Extracellular enzymes and the pathogenesis of nematophagous fungi
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- Yang, J., Tian, B., Liang, L. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2007) 75: 21. doi:10.1007/s00253-007-0881-4
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Nematophagous fungi are an important group of soil microorganisms that can suppress the populations of plant-parasitic nematodes. The pathogenic mechanisms of nematophagous fungi are diverse: They can be parasitical–mechanical through producing specialized capturing devices, or toxin-dependent. During infections, a variety of virulence factors may be involved against nematodes by nematophagous fungi. In this review, we present up-to-date information on the modes of infection by nematophagous fungi. The roles of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes and other virulence factors involved in infection against nematodes were summarized. The biochemical properties and peptide sequences of a special group of enzymes, the serine proteases, were compared, and their implications in infections were discussed. We also discussed the impact of emerging new techniques on our understanding of this unique group of fungi.