The phosphorylation landscape of infection-related development by the rice blast fungus

Neftaly Cruz-Mireles, Miriam Osés-Ruiz, Paul Derbyshire, Clara Jégousse, Lauren S. Ryder, Mark Jave A. Bautista, Alice Eseola, Jan Sklenar, Bozeng Tang, Xia Yan, Weibin Ma, Kim C. Findlay, Vincent Were, Dan MacLean, Nicholas J. Talbot, Frank L. H. Menke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many of the world’s most devastating crop diseases are caused by fungal pathogens that elaborate specialized infection structures to invade plant tissue. Here, we present a quantitative mass-spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic analysis of infection-related development by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, which threatens global food security. We mapped 8,005 phosphosites on 2,062 fungal proteins following germination on a hydrophobic surface, revealing major re-wiring of phosphorylation-based signaling cascades during appressorium development. Comparing phosphosite conservation across 41 fungal species reveals phosphorylation signatures specifically associated with biotrophic and hemibiotrophic fungal infection. We then used parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) to identify phosphoproteins regulated by the fungal Pmk1 MAPK that controls plant infection by M. oryzae. We define 32 substrates of Pmk1 and show that Pmk1-dependent phosphorylation of regulator Vts1 is required for rice blast disease. Defining the phosphorylation landscape of infection therefore identifies potential therapeutic interventions for the control of plant diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2557-2573.e18
Issue number10
Early online date9 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2024

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