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New Phytol. 2015 Jan;205(2):801-15. doi: 10.1111/nph.13087. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

Simultaneous transcriptome analysis of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and tomato fruit pathosystem reveals novel fungal pathogenicity and fruit defense strategies.

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Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel.


The fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides breaches the fruit cuticle but remains quiescent until fruit ripening signals a switch to necrotrophy, culminating in devastating anthracnose disease. There is a need to understand the distinct fungal arms strategy and the simultaneous fruit response. Transcriptome analysis of fungal-fruit interactions was carried out concurrently in the appressoria, quiescent and necrotrophic stages. Conidia germinating on unripe fruit cuticle showed stage-specific transcription that was accompanied by massive fruit defense responses. The subsequent quiescent stage showed the development of dendritic-like structures and swollen hyphae within the fruit epidermis. The quiescent fungal transcriptome was characterized by activation of chromatin remodeling genes and unsuspected environmental alkalization. Fruit response was portrayed by continued highly integrated massive up-regulation of defense genes. During cuticle infection of green or ripe fruit, fungi recapitulate the same developmental stages but with differing quiescent time spans. The necrotrophic stage showed a dramatic shift in fungal metabolism and up-regulation of pathogenicity factors. Fruit response to necrotrophy showed activation of the salicylic acid pathway, climaxing in cell death. Transcriptome analysis of C. gloeosporioides infection of fruit reveals its distinct stage-specific lifestyle and the concurrent changing fruit response, deepening our perception of the unfolding fungal-fruit arms and defenses race.


anthracnose disease; appressoria; fruit-fungal interaction; necrotrophic; pathogenicity; quiescence; transcriptome

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