Inhibition of Pathogenicity of the Rice Blast Fungus by Saccharomyces cerevisiae α-Factor

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Science  16 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5315, pp. 1116-1118
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5315.1116

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Magnaporthe grisea is a fungal pathogen with two mating types, MAT1-1 and MAT1-2, that forms a specialized cell necessary for pathogenesis, the appressorium.Saccharomyces cerevisiae α-factor pheromone blocked appressorium formation in a mating type–specific manner and protected plants from infection by MAT1-2 strains. Experiments with α-factor analogs suggest that the observed activity is due to a specific interaction of α-factor with an M. grisea receptor. Culture filtrates of a MAT1-1 strain contained an activity that inhibited appressorium formation of mating type MAT1-2 strains. These findings provide evidence that a pheromone response pathway exists in M. grisea that can be exploited for plant protection.

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