Md. Tofazzal Islam,1
Andreas von Tiedemann,1 and
1Department of Crop Science, Division of Plant Pathology and Plant Protection, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Grisebachstrasse 6, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany; 2Institute of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Tammanstrasse 2, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
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Accepted 5 April 2011.
The motility of zoospores is critical in the disease cycles of Peronosporomycetes that cause devastating diseases in plants, fishes, vertebrates, and microbes. In the course of screening for secondary metabolites, we found that ethyl acetate extracts of a marine Streptomyces sp. strain B5136 rapidly impaired the motility of zoospores of the grapevine downy mildew pathogen Plasmopara viticola at 0.1 μg/ml. The active principle in the extracts was identified as staurosporine, a known broad-spectrum inhibitor of protein kinases, including protein kinase C (PKC). In the presence of staurosporine (2 nM), zoospores moved very slowly in their axis or spun in tight circles, instead of displaying straight swimming in a helical fashion. Compounds such as K-252a, K-252b, and K-252c structurally related to staurosporine also impaired the motility of zoospores in a similar manner but at varying doses. Among the 22 known kinase inhibitors tested, the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine was the most potent to arrest the motility of zoospores at concentrations starting from 5 nM. Inhibitors that targeted kinase pathways other than PKC pathways did not practically show any activity in impairing zoospore motility. Interestingly, both staurosporine (5 nM) and chelerythrine (10 nM) also inhibited the release of zoospores from the P. viticola sporangia in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, staurosporine completely suppressed downy mildew disease in grapevine leaves at 2 μM, suggesting the potential of small-molecule PKC inhibitors for the control of peronosporomycete phytopathogens. Taken together, these results suggest that PKC is likely to be a key signaling mediator associated with zoosporogenesis and the maintenance of flagellar motility in peronosporomycete zoospores.
© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society