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    ABSTRACT: Septoria blotch of wheat is one of the world's most serious plant diseases, which is difficult to control due to the absence of durable host resistance and the increasing frequency of fungicide-resistance. The ascomycete fungus that causes the disease, Zymoseptoria tritici, has been very challenging to study. This special issue of Fungal Genetics and Biology showcases an integrated approach to method development and the innovation of new molecular tools to study the biology of Z. tritici. When considered together, these new methods will have a rapid and dramatic effect on our ability to combat this significant disease. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Fungal Genetics and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The microtubule cytoskeleton supports vital processes in fungal cells, including hyphal growth and mitosis. Consequently, it is a target for fungicides, such as benomyl. The use of fluorescent fusion proteins to illuminate microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins has led to a break-through in our understanding of their dynamics and function in fungal cells. Here, we introduce fluorescent markers to visualize microtubules and accessory proteins in the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. We fused enhanced green-fluorescent protein to α-tubulin (ZtTub2), to ZtPeb1, a homologue of the mammalian plus-end binding protein EB1, and to ZtGrc1, a component of the minus-end located γ-tubulin ring complex, involved in the nucleation of microtubules. In vivo observation confirms the localization and dynamic behaviour of all three markers. These marker proteins are useful tools for understanding the organization and importance of the microtubule cytoskeleton in Z. tritici. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Fungal Genetics and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteria are often iron-limited, and hence produce extracellular iron-scavenging siderophores. A crucial feature of siderophore production is that it can be an altruistic behaviour (individually costly but benefitting neighbouring cells), thus siderophore producers can be invaded by non-producing social 'cheats'. Recent studies have shown that siderophores can also bind other heavy metals (such as Cu and Zn), but in this case siderophore chelation actually reduces metal uptake by bacteria. These complexes reduce heavy metal toxicity, hence siderophore production may contribute to toxic metal bioremediation. Here, we show that siderophore production in the context of bioremediation is also an altruistic trait and can be exploited by cheating phenotypes in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Specifically, we show that in toxic copper concentrations (i) siderophore non-producers evolve de novo and reach high frequencies, and (ii) producing strains are fitter than isogenic non-producing strains in monoculture, and vice versa in co-culture. Moreover, we show that the evolutionary effect copper has on reducing siderophore production is greater than the reduction observed under iron-limited conditions. We discuss the relevance of these results to the evolution of siderophore production in natural communities and heavy metal bioremediation.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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