Rice is seemingly the most urgent nourishment crops providing a quarter of calories consumption. About 23 per cent of calories consumed by people around the world are from rice alone. Rice blast is one of the major constraints for rice production. It is not only one of the earliest known plant diseases, but also one of the most widespread in any region of the world where rice is grown. The fungus has a wide host range and infects more than 100 species. A total of six isolates of rice blast collected from different locations in Coimbatore and Erode districts. The isolates were confirmed phenotypically through morphological characters. The isolates were also confirmed through molecular methods. Characterization by morphological and molecular methods will, therefore, be helpful in identifying and managing rice blast precautionarily.
Key words : Rice blast, M. oryzae, molecular characterization, management .