, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 307-315
Date: 07 Apr 2005

During attachment Phytophthora spores secrete proteins containing thrombospondin type 1 repeats

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Adhesion is a key aspect of disease establishment in animals and plants. Adhesion anchors the parasite to the host surface and is a prerequisite for further development and host cell invasion. Although a number of adhesin molecules produced by animal pathogens have been characterised, molecular details of adhesins of plant pathogens, especially fungi, are largely restricted to general descriptions of the nature of heterogeneous secreted materials. In this paper, we report the cloning of a gene, PcVsv1, encoding a protein secreted during attachment of spores of Phytophthora, a genus of highly destructive plant pathogens. PcVsv1 contains 47 copies of the thrombospondin type 1 repeat, a motif found in adhesins of animals and malarial parasites but not in plants, green algae or true fungi. Our results suggest that PcVsv1 is a spore adhesin and highlight intriguing similarities in structural and molecular features of host attachment in oomycete and malarial parasites.

Communicated by U. Kück