Small RNA functions are required for growth and development of magnaporthe oryzae

Vidhyavathi Raman, Stacey A. Simon, Feray Demirci, Mayumi Nakano, Blake C. Meyers, Nicole M. Donofrio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


RNA interference (RNAi) is conserved in eukaryotic organisms, and it has been well studied in many animal and plant species and some fungal species, yet it is not well studied in fungal plant pathogens. In the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, we examined small RNA (sRNA) and their biogenesis in the context of growth and pathogenicity. Through genetic and genomic analyses, we demonstrate that loss of a single gene encoding Dicer, RNA-dependent RNApolymerase, or Argonaute reduces sRNA levels. These three proteins are required for the biogenesis of sRNA-matching genome-wide regions (coding regions, repeats, and intergenic regions). The loss of one Argonaute reduced both sRNA and fungal virulence on barley leaves. Transcriptome analysis of multiple mutants revealed that sRNA play an important role in transcriptional regulation of repeats and intergenic regions in M. oryzae. Together, these data support that M. oryzae sRNA regulate developmental processes including, fungal growth and virulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-530
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


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