Lab Introduction Korean Version

Fungal Plant Pathology Laboratory

The research goal of the laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which fungal pathogens cause disease on their host plants equipped with intrinsic defense machinery against diverse pathogens. Our studies focus particularly on the interactions between the rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe oryzae) and its host plants, rice (Oryza sativa). Many plant pathogenic fungi including M. oryzae evolved to develop the specialized infection structure, called appressorium to invade the plant tissue.

During the last decade, we have been striving to elucidate the signal transduction pathways and their integral genetic components that are involved in appressorium formation. At the same time, we have been analyzing the structure and evolution of M. oryzae population as an attempt to understand the spatial and temporal variation of fungal pathogenicity.

Genome sequencing of M. oryzae had transformed the paradigm of genetic analysis on this fungus, enabling us to undertake functional genomics. Recently we constructed large-scale mutant library using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT) and reported the discovery of 202 new pathogenicity loci through the interactive analysis of genotype and phenotype data. Detailed analysis of these loci is in progress and we anticipate that our efforts would disclose many unexpected aspects of fungal pathogenicity. We are also employing DNA Microarray technology to pinpoint the genes expressed in planta. Parallel studies have focused on elucidating the defense mechanisms of host plants against fungal pathogens. Toward this goal, we are currently investigating the mechanism of host resistance and non-host resistance using the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana as well as the rice.

Studies on fungal pathogenesis and host defense at genomic scale require the implementation of bioinformatics to process and analyze the large amount of data. Our laboratory established the web-based system to meet this requirement. Taken together, these complementary lines of our endeavors would provide not only the basis of systems biology in understanding the disease mechanisms but also the sustainable and environment-friendly strategy in controlling the plant disease.


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Email Address

Professor Yong-Hwan Lee's information and our Lab members information.


CALS 200-5113
Gwanak 599 Gwanak-ro
Gwanak-Gu, Seoul, Korea

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