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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Mar 23;101(12):4153-7. Epub 2004 Mar 9.

The plant hormone indoleacetic acid induces invasive growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Fungi must recognize plant-specific signals to initiate subsequent morphogenetic events such as filamentation that lead to infection. Here we show that the plant hormone indoleacetic acid (IAA) induces adhesion and filamentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genome expression profiling of cells treated with IAA identified Yap1, a fungal specific transcription factor, as a key mediator of this response. Strains lacking YAP1 (yap1-1) are hypersensitive to growth on IAA because they accumulate more IAA than can wild type. Members of a family of transporters the amino acid/auxin:proton symport permeases with homology to AUX1, a putative IAA transporter from plants, are up-regulated in the yap1-1 mutant. Deletion of any one of these transporters makes yap1-1 mutants more resistant to IAA by decreasing its uptake. The permease mutants are defective in IAA perception and filamentation. The ability of a fungus to perceive a plant hormone that causes it to differentiate into an invasive form has important implications for plant-pathogen interactions.

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