Autophagy vitalizes the pathogenicity of pathogenic fungi

Xiao-Hong H Liu, Hui-Min Gao, Fei Xu, Jian-Ping Lu, Rodney J Devenish, Fu-Cheng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Plant pathogenic fungi utilize a series of complex infection structures, in particular the appressorium, to gain entry to and colonize plant tissue. As a consequence of the accumulation of huge quantities of glycerol in the cell the appressorium generates immense intracellular turgor pressure allowing the penetration peg of the appressorium to penetrate the leaf cuticle. Autophagic processes are ubiquitous in eukaryotic cells and facilitate the bulk degradation of macromolecules and organelles. The study of autophagic processes has been extended from the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to pathogenic fungi such as the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Significantly, null mutants for the expression of M. oryzae autophagy gene homologs lose their pathogenicity for infection of host plants. Clarification of the functions and network of interactions between the proteins expressed by M. oryzae autophagy genes will lead to a better understanding of the role of autophagy in fungal pathogenesis and help in the development of new strategies for disease control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1415 - 1425
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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