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High Level Activation of Vitamin B1 Biosynthesis Genes in Haustoria of the Rust Fungus Uromyces fabae

June 2000 , Volume 13 , Number  6
Pages  629 - 636

Jürgen Sohn , Ralf T. Voegele , Kurt Mendgen , and Matthias Hahn

1Fachbereich Biologie, Phytopathologie, Universität Konstanz, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany


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Accepted 7 March 2000.

In the rust fungus Uromyces fabae, the transition from the early stages of host plant invasion toward parasitic growth is accompanied by the activation of many genes (PIGs = in planta induced genes). Two of them, PIG1 = THI1) and PIG4 (= THI2), were found to be highly transcribed in haustoria, and are homologous to genes involved in thiamine (vitamin B1) biosynthesis in yeast. Their functional identity was confirmed by complementation of Schizosac-charomyces pombe thiamine auxotrophic thi3 (nmt1) and thi2 (nmt2) mutants, respectively. In contrast to thiamine biosynthesis genes of other fungi that are completely suppressed by thiamine, THI1 and THI2 expression was not affected by the addition of thiamine to rust hyphae grown either in vitro or in planta. Immunoblot analysis revealed decreasing amounts of THI1p in extracts from spores, germlings, and in vitro-grown infection structures with increasing time after inoculation. Immunofluorescence microscopy of rust-infected leaves detected high concentrations of THI1p in haustoria, and only low amounts in intercellu-lar hyphae. In the sporulating mycelium, THI1p was found in the basal hyphae of the uredia, but not in the pedicels and only at very low levels in uredospores. These data indicate that the haustorium is an essential structure of the biotrophic rust mycelium not only for nutrient uptake but also for the biosynthesis of metabolites such as thiamine.


Additional keywords: plant-pathogenic, Vicia faba.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society