Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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Dr. Stefan G. R. Wirsel

Institut für Agrar- und Ernährungswissenschaften
Betty-Heimann-Straße 3
06120 Halle (Saale)

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Teilprojekt 08

Manipulation of primary metabolism of maize by Colletotrichum graminicola

Stefan G.R. Wirsel (MLU)

Phytopathogenic fungi develop spores, which are enriched with storage compounds that are extracted from their host, to complete their life cycle. Thus, pathogens compete with sink tissues of the host for carbohydrates that are synthesised in photosynthetically active source tissues. The redirection of plant metabolism towards the establishing mycelium is a major aspect of pathogenicity. In previous work, it was shown that during the interaction between the hemibiotrophic fungus Colletotrichum graminicola and maize one of six known invertases of the host is transcriptionally strongly upregulated. Invertases are important to determine the sink strength in plant tissues. Furthermore, cytokinin contents were found to be altered at the infection site. In this project, the impact of C. graminicola on plant metabolism will be investigated. Comparative analyses of the transcriptome and carbohydrate metabolism at infection sites on young and senescing leaves will lead to a better understanding of pathogenesis. Special attention is given to the influence of cytokinins and fungal invertases on source-sink relationships by using transgenic fungi and plants.

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