The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea develops specialized infection structures known as appressoria, which develop enormous turgor pressure to bring about plant infection. Turgor is generated by accumulation of compatible solutes, including glycerol, which is synthesized in large quantities in the appressorium. Glycogen, trehalose and lipids represent the most abundant storage products in M. grisea conidia. Trehalose and glycogen are rapidly degraded during conidial germination and it is known that trehalose synthesis is required for virulence of the fungus. Lipid bodies are transported to the developing appressoria and degraded at the onset of turgor generation, in a process that is cAMP-dependent. A combined biochemical and genetic approach is being used to dissect the process of turgor generation in the rice blast fungus.

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