Chang Hyun Khang
Assistant Professor
Plant Sciences, Rm 1603
Phone Number:  706-542-0461
Office/Lab:  Plant Sciences, Rm 1602
Phone Number: 

Ph.D. Plant Pathology , Penn State University 2005

M.S. Plant Pathology , Seoul National University 2000

Research Projects: 

Fungi are major pathogens of plants, acting like thieves who come only to steal and destroy. Other fungi are beneficial to plants, enhancing plant productivity. We are interested in understanding what makes fungi pathogenic or beneficial to plants. The mission of the Khang laboratory is to advance our knowledge on cellular and molecular biology of plant-fungal interactions. This knowledge will provide a foundation to solve global food challenges.

To achieve successful colonization, intracellular pathogenic and beneficial fungi must secrete effector proteins into living host cells and acquire nutrients from them. Fascinating, but largely unanswered, questions are how fungi know when to produce effector proteins, how effector proteins are delivered into host cells and what these proteins do inside host cells, how effector genes evolve, and what strategies fungi use to secure nutrients from living host cells. We are addressing these questions by studying rice blast disease, which is caused by the hemibiotrophic, ascomycetous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Our laboratory uses a combination of molecular genetics, cell biology, genomics, and biochemistry approaches.

Grant Support: 

US Department of Agriculture, 2009 – 2012, “On the Mechanism of Secretion of Rice Blast Effectors Inside Living Rice Cells”. PI: Valent, B.; Co-PIs: Khang, C.H. and Park, S.

Recent Publications: 
  • Park, S-Y, Choi, J., Lim, S-E, Lee, G-W, Park, J., Kim, Y., Kong, S., Kim, S. R., Rho, H-S, Jeon, J., Chi, M-H, Kim, S., Khang, C. H., Kang, S., and Lee, Y-H.  2013.  Global expression profiling of transcription factor genes provides new insights into pathogenicity and stress responses in the rice blast fungus.  PLoS Pathogen 9(6):e1003350.
  • Park, C-H, Chen, S., Shirsekar, G., Zhou, B., Khang, C.H., Songkumarn, P., Afzal, A.J., Ning, Y., Wang, R., Bellizzi, M., Valent, B., Wang, G-L. 2012.  The Magnaporthe oryzae effector AvrPiz-t targets the RING E3 ubiquitin ligase APIP6 to suppress pathogen-associated molecular pattern–triggered immunity in rice.  The Plant Cell 24:4748-4762
  • Khang, C.H.+, Berruyer, R.+, Giraldo, M.C., Kankanala, P., Park, S., Czymmek, K., Kang, S. and Valent, B. 2010. Translocation of Magnaporthe oryzae effectors into rice cells and their subsequent cell-to-cell movement. Plant Cell 22:1388-1403. (+First co-authors)
  • Valent, B and Khang, C.H. 2010. Recent advances in rice blast effector research. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 13:434-441.
  • Mosquera, G., Giraldo, M., Khang, C.H., Coughlan, S. and Valent, B. 2009. Interaction transcriptome analysis identifies biotrophy-associated secreted proteins in rice blast disease. Plant Cell 21:1273-1290.
  • Yi, M., Chi, M., Khang, C.H., Park, S., Kang, S., Valent, B., and Lee, Y. 2009. The ER chaperone MoLHS1 is involved in asexual development and rice infection by the blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Plant Cell 21:681-695.
  • Khang, C.H., Park, S., Lee, Y., Valent, B., and Kang, S. 2008. Genome organization and evolution of the AVR-Pita avirulence gene family in the Magnaporthe grisea species complex. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 21:658-670.
  • Jeon, J., Park, S., Chi, M., Choi, J., Park, J., Rho, H., Kim, S., Goh, J., Yoo, S., Choi, J., Park, J., Yi, M., Yang, S., Kwon, M., Han, S., Kim, B., Khang, C.H., Park, B., Lim, S., Jung, K., Kong, S., Karunakaran, M., Oh, H., Kim, H., Kim, S., Park, J., Kang, S., Choi, W., Kang, S., and Lee, Y. 2007. Genome-wide functional analysis of pathogenicity genes in rice blast fungus. Nature Genetics 39: 561-565.