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A Putative Amino Acid Transporter Is Specifically Expressed in Haustoria of the Rust Fungus Uromyces fabae

May 1997 , Volume 10 , Number  4
Pages  438 - 445

Matthias Hahn , 1 Ulrike Neef , 1 Christine Struck , 1 Michael Göttfert , 2 and Kurt Mendgen 1

1Fakultät für Biologie, Universität Konstanz, D-78434 Konstanz, Germany; 2Institut für Genetik, Technische Universität Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany

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Accepted 4 March 1997.

A cDNA library constructed from haustoria of the rust fungus Uromyces fabae was screened for clones that are differentially expressed in haustoria. One family of cDNAs (in planta-induced gene 2 [PIG2]) was isolated and found to encode a protein with high homologies to fungal amino acid transporters. A cDNA clone containing the complete coding region of PIG2 and the corresponding genomic clone were isolated and sequenced, revealing the presence of 17 introns in the PIG2 gene. Expression of PIG2 mRNA appeared to be restricted to haustoria. With antibodies raised against synthetic peptides, the PIG2-encoded protein was found in membrane fractions of isolated haustoria but not of germinated rust spores. With immunofluo-rescence microscopy, the putative amino acid transporter was localized to plasma membranes of the haustorial bodies, but not detected in the haustorial neck, haustorial mother cells, or intercellular fungal hyphae growing within infected leaf tissue. These data present for the first time molecular evidence that the rust haustorium plays a special role in the uptake of nutrients from an infected host cell.

Additional keywords: permease, plant pathogen.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society