Opendata, web and dolomites


Retooling plant immunity for resistance to blast fungi

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "BLASTOFF" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Norwich Research Park, Colney Lane
postcode: NR47UH

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 2˙491˙893 €
 EC max contribution 2˙491˙893 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-09-01   to  2022-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE SAINSBURY LABORATORY UK (NORWICH) coordinator 1˙874˙187.00
2    JOHN INNES CENTRE UK (NORWICH) participant 617˙706.00


 Project objective

Plant NLR-type immune receptors tend to have a narrow spectrum of pathogen recognition, which is currently limiting their value in agriculture. NLRs can recognize pathogen effectors through unconventional domains that have evolved by duplication of an effector target followed by fusion into the NLR. One NLR with an integrated domain is the rice resistance protein Pik-1, which binds an effector of the blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae via its Heavy-Metal Associated (HMA) domain. We solved the crystal structure of the HMA domain of Pik-1 in complex with a blast fungus effector and gained an unprecedented level of detail of the molecular interactions that define pathogen recognition. This led to the overall aim of this proposal to generate a complete picture of the biophysical interactions between blast fungus effectors and HMA-containing cereal proteins to guide the retooling of the plant immune system towards resistance to blast diseases. M. oryzae is a general cereal killer that infects wheat, barley and rice, which are staple food for a majority of the world population. The central hypothesis of the proposed research is that mutations in cereal HMA-containing proteins will result in broad-spectrum resistance to blast fungi.

To achieve our goal, we will pursue the following objectives:

1. BIOPHYSICS. Define the biophysical properties that underpin binding of M. oryzae effectors to HMA-containing proteins of cereal crops.

2. RECEPTOR ENGINEERING. Develop Pik-1 receptors that respond to a wide-spectrum of M. oryzae effectors.

3. GENOME EDITING. Mutate HMA domain-containing genes in cereal genomes to confer broad-spectrum blast resistance.

At the completion of this project, we will generate a thorough understanding of the biophysical properties of pathogen effector binding to cereal HMA proteins, and deliver traits and non-transgenic cultivars for breeding blast disease resistance in cereal crops.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Adam R Bentham, Rafał Zdrzałek, Juan Carlos De la Concepcion, Mark J Banfield
Uncoiling CNLs: Structure/function approaches to understanding CC domain function in plant NLRs
published pages: , ISSN: 0032-0781, DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcy185
Plant and Cell Physiology 2019-05-23
2018 Aleksandra Białas, Erin K. Zess, Juan Carlos De la Concepcion, Marina Franceschetti, Helen G. Pennington, Kentaro Yoshida, Jessica L. Upson, Emilie Chanclud, Chih-Hang Wu, Thorsten Langner, Abbas Maqbool, Freya A. Varden, Lida Derevnina, Khaoula Belhaj, Koki Fujisaki, Hiromasa Saitoh, Ryohei Terauchi, Mark J. Banfield, Sophien Kamoun
Lessons in Effector and NLR Biology of Plant-Microbe Systems
published pages: 34-45, ISSN: 0894-0282, DOI: 10.1094/mpmi-08-17-0196-fi
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 31/1 2019-05-27
2018 Jessica L Upson, Erin K Zess, Aleksandra Białas, Chih-hang Wu, Sophien Kamoun
The coming of age of EvoMPMI: evolutionary molecular plant–microbe interactions across multiple timescales
published pages: 108-116, ISSN: 1369-5266, DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2018.03.003
Current Opinion in Plant Biology 44 2019-05-23
2019 Apinya Longya, Chaivarakun Chaipanya, Marina Franceschetti, Josephine H.R. Maidment, Mark James Banfield, Chatchawan Jantasuriyarat
Gene duplication and mutation in the emergence of a novel aggressive allele of the AVR-Pik effector in the rice blast fungus
published pages: , ISSN: 0894-0282, DOI: 10.1094/mpmi-09-18-0245-r
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 2019-05-23
2018 Thorsten Langner, Sophien Kamoun, Khaoula Belhaj
CRISPR Crops: Plant Genome Editing Toward Disease Resistance
published pages: 479-512, ISSN: 0066-4286, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-080417-050158
Annual Review of Phytopathology 56/1 2019-05-27
2019 Dipali Rani Gupta, Claudia Sarai Reyes Avila, Joe Win, Darren M. Soanes, Lauren S. Ryder, Daniel Croll, Pallab Bhattacharjee, Md. Shaid Hossain, Nur Uddin Mahmud, Md. Shabab Mehebub, Musrat Zahan Surovy, Md. Mahbubur Rahman, Nicholas J. Talbot, Sophien Kamoun, M. Tofazzal Islam
Cautionary Notes on Use of the MoT3 Diagnostic Assay for Magnaporthe oryzae Wheat and Rice Blast Isolates
published pages: 504-508, ISSN: 0031-949X, DOI: 10.1094/phyto-06-18-0199-le
Phytopathology 109/4 2019-05-23

Are you the coordinator (or a participant) of this project? Plaese send me more information about the "BLASTOFF" project.

For instance: the website url (it has not provided by EU-opendata yet), the logo, a more detailed description of the project (in plain text as a rtf file or a word file), some pictures (as picture files, not embedded into any word file), twitter account, linkedin page, etc.

Send me an  email ( and I put them in your project's page as son as possible.

Thanks. And then put a link of this page into your project's website.

The information about "BLASTOFF" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

More projects from the same programme (H2020-EU.1.1.)

VictPart (2019)

Righting Victim Participation in Transitional Justice

Read More  


The Enemy of the Good: Towards a Theory of Moral Progress

Read More  

Photopharm (2020)

Photopharmacology: From Academia toward the Clinic.

Read More