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Mating Types Analysis of Magnaporthe oryzae Populations in Coastal Odisha

Rice blast is a devastating disease which is caused by the heterothallic fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Compatible sexual recombination, which occurs between two M. oryzae strains of different mating types, can enhance genetic variability. Assessment of mating type alleles is used as a marker to measure population diversity. Forty six isolates of M. oryzae were collected from infected rice leaves from various ecosystems of coastal Odisha, India, and the mating type analysis using molecular markers was carried out. MAT1-1 mating type was dominating in all the ecosystems and MAT1-2 was found to be present in uplands as well as in irrigated fields. Both mating types could be found in the same field in irrigated ecosystem. The disease spread was very fast vertically as well as horizontally in those fields resulting in blast lesions looking as 'green islands (gi) produced in senescence leaves', and MAT1-2 was found to be associated with all gi lesions. Consequently, the management of the disease in those plots was very difficult.

Urmila Dhua, L Behera and A K Mukherjee
CRRI, Cuttack

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