Three key factors involved in successful plant disease development include the presence of a susceptible host, a virulent pathogen, and a disease-conducive environment. Our understanding of how environmental factors influence disease-conducive or disease-suppressive conditions, and how a pathogen advantageously capitalizes on them, is quite limited. Utilizing the model pathosystem Magnaporthe oryzae- Oryza sativa, we found a significant light-dependent disease suppression. Our genetic data suggest that the blue-light receptor MGWC-1 in M. oryzae is involved in light-dependent disease suppression during the dark-phase (disease-conducive light condition) immediately after pathogen-host contact. Sensing "darkness" is accomplished by MGWC-1, a blue-light receptor in M. oryzae. To explore the potential molecular mechanisms of light-dependent disease suppression we performed a genome-wide microarray experiment and identified several groups of gene families that are differentially regulated during the light-to-dark transition. Our genetic and molecular data provide insights into how a fungal pathogen utilizes ambient light signals for successful disease development.
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