Estimates of biomechanical forces in Magnaporthe grisea

Alain Goriely, Michael Tabor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The mechanical actions of the fungus Magnaporthe grisea raise many intriguing questions concerning the forces involved. These include: (1) the material properties of the appressorial wall; (2) the strength of the adhesive that keeps the appressorium anchored to the rice leaf surface; and (3) the forces involved in the penetration process whereby a peg is driven through the host cell wall. In this paper we give order of magnitude estimates for all three of these quantities. A simple Young-Laplace law type argument is used to show that the appressorial wall elastic modulus is of order 10-100 MPa; and an adaptation of standard adhesion theory indicates a lower bound on the strength of the appressorial adhesive to be of the order 500 J/m2. Drawing on ideas from plasticity theory and ballistics, estimates of the penetration force raise interesting questions about experiments performed on the penetration of inert substrates by the fungus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-759
Number of pages5
JournalMycological Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Adhesive energy
  • Elastic modulus
  • Penetration force
  • Yield stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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