Modulating Pathogen Functions

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Modulating Pathogen Functions

  • Indian researchers have recently discovered that modulating the functions of the pathogens responsible for sheath blight disease could be a game changer in the fight against the menacing rice disease.
  • India is the second-largest producer and consumer of rice at the global level.
  • Production of rice in India is limited by several biotic and abiotic factors.
Modulating Pathogen Functions

Sheath Blight Disease and Its Effect

  • Sheath blight disease caused by necrotrophic fungal pathogen is a big threat to rice crops.
  • The pathogen affects not just rice but also tomatoes and many other crops.
  • The silencing of one of the transcription factors significantly compromises the pathogenesis of R. solani in tomato.
  • A transcription factor is a protein that controls the rate of transcription of genetic information from Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to messenger RNA, by binding to a specific DNA sequence.
  • Sheath blight is predominantly controlled by spraying of fungicides.
  • The residual level of fungicides adds negative trade value, as beyond permissible level, the rice is considered not suitable for international trade.
  • Beside rice, the pathogen is known to cause disease on a wide range of agriculturally important crops, including tomato.
  • Hence, development of environment friendly and sustainable disease control measures is needed to control this pathogen.

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