mating types. Credit: D. Tharreau, CIRAD.

The fungus Pyricularia oryzae (syn. Magnaporthe oryzae, Klaubauf et al., 2014) is an ascomycete from the Sordariomycotina (Pyriculariaceae). This species causes blast diseases on more than 50 wild and cultivated monocots, including major food crops such as rice and wheat, but individual isolates infect only one or very few plant species (Ou, 1985; Valent 2021). For instance, P. oryzae isolates from rice (Oryza sativa) are the only isolates infecting rice. Isolates from other plants such as Eleusine, Setaria, and Triticum are host specific and unable to infect rice. These host specific groups correspond to distinct genetically defined lineages (Gladieux et al., 2018a). Populations of the rice blast fungus can be further subdivided into four major genetic lineages that are genetically highly related and distributed worldwide (Gladieux et al., 2018b). A large community of scientists is studying this fungal species to decipher molecular mechanisms involved in plant-fungal interactions, and to understand the evolution of its populations. Overall, this species is one of the best-understood fungal plant pathogens (Dean et al., 2012; Deng and Naqvi, 2019; Perez-Nadales et al., 2014; Valent 2021; Yan and Talbot, 2016).

Guy11 (syn. GY0011; Leung et al., 1988) is the most widely studied isolate of P. oryzae. Its genome is largely identical to that of the laboratory isolate 70-15 generated by a complex scheme of crosses between different strains and backcrosses with Guy11. 70-15 was the first strain of a plant pathogenic fungus to be sequenced (Dean et al., 2005). Guy11 belongs to “rice” lineage 1. This lineage is genetically the most diverse and has probably been the source of the three other lineages (Gladieux et al., 2018b; Thierry et al., 2021). Guy11 was selected for its fertility in crosses, and it has been widely used for genetical and molecular studies. FR0013 belongs to rice lineage 2. Isolates assigned to lineage 2 show adaptation to temperate japonica rice. FR0013 carries multiple AVR effectors and is highly aggressive on compatible rice varieties (Thierry et al., 2021). TH0003 is also a representative of rice lineage 1. This isolate is also very fertile in crosses and widely used for genetic studies.


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