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Mol Plant Pathol. 2003 Nov 1;4(6):509-16. doi: 10.1046/j.1364-3703.2003.00196.x.

Pathogenic fungi: leading or led by ambient pH?

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Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, A.R.O., Bet Dagan, 50250 Israel.


Pathogenic fungi have successfully attacked a wide range of hosts, which has forced them into ambient-adaptation. pH is one of the major ambient traits affecting the activity of pathogenicity factors secreted by the pathogen, hence, a pH sensing-response system was developed to enable the pathogen to tailor its arsenal to best fit its host. The pacC palA, B, C, F, H and I apparatus was first identified in Aspergillus nidulans and later found in other fungi. Secreted pathogenicity factors, such as cell wall degrading enzymes, were recognized to be controlled by environmental pH and later shown to be regulated by the pH regulatory system, either directly or by harbouring the pacC consensus sequence. The ability of the pathogen to actively increase or decrease its surrounding pH allows it to select the specific virulence factor, out of its vast arsenal, to best fit a particular host.

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