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Mol Plant Pathol. 2009 Jan;10(1):81-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2008.00515.x.

The Magnaporthe grisea class VII chitin synthase is required for normal appressorial development and function.

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IBWF e.V., Institute for Biotechnology and Drug Research, Erwin-Schrödinger-Str. 56, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany.


The plant pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea is able to enter its host via appressorium-mediated penetration. Earlier investigations have shown that these infection structures are rich in the cell wall polysaccharide chitin. Previously, we have described how the transcription of a class VII chitin synthase-encoding gene CHS7 is completely dependent on the putative transcription factor Con7p during the germination of conidia, and how con7(-) mutants are unable to form appressoria under any conditions tested. Because of the pleiotropic effects of the con7(-) mutation, we examined the consequences of the targeted deletion of CHS7. The chs7(-) mutants generated were unable to form appressoria on artificial surfaces, except following the application of the exogenous inducers 1,16-hexadecanediol and cyclic adenosine monophosphate. The appressoria formed had a reduced chitin content and were often found to be smaller and misshapen compared with the wild-type. chs7(-) mutants were significantly reduced in their ability to enter rice plants, but growth in planta was not affected. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated that CHS7 transcription was strongly induced on germination of spores, and a green fluorescent protein-tagged Chs7p protein was found to be produced abundantly during infection-related morphogenesis. Together, these data suggest that the class VII chitin synthase Chs7p of M. grisea is required for normal appressorium formation and function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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