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Fungal Genet Biol. 2002 Feb;35(1):1-20.

The Ustilaginales as plant pests and model systems.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-7274, USA.


The Ustilaginales are a vast and diverse group of fungi, which includes the plant pathogenic smuts that cause significant losses to crops worldwide. Members of the Ustilaginales are also valuable models for the unraveling of fundamental mechanisms controlling important biological processes. Ustilago maydis is an important fungal model system and has been well studied with regard to mating, morphogenesis, pathogenicity, signal transduction, mycoviruses, DNA recombination, and, recently, genomics. In this review we discuss the life cycles of members of the Ustilaginales and provide background on their economic impact as agricultural pests. We then focus on providing a summary of the literature with special attention to topics not well covered in recent reviews such as the use of U. maydis in mycovirus research and as a model for understanding the molecular mechanisms of fungicide resistance and DNA recombination and repair.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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