Green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a new vital marker in the phytopathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis

Mol Gen Genet. 1996 Oct 16;252(5):503-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02172396.


Pathogenic development of Ustilago maydis, the causative agent of corn smut disease, is a multistep process. Compatible yeast-like cells fuse and this generates the infectious dikaryon which grows filamentously. Having entered the plant the dikaryon induces tumors in its host in which massive proliferation of fungal material, karyogamy and spore formation occur. In order to follow fungal development from the initial steps to the final stage we have expressed the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria as a vital marker in U. maydis and demonstrate that GFP-tagged strains can be used to study host-pathogen interactions in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Markers / genetics*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Luminescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants / microbiology
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Ustilago / genetics*
  • Ustilago / pathogenicity*
  • Ustilago / physiology
  • Zea mays / microbiology


  • Genetic Markers
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins