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VIEW ARTICLE   |    DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-8-0949

Genetic Analysis of Sporulation in Magnaporthe grisea by Chemical and Insertional Mutagenesis. Zhixin Shi . Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6430, U.S.A. Hei Leung. Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6430, U.S.A. MPMI 8:949-959. Accepted 28 August 1995. Copyright 1995 The American Phytopathological Society.

Chemical and plasmid insertional mutagenesis were used to genetically define critical steps in the sporulation pathway of the rice blast fungus. Six mutants with altered conidiogenesis and spore morphology were genetically and phenotypically characterized. Two mutations, designated con5- and con6-, completely abolish conidial production. A series of mutations (con1-, con2-, con4-, and con7-) downstream from con5- and con6- affect the development of conidia and reduce sporulation. The con1- and con2- mutations block early steps in conidiogenesis, resulting in >90% reduction in sporulation and the production of abnormally shaped conidia. The con2- mutant is completely aconidial in the dark but produces mostly nonseptate or two-celled conidia under continuous illumination. An independent mutation {con3-) that regulates light response for sporulalion was isolated from the con2- mutant. The con4- and con7- mutants produce conidia of abnormal cell shape and reduce sporulation by approximately 35%. Formation of appressoria, the infection structure required for penetration of plant cells, is blocked in the con1- and con7- mutants, and reduced by 70 and 22% in the con2- and con4- mutants, respectively. Palhogenicity on rice is lost in the con1- and con7- mutants and significantly reduced in the con2- and con4- mutants. Five mutations (con1-B-, con41, con5-, con6-, and con7-) derived from plasmid transformation showed perfect cosegregation with hygromycin B resistance, indicating that the mutations are caused by insertional inactivation. Pairwise crosses between mutants suggested linkages between C0N2 and CON1 (19 cM apart), and between CONS and CON6. A schematic sporulation pathway is deduced based on mutant phenotypes and the epistatic relationships among different mutations.

Additional Keywords: fungal development, Magnaporthe grisea, pleiotropy, Pyricularia