cAMP regulation of "pathogenic" and "saprophytic" fungal spore germination

Fungal Genet Biol. 2004 Mar;41(3):317-26. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2003.11.011.


We report on the elucidation of two separate pathways of spore germination in a plant pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides f. sp. aeschynomene. Conidia of the fungus can germinate either from one side or from both sides, depending on external conditions. In shake culture that includes an extract made up from fresh peas, the unicellular conidium divides and one of the two cells develops a germ tube. On a solid surface this germ tube differentiates an appressorium. In rich medium without pea extract, germination is highly similar to Aspergillus spore germination: the conidium swells, forms a single germ tube and then divides and forms a second germ tube. Conidia that germinate in a rich medium do not form appressoria even on a solid surface and are non-pathogenic. In rich medium, cAMP stimulates germination in rich liquid cultures and induces appressoria formation on a hard surface. In pea extract cAMP induces swelling and formation of irregular germ tubes and appressoria. Our results suggest that plant surface signals induce pathogenic-specific spore germination in a cAMP-independent manner. cAMP is required for saprophytic germination and for appressorium formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colletotrichum / drug effects
  • Colletotrichum / genetics
  • Colletotrichum / pathogenicity*
  • Colletotrichum / physiology*
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Germination / drug effects
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Leaves / microbiology
  • Recombinant Proteins / analysis
  • Spores, Fungal / drug effects
  • Spores, Fungal / physiology


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP