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Microorganisms 2017, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5010003

Using Network Extracted Ontologies to Identify Novel Genes with Roles in Appressorium Development in the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae

Wellcome Trust Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis, Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK
Academic Editor: Michael J. Bidochka
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Genomics to Infectious Disease of Plants)
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Abstract

Magnaporthe oryzae is the causal agent of rice blast disease, the most important infection of rice worldwide. Half the world’s population depends on rice for its primary caloric intake and, as such, rice blast poses a serious threat to food security. The stages of M. oryzae infection are well defined, with the formation of an appressorium, a cell type that allows penetration of the plant cuticle, particularly well studied. However, many of the key pathways and genes involved in this disease stage are yet to be identified. In this study, I have used network-extracted ontologies (NeXOs), hierarchical structures inferred from RNA-Seq data, to identify pathways involved in appressorium development, which in turn highlights novel genes with potential roles in this process. This study illustrates the use of NeXOs for pathway identification from large-scale genomics data and also identifies novel genes with potential roles in disease. The methods presented here will be useful to study disease processes in other pathogenic species and these data represent predictions of novel targets for intervention in M. oryzae. View Full-Text
Keywords: Magnaporthe oryzae; rice blast; fungal pathogen; plant pathogen; network; gene expression; RNA-Seq Magnaporthe oryzae; rice blast; fungal pathogen; plant pathogen; network; gene expression; RNA-Seq
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Ames, R.M. Using Network Extracted Ontologies to Identify Novel Genes with Roles in Appressorium Development in the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Microorganisms 2017, 5, 3.

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