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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Discover Rice Blast Match

June 4, 2014

Scientists from the University of Delaware (UD) and the University of California Davis (UC Davis) have identified a naturally occurring microbe that inhibits the growth of rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. The beneficial soil microbe, Pseudomonas chlororaphis EA105, lives in the soil around rice plants and induces a system-wide defense response in rice plants to battle the fungus.

The research is led by Harsh Bais from UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In their study, the researchers used gene sequencing techniques to identify 11 naturally occurring bacteria isolated from rice plants grown in the field in California. These bacteria were then tested in the laboratory, with P. chlororaphis EA105 demonstrating the strongest impact on rice blast. The soil microbe reduced the formation of the anchor-like appressoria by nearly 90 percent, while also inhibiting fungal growth by 76 percent.

For more details about this research, read the news release at