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Molecular Analysis of Pathogenesis in Ustilago maydis

  • Sally A. Leong
  • Jun Wang
  • James Kronstad
  • David Holden
  • Allen Budde
  • Eunice Froeliger
  • Thomas Kinscherf
  • Peilin Xu
  • William A. Russin
  • Deborah Samac
  • Timothy Smith
  • Sara Covert
  • Baigen Mei
  • Christophe Voisard
Conference paper

Abstract

We are isolating and studying genes required for pathogenicity of Ustilago maydis, the causative agent of corn smut disease (Christensen, 1963). This phytopathogenic basidiomycete offers an attractive system in which to gain a molecular understanding of host-parasite interactions. The organism grows as a haploid yeast on defined laboratory media, mutants are readily generated by UV or chemical mutagenesis, stable diploids can be constructed for mitotic recombination and complementation analysis, and the fungus is amenable to Mendelian genetic analysis (Holliday, 1974). These attributes are not found in combination in any other phytopathogenic fungus. Although this pathogen is no longer a production constraint in North America, where resistant hybrid corn is grown, it continues to be a problem in third world countries where susceptible varieties are still cultivated. Moreover, we hope that an understanding of mechanisms of pathogenesis in this host-parasite interaction will have application to more economically important and difficult to study fungal diseases such as the bunts and rusts. We have initiated a molecular genetic analysis of two gene systems thought to control pathogenic growth of U. maydis in maize. These include genes that program sexual development and genes involved in the high affinity, siderophore-mediated iron uptake system of the fungus. In order to conduct these analyses, one of our first goals has been to develop tools which enable us to clone, study, and transfer genes in U. maydis.

Keywords

Mating Type Sexual Development Phytopathogenic Fungus Molecular Genetic Analysis Haploid Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally A. Leong
  • Jun Wang
  • James Kronstad
  • David Holden
  • Allen Budde
  • Eunice Froeliger
  • Thomas Kinscherf
  • Peilin Xu
  • William A. Russin
  • Deborah Samac
  • Timothy Smith
  • Sara Covert
  • Baigen Mei
  • Christophe Voisard

There are no affiliations available

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