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Trends Genet. 1992 May;8(5):174-80.

Ustilago maydis, the delightful blight.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0448, USA.


Recent studies of the corn smut fungus life cycle and its regulation by two mating type loci and other genes provide a cornucopia of challenges in cell biology, genetics and protein structure. The fungus can exist in two states: nonpathogenic and pathogenic. The change from one state to the other is accompanied by a change in morphology (yeast-like to filamentous) and growth properties (saprophytic to parasitic).

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