Regulation of pathogenic spore germination by cgrac1 in the fungal plant pathogen colletotrichum gloeosporioides

Iris Nesher, Anna Minz, Leonie Kokkelink, Paul Tudzynski, Amir Sharon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is a facultative plant pathogen: it can live as a saprophyte on dead organic matter or as a pathogen on a host plant. Different patterns of conidial germination have been recognized under saprophytic and pathogenic conditions, which also determine later development. Here we describe the role of CgRac1 in regulating pathogenic germination. The hallmark of pathogenic germination is unilateral formation of a single germ tube following the first cell division. However, transgenic strains expressing a constitutively active CgRac1 (CA-CgRac1) displayed simultaneous formation of two germ tubes, with nuclei continuing to divide in both cells after the first cell division. CA-CgRac1 also caused various other abnormalities, including difficulties in establishing and maintaining cell polarity, reduced conidial and hyphal adhesion, and formation of immature appressoria. Consequently, CA-CgRac1 isolates were completely nonpathogenic. Localization studies with cyan fluorescent protein (CFP)-CgRac1 fusion protein showed that the CgRac1 protein is abundant in conidia and in hyphal tips. Although the CFP signal was equally distributed in both cells of a germinating conidium, reactive oxygen species accumulated only in the cell that produced a germ tube, indicating that CgRac1 was active only in the germinating cell. Collectively, our results show that CgRac1 is a major regulator of asymmetric development and that it is involved in the regulation of both morphogenesis and nuclear division. Modification of CgRac1 activity disrupts the morphogenetic program and prevents fungal infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1122-1130
Number of pages9
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


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