Metabolic adaptation of Phytophthora infestans during growth on leaves, tubers and artificial media.


Efficient nutrient acquisition is critical to the fitness of plant pathogens. To address how the late blight agent Phytophthora infestans adapts to nutrients offered by its hosts, genes in glycolytic, gluconeogenic and amino acid pathways were mined from its genome and their expression in different plant tissues and artificial media was measured. Evidence for conventional glycolytic and gluconeogenic processes was obtained, although several steps involved pyrophosphate-linked transformations which are uncommon in eukaryotes. In media manipulation studies, nearly all genes in the pathways were subject to strong transcriptional control. However in rye-sucrose media, tomato leaflets, potato tubers and, at both early and late stages of infection, most glycolytic genes were expressed similarly, which indicated that each plant tissue presented a nutrient-rich environment. Biochemical analyses also demonstrated that sporulation occurred from host material in which sugars were abundant, with fructose and glucose increasing at the expense of sucrose late in the disease cycle. The expression of only a few genes changed late in infection, with the most notable example being lower invertase levels in the sucrose-reduced leaves. Interestingly, most gluconeogenic genes were up-regulated in tubers compared with other tissues. Rather than reflecting a starvation response, this probably reveals the role of such enzymes in converting carbon skeletons from the abundant free amino acids of tubers into citric acid cycle and glycolysis intermediates, as genes involved in amino acid catabolism were also more highly expressed in tubers. The corresponding enzymes also displayed higher activities in defined media when amino acids were abundant, as in tubers.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2009.00570.x

Cite this paper

@article{Judelson2009MetabolicAO, title={Metabolic adaptation of Phytophthora infestans during growth on leaves, tubers and artificial media.}, author={Howard S. Judelson and Shuji Tani and Reena D. Narayan}, journal={Molecular plant pathology}, year={2009}, volume={10 6}, pages={843-55} }