Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

Science 328 (5974): 89-92

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Maize Tumors Caused by Ustilago maydis Require Organ-Specific Genes in Host and Pathogen

David S. Skibbe,1,* Gunther Doehlemann,2,* John Fernandes,1 Virginia Walbot1,{dagger}

Abstract: Infection of maize by corn smut (Ustilago maydis) provides an agronomically important model of biotrophic host-pathogen interactions. After penetration of the maize epidermis, fungal colonization of host tissue induces tumor formation on all aerial maize organs. We hypothesized that transformation of different primordia into plant tumors would require organ-specific gene expression by both host and pathogen and documented these differences by transcriptome profiling. Phenotypic screening of U. maydis mutants deleted for genes encoding secreted proteins and maize mutants with organ-specific defects confirmed organ-restricted tumorigenesis. This is the foundation for exploring how individual pathogen effectors, deployed in an organ-specific pattern, interact with host factors to reprogram normal ontogeny into a tumor pathway.

1 Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305–5020, USA.
2 Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, D-35043 Marburg, Germany.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: walbot{at}

Endoplasmic Reticulum Glucosidases and Protein Quality Control Factors Cooperate to Establish Biotrophy in Ustilago maydis.
A. Fernandez-Alvarez, A. Elias-Villalobos, A. Jimenez-Martin, M. Marin-Menguiano, and J. I. Ibeas (2013)
PLANT CELL 25, 4676-4690
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Crosstalk between the Unfolded Protein Response and Pathways That Regulate Pathogenic Development in Ustilago maydis.
K. Heimel, J. Freitag, M. Hampel, J. Ast, M. Bolker, and J. Kamper (2013)
PLANT CELL 25, 4262-4277
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Genomic Insights into the Atopic Eczema-Associated Skin Commensal Yeast Malassezia sympodialis.
A. Gioti, B. Nystedt, W. Li, J. Xu, A. Andersson, A. F. Averette, K. Munch, X. Wang, C. Kappauf, J. M. Kingsbury, et al. (2013)
mBio 4, e00572-12
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
In Planta Stage-Specific Fungal Gene Profiling Elucidates the Molecular Strategies of Fusarium graminearum Growing inside Wheat Coleoptiles.
X.-W. Zhang, L.-J. Jia, Y. Zhang, G. Jiang, X. Li, D. Zhang, and W.-H. Tang (2012)
PLANT CELL 24, 5159-5176
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A Maize Cystatin Suppresses Host Immunity by Inhibiting Apoplastic Cysteine Proteases.
K. van der Linde, C. Hemetsberger, C. Kastner, F. Kaschani, R. A. L. van der Hoorn, J. Kumlehn, and G. Doehlemann (2012)
PLANT CELL 24, 1285-1300
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Sporisorium reilianum Infection Changes Inflorescence and Branching Architectures of Maize.
H. Ghareeb, A. Becker, T. Iven, I. Feussner, and J. Schirawski (2011)
Plant Physiology 156, 2037-2052
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Pathogenicity Determinants in Smut Fungi Revealed by Genome Comparison.
J. Schirawski, G. Mannhaupt, K. Munch, T. Brefort, K. Schipper, G. Doehlemann, M. Di Stasio, N. Rossel, A. Mendoza-Mendoza, D. Pester, et al. (2010)
Science 330, 1546-1548
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Tissue-Adapted Invasion Strategies of the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.
S. Marcel, R. Sawers, E. Oakeley, H. Angliker, and U. Paszkowski (2010)
PLANT CELL 22, 3177-3187
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The Ustilago maydis Clp1 Protein Orchestrates Pheromone and b-Dependent Signaling Pathways to Coordinate the Cell Cycle and Pathogenic Development.
K. Heimel, M. Scherer, D. Schuler, and J. Kamper (2010)
PLANT CELL 22, 2908-2922
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882