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A Kelch Repeat Protein, Cokel1p, Associates with Microtubules and Is Involved in Appressorium Development in Colletotrichum orbiculare

January 2010 , Volume 23 , Number  1
Pages  103 - 111

Ayumu Sakaguchi, Toshihiko Miyaji, Gento Tsuji, and Yasuyuki Kubo

Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prefectural University, Kyoto 606-8522, Japan

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Accepted 10 August 2009.

Kelch repeat proteins are conserved in diverse organisms and some are known to mediate fundamental cellular functions. We isolated the gene CoKEL1, encoding a novel kelch repeat protein, from Colletotrichum orbiculare. Analysis of a cokel1 mutant indicated that CoKEL1 is involved in proper appressorium development and cell wall synthesis. Appressoria produced by cokel1 disruption mutants showed irregular shape and impairment of turgor generation and the mutant appressoria rarely penetrated to form infection hyphae in host epidermal cells. Accordingly, cokel1 mutants had reduced pathogenicity on host leaves compared with the wild type. Furthermore, the cokel1 mutant was more sensitive to cell-wall-degrading enzymes and showed altered labeling with the cell wall stain Calcofluor white. Cokel1p was localized on cortical and spindle microtubules in vegetative hyphae. These results suggest that Cokel1p is a microtubule-associated protein involved in infection-related morphogenesis and pathogenicity. This is the first report that a kelch repeat protein is required for the pathogenicity of a fungal plant pathogen.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society