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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2001 Sep;65(9):1933-48.

Chemotaxis of fungal zoospores, with special reference to Aphanomyces cochlioides.

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Division of Applied Bioscience, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Zoospores of phytopathogenic fungi accumulate at the potential infection sites of host roots by chemotaxis. The aggregated spores then adhere, encyst, germinate, and finally penetrate into the root tissues to initiate infection. Some of the host-specific attractants have already been identified. The host-specific attractants also induce cell differentiation of certain zoospores under laboratory conditions. This indicates that a signal released from the roots of the host plant guides the pest propagules for orientation and prepares them for establishing a host-pathogen relationship by necessary physiological changes. Some non-host plant secondary metabolites were found to markedly regulate behavior and viability of zoospores, suggesting that non-host compounds may also play a role in protecting the non-host plants from the attack of zoosporic fungi. We hypothesized that zoospores perceive the host signal(s) by specific G-protein-coupled receptors and translate it into responses by way of the phosphoinositide-Ca2+ signaling cascade. The details of the signal transduction mechanism in fungal zoospores are yet to be discovered. In this report, we review the signaling and communications between phytopathogenic fungal zoospores and host and non-host plants with special reference to Aphanomyces cochlioides.

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