Development and pathogenesis share the common features of responding to environmental conditions to execute a program of gene expression resulting in new cell types.

An important question in plant pathogenesis is to understanding the functions of pathogen effectors and their host target(s). Fungal effectors play roles in suppressing host defense mechanisms, however, other biotrophic functions, such as manipulating host physiology to promote nutrient acquisition and cell-to-cell movement are possible. Therefore, identification of the full set of fungal proteins secreted during host invasion is a major effort in plant pathology research. Candidate effectors are generally identified by virtue of i) their expression in planta ii) assessing their activity on the host using purified proteins or by manipulating expression iii) detecting the rapid evolution of effector genes due to selective pressure from the host. My lab is using a combination of these approaches to identify and characterize a gene family of putative effectors from Magnaporthe oryzae, the rice blast fungus and define interactions with monocot hosts.

selected publications
Academic Articles66
  • Zhong, Z., Lin, L., Zheng, H., Bao, J., Chen, M., Zhang, L., ... Wang, Z. (2020). Emergence of a hybrid PKS-NRPS secondary metabolite cluster in a clonal population of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.. Environ Microbiol. 22(7), 2709-2723.
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  • Han, Y., Song, L., Peng, C., Liu, X., Liu, L., Zhang, Y., ... Lu, G. (2019). A Magnaporthe Chitinase Interacts with a Rice Jacalin-Related Lectin to Promote Host Colonization.. Plant Physiol. 179(4), 1416-1430.
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  • Zhang, L., Zhang, D., Chen, Y., Ye, W., Lin, Q., Lu, G., ... Wang, Z. (2019). Magnaporthe oryzae CK2 Accumulates in Nuclei, Nucleoli, at Septal Pores and Forms a Large Ring Structure in Appressoria, and Is Involved in Rice Blast Pathogenesis.. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 9(APR), 113.
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  • Zhong, Z., Chen, M., Lin, L., Han, Y., Bao, J., Tang, W., ... Wang, Z. (2018). Population genomic analysis of the rice blast fungus reveals specific events associated with expansion of three main clades.. ISME J. 12(8), 1867-1878.
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  • WANG, B., Ebbole, D. J., & WANG, Z. (2017). The arms race between Magnaporthe oryzae and rice: Diversity and interaction of Avr and R genes. Journal of Integrative Agriculture. 16(12), 2746-2760.
  • Borkovich, K. A., & Ebbole, D. J. (2010). Cellular and Molecular Biology of Filamentous Fungi. ASM Press.
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  • Xue, C., Ebbole, D. J., & Heitman, J. (2010). How Fungi Sense Sugars, Alcohols, and Amino Acids. Cellular and Molecular Biology of Filamentous Fungi. 467-479. ASM Press.
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  • Ebbole, D. J. (2010). The Conidium. Cellular and Molecular Biology of Filamentous Fungi. 577-590. ASM Press.
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  • Dean, R. A., Mitchell, T., Kulkarni, R., Donofrio, N., Powell, A., Oh, Y. Y., ... Birren, B. W. (2007). The rice blast story: from genome sequence to function. Exploitation of Fungi. 10-22. Cambridge University Press.
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Conference Papers5
  • Ebbole, D. J., Han, Y., Chen, M. L., Zheng, W., Wu, X., Lu, G., & Wang, Z. H. (2017). Analysis of a virulence gene family of Pyricularia from cereal and grass hosts. PHYTOPATHOLOGY. 107(12), 82-82.
  • Chen, M. L., Han, Y., Zheng, W., Wu, X., Lu, G., Wang, Z., & Ebbole, D. J. (2017). Characterization of a 21 member effector gene family from the rice blast fungus. PHYTOPATHOLOGY. 107(12), 83-83.
  • Lu, G., Wolf, H., Shang, Y., Filippi, C., Bhattarai, K., Li, D., & Ebbole, D. J. (2009). Developing Resources for Analysis of Secreted Proteins from Magnaporthe oryzae. ADVANCES IN GENETICS, GENOMICS AND CONTROL OF RICE BLAST DISEASE. 113-124.
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  • Chen, S., Gowda, M., Venu, R. C., Songkumarn, P., Park, C. H., Bellizzi, M., Ebbole, D. J., & Wang, G. (2009). Isolation and Functional Analysis of Putative Effectors from Magnaporthe oryzae Using Integrated Genomic Approaches. ADVANCES IN GENETICS, GENOMICS AND CONTROL OF RICE BLAST DISEASE. 93-103.
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  • Ebbole, D. (2000). Neurospora: a new (?) model system for microbial genetics. Trends in Genetics. 16(7), 291-292.
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Repository Documents / Preprints1
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chaired theses and dissertations
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mailing address
Texas A&M University; Plant Pathology & Microbiology; 2132 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2132