Colletotrichum trifolii is a fungal path which is responsible for anthracnose disease of alfalfa. To initiate research on molecular communication in this fungus, a kinase-encoding gene (TB3) and the corresponding cDNA were cloned and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence of TB3 closely resembles that of a Neurospora crassa serine/threonine protein kinase, COT1, required for hyphal elongation and branching. The C-terminal catalytic domains of TB3 and COT1 are highly conserved but the N-terminal regions are divergent, particularly in the homopolymeric glutamine repeats of TB3. Northern analysis indicated that TB3 expression was highest 1 h after inducing conidial germination and 1 h before germ tubes were first observed. Expression of TB3 transcripts returned to constitutive levels by 4 h after induction of germination. TB3 complemented the cot-1 mutant of Neurospora crassa, demonstrating the functional conservation of this kinase between a pathogenic and a saprophytic fungus.
- Fungal pathogen
- Protein kinase