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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1575430, 9 pages
Research Article

An Ash1-Like Protein MoKMT2H Null Mutant Is Delayed for Conidium Germination and Pathogenesis in Magnaporthe oryzae

Beijing Key Laboratory of New Technique in Agricultural Application College of Plant Science and Technology, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing 100026, China

Received 2 June 2016; Revised 15 July 2016; Accepted 19 July 2016

Academic Editor: Vijai Bhadauria

Copyright © 2016 Zhaojun Cao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ash1 is a known H3K36-specific histone demethylase that is required for normal Hox gene expression and fertility in Drosophila and mammals. However, little is known about the expression and function of the fungal ortholog of Ash1 in phytopathogenic fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Here we report that MoKMT2H, an Ash1-like protein, is required for conidium germination and virulence in rice. We obtained MoKMT2H null mutant (MoKMT2H) using a target gene replacement strategy. In the MoKMT2H null mutants, global histone methyltransferase modifications (H3K4me3, H3K9me3, H3K27me3, and H3K36me2/3) of the genome were unaffected. The MoKMT2H mutants showed no defect in vegetative hyphal growth, conidium morphology, conidiation, or disease lesion formation on rice leaves. However, the MoKMT2H deletion mutants were delayed for conidium germination and consequently had decreased virulence. Taken together, our results indicated that MoKMT2H plays an important role in conidium germination during appressorium formation in the rice blast fungus and perhaps other pathogenic plant fungi.