The COT1 homologue CPCOT1 regulates polar growth and branching and is essential for pathogenicity in Claviceps purpurea

Jan Scheffer, Carmit Ziv, Oded Yarden, Paul Tudzynski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Claviceps purpurea, the ergot fungus, is a common grass pathogen attacking exclusively young ovaries. Its pathogenic development involves an early phase of directed growth (with strictly suppressed branching) towards the floral vascular tissue. Since Ser/Thr protein kinases of the NDR family have been shown to be involved in polar growth and branching in fungi, we have analyzed a C. purpurea homologue of the Neurospora crassa cot-1 gene, cpcot1. It encodes a functional homologue of COT1 since it can fully complement the N. crassa cot-1 mutant phenotype. Δcpcot1 mutants are significantly impaired in vegetative growth properties: they are characterized by hyperbranching, reduced growth rate, and decreased conidiation. Infection studies on rye plants and isolated ovaries show that the Δcpcot1 mutants are apathogenic; microscopical analyses indicate a very early block, probably in penetration. Thus CPCOT1 is not only involved in polarity and branching and hence oriented growth in the host tissue as expected, but it is essential for the initiation of infection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB “Molecular cell dynamics”) and BARD—The United States—Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund are gratefully acknowledged.

Keywords

  • Biotrophic pathogen
  • Oriented growth
  • Pathogenicity
  • Signalling

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The COT1 homologue CPCOT1 regulates polar growth and branching and is essential for pathogenicity in Claviceps purpurea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this