Current Genetics

, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 307–315 | Cite as

During attachment Phytophthora spores secrete proteins containing thrombospondin type 1 repeats

Research Article


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.


Adhesion Fungal spores Phytophthora Plant pathogen Thrombospondin type 1 repeat 



We thank V. Maclean and J. Elliott for excellent technical assistance, L. Blackman for Fig. 4a, F. Gubler for Fig. 1g and L. Lange for the production of Plasmopara zoospores.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Cell Biology Group, Research School of Biological SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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