Sci. Signal., 24 August 2010
Host-Pathogen Interactions Fungal Defenses
Kristen L. Mueller
Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA
One of the major driving forces of evolution is the constant arms race between plants and animals and the microbial pathogens that infect them. The fungus Cladosporium fulvum causes leaf mold on tomato plants. One of the ways tomato plants sense infections by C. fulvum is by detecting chitin, a component of fungal cell walls. In response, the fungus has evolved strategies to evade detection. De Jonge et al. have now identified one such mechanism in C. fulvum, mediated by the effector protein Ecp6. Secreted Ecp6 is able to bind to chitin oligosaccharides that are released upon degradation of the fungal cell wall and sequester them so that they are not detected by tomato chitin receptors. Proteins with domain structure similar to Ecp6 are conserved throughout the fungal kingdom, which suggests that chitin sequestration may represent a general mechanism used by fungi to evade immune detection.
R. de Jonge, H. P. van Esse, A. Kombrink, T. Shinya, Y. Desaki, R. Bours, S. van der Krol, N. Shibuya, M. H. A. J. Joosten, B. P. H. J. Thomma, Conserved fungal LysM effector Ecp6 prevents chitin-triggered immunity in plants. Science 329, 953–955 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]
Citation: K. L. Mueller, Fungal Defenses. Sci. Signal. 3, ec257 (2010).
The editors suggest the following Related Resources on Science sites:
In Science Signaling
Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882