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Fungal Biol. 2012 Aug;116(8):890-901. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2012.05.006. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Appressorium morphogenesis and cell cycle progression are linked in the grass powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis.

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Universität Würzburg, Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Botanik II - Ökophysiologie & Vegetationsökologie, Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 3, D-97082 Würzburg, Germany.


Conidial germination and differentiation - the so-called prepenetration processes - of the barley powdery mildew fungus (Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei) are essential prerequisites for facilitating penetration of the host cuticle. Although the cell cycle is known to be pivotal to cellular differentiation in several phytopathogenic fungi there is as yet no information available concerning the relationship between cell cycle and infection structure development in the obligate biotroph B. graminis. The timing of specific developmental events with respect to nuclear division and morphogenesis was followed on artificial and host leaf surfaces by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining in combination with a pharmacological approach applying specific cell cycle inhibitors. It was found that the uninucleate conidia germinated and then underwent a single round of mitosis 5-6 h after inoculation. During primary germ tube formation the nucleus frequently migrated close to the site of primary germ tube emergence. This nuclear repositioning was distinctly promoted by very-long-chain aldehydes that are common host cuticular wax constituents known to induce conidial differentiation. The subsequent morphogenesis of the appressorial germ tube preceded mitosis that was spatially uncoupled from subsequent cytokinesis. Blocking of S-phase with hydroxyurea did not inhibit formation of the appressorial germ tube but prevented cytokinesis and appressorium maturation. Benomyl treatment that arrests the cell cycle in mitosis inhibited nuclear separation, cytokinesis, and formation of mature appressoria. Thus, we conclude that a completed mitosis is not a prerequisite for the formation and swelling of the appressorial germ tube, which normally provides the destination for one of the daughter nuclei, while appressorium maturation depends on mitosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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