Modulating pathogen functions control sheath blight disease: study
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A recent study conducted by Indian researchers has discovered that modulating the functions of the pathogen responsible for sheath blight disease could be a game changer in the fight against the menacing rice disease.
- Rice is a staple food all over the world and 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.
- Sheath blight disease caused by a necrotrophic fungal pathogen (Rhizoctonia solani) is a big threat to rice crops. Millions of tonnes of rice are lost due to this disease every year.
- The study by the New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) is important towards understanding the sheath blight pathogen. It affects not just rice but also tomatoes and many other crops.
- It will also help in developing a strategy to control the disease, say researchers at NIPGR.
- “We discovered that silencing of one of the transcription factors ie C2H2 Zn finger transcription factor (RS_CRZ1), significantly compromises the pathogenesis of R. solani in tomato,” scientist at NIPGR, said.