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F1000Res. 2018 Nov 19;7. pii: F1000 Faculty Rev-1812. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.16404.1. eCollection 2018.

Transcripts and tumors: regulatory and metabolic programming during biotrophic phytopathogenesis.

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Institute for Microbiology and Genetics, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August-University-Göttingen, Göttingen, Lower Saxony, D-37077, Germany.
Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada.
Contributed equally


Biotrophic fungal pathogens of plants must sense and adapt to the host environment to complete their life cycles. Recent transcriptome studies of the infection of maize by the biotrophic pathogen Ustilago maydis are providing molecular insights into an ordered program of changes in gene expression and the deployment of effectors as well as key features of nutrient acquisition. In particular, the transcriptome data provide a deeper appreciation of the complexity of the transcription factor network that controls the biotrophic program of invasion, proliferation, and sporulation. Additionally, transcriptome analysis during tumor formation, a key late stage in the life cycle, revealed features of the remodeling of host and pathogen metabolism that may support the formation of tremendous numbers of spores. Transcriptome studies are also appearing for other smut species during interactions with their hosts, thereby providing opportunities for comparative approaches to understand biotrophic adaptation.


RNAseq; Ustilago maydis; effectors; metabolism; nutrients; pathogenicity; regulators; transcriptome

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