No significant differences were found in the external shape of leaf epidermal cells, including bulliform cells, between plants grown under different soil moisture conditions. Growth and orientation of the germ tube and morphology and size of the appressorium of the blast fungus did not vary with soil moisture treatment. The site of appressorium formation was consistent over the different treatments with the highest frequency on bulliform cells (35-48%), followed by short cells (19-27%) and long and guard cells (13-20%). No appressoria were formed on trichomes. These results suggest that observed differences in blast susceptibility between plants grown under different soil moisture conditions were not due to the pre-penetration activity of P. oryzae on those plants.