Silencing the crowd: high-throughput functional genomics in Magnaporthe oryzae

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A new high-throughput RNA-silencing system has been developed for use in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, allowing rapid generation of transformants in which individual genes have been silenced. Development of this system will allow large-scale functional analysis of genes in the fungus to define the cellular processes required for plant infection and disease symptoms. Functional analysis of 37 genes predicted to be involved in calcium signalling was carried out by RNA silencing to validate the new strategy and has provided new insight into the role of calcium-mediated signal transduction in plant pathogenic fungi.

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