Targeting Magnaporthe oryzae effector MoErs1 and host papain-like protease OsRD21 interaction to combat rice blast

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Nature Plants


Effector proteins secreted by plant pathogenic fungi are important artilleries against host immunity, but there is no precedent of such effectors being explored as antifungal targets. Here we demonstrate that MoErs1, a species-specific effector protein secreted by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, inhibits the function of rice papain-like cysteine protease OsRD21 involved in rice immunity. Disrupting MoErs1–OsRD21 interaction effectively controls rice blast. In addition, we show that FY21001, a structure–function-based designer compound, specifically binds to and inhibits MoErs1 function. FY21001 significantly and effectively controls rice blast in field tests. Our study revealed a novel concept of targeting pathogen-specific effector proteins to prevent and manage crop diseases.

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