On the move: endosomes in fungal growth and pathogenicity

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Apr;5(4):309-16. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1618. Epub 2007 Feb 26.


Fungi invade substrates, such as host tissues, through hyphal tip growth. This article focuses on the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis, in which tip growth and pathogenicity involve apical endocytic recycling by early endosomes. These organelles rapidly move bi-directionally along microtubules and this movement is mediated by opposing molecular motors. This motility seems to be essential for extended hyphal growth, possibly because it focuses the endocytic machinery at the hyphal tip and mediates communication between the tip and the sub-apical nucleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endocytosis
  • Endosomes / physiology*
  • Exocytosis
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology
  • Hyphae / growth & development
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / physiology
  • Movement
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Ustilago / growth & development*
  • Ustilago / pathogenicity*
  • Ustilago / physiology
  • Ustilago / ultrastructure
  • Zea mays / microbiology*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins