Rice blast disease remains the most destructive disease of cultivated rice worldwide. Considering that rice is the staple food for more than half of the human population, the disease is a significant threat to food security for many nations. It is, therefore, imperative to devise novel and stable control strategies for the disease, which requires the understanding of the pathogen, rice blast fungus, and its interaction with rice or other host plants.
The International Rice Blast Conference (IRBC) has been the forum to foster collaboration in rice blast research among scientists around the world. Not surprisingly, much progress has been made on the research of the biology, genomics, host-pathogen interactions, resistance, and disease management of rice blast since the last IRBC in Jeju, South Korea, in 2013. To share recent advancements in the scientific research and to broaden our understanding of the disease, we host the IRBC07 in Manila, Philippines.