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Host recognition by pathogenic fungi through plant flavonoids

Host recognition by pathogenic fungi through plant flavonoids

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 505: 9-22

A common characteristic among fungal pathogens of plants is that each specializes on a narrow range of specific plants as hosts. One adaptation to a specific host plant is the recognition of the host's chemicals which can be used to trigger genes or developmental pathways needed for pathogenesis. The production of characteristic flavonoids by plants, particularly those exuded from roots by legumes, appear to be used as signals for various microbes, including symbionts as well as pathogens. Nectria haematococca MPVI (anamorph: Fusarium solani) is a soil-borne pathogen of garden pea (Pisum sativum) which serves as a useful model in studying host flavonoid recognition. This fungus displays flavonoid induction of specific pathogenicity genes as well as stimulation of development needed for pathogenesis. Here, we summarize the study of flavonoid-inducible signal pathways which regulate these trait, through identification of transcription factors and regulatory components which control these responses. The characterization of the components a pathogen uses to specifically recognize its host provides insights into the host adaptation process at the molecular level.

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Accession: 046274896

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PMID: 12083470

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