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In the phytopathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis, the switch to filamentous growth and pathogenic development is controlled by a heterodimeric transcription factor consisting of the bW and bE homeodomain proteins. To identify genes in the regulatory cascade triggered by the bW/bE heterodimer, we have constructed strains in which transcription of the b genes is(More)
Ustilago maydis is a ubiquitous pathogen of maize and a well-established model organism for the study of plant-microbe interactions. This basidiomycete fungus does not use aggressive virulence strategies to kill its host. U. maydis belongs to the group of biotrophic parasites (the smuts) that depend on living tissue for proliferation and development. Here(More)
The fungal pathogen Ustilago maydis establishes a biotrophic relationship with its host plant maize (Zea mays). Hallmarks of the disease are large plant tumours in which fungal proliferation occurs. Previous studies suggested that classical defence pathways are not activated. Confocal microscopy, global expression profiling and metabolic profiling now shows(More)
Ustilago maydis is able to initiate pathogenic development after fusion of two haploid cells with different mating type. On the maize leaf surface, the resulting dikaryon switches to filamentous growth, differentiates appressoria and penetrates the host. Here, we report on the plant signals required for filament formation and appressorium development in U.(More)
Ustilago maydis contains one repellent and two class I hydrophobin genes in its genome. The repellent gene rep1 has been described previously. It encodes 11 secreted repellent peptides that result from the cleavage of a precursor protein at KEX2 recognition sites. The hydrophobin gene hum2 encodes a typical class I hydrophobin of 117 aa, while hum3 encodes(More)
Plant pathogenic fungi cause massive yield losses and affect both quality and safety of food and feed produced from infected plants. The main objective of plant pathogenic fungi is to get access to the organic carbon sources of their carbon-autotrophic hosts. However, the chemical nature of the carbon source(s) and the mode of uptake are largely unknown.(More)
Regulation of the cell cycle and morphogenetic switching during pathogenic and sexual development in Ustilago maydis is orchestrated by a concerted action of the a and b mating-type loci. Activation of either mating-type locus triggers the G2 cell cycle arrest that is a prerequisite for the formation of the infectious dikaryon; this cell cycle arrest is(More)
In the plant pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis, sexual and pathogenic development are controlled by the multiallelic b mating-type locus. The b locus encodes a pair of unrelated homeodomain proteins termed bE and bW, with allelic differences clustering in the N-terminal domains of both polypeptides. Only combinations of bE and bW of different allelic origin(More)
Many microorganisms produce surface-active substances that enhance the availability of water-insoluble substrates. Although many of these biosurfactants have interesting potential applications, very little is known about their biosynthesis. The basidiomycetous fungus Ustilago maydis secretes large amounts of mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) under conditions(More)
In the phytopathogenic basidiomycete Ustilago maydis, sexual and pathogenic development are tightly connected and controlled by the heterodimeric bE/bW transcription factor complex encoded by the b-mating type locus. The formation of the active bE/bW heterodimer leads to the formation of filaments, induces a G2 cell cycle arrest, and triggers pathogenicity.(More)