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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An ATP-driven efflux pump is a novel pathogenicity factor in rice blast disease.

Cells tolerate exposure to cytotoxic compounds through the action of ATP-driven efflux pumps belonging to the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of membrane transporters. Phytopathogenic fungi encounter toxic environments during plant invasion as a result of the plant defense response. Here we demonstrate the requirement for an ABC transporter during host infection by the fungal plant pathogen Magnaporthe grisea. The ABC1 gene was identified in an insertional mutagenesis screen for pathogenicity mutants. The ABC1 insertional mutant and a gene-replacement mutant arrest growth and die shortly after penetrating either rice or barley epidermal cells. The ABC1- encoded protein is similar to yeast ABC transporters implicated in multidrug resistance, and ABC1 gene transcripts are inducible by toxic drugs and a rice phytoalexin. However, abc1 mutants are not hypersensitive to antifungal compounds. The non-pathogenic, insertional mutation in ABC1 occurs in the promoter region and dramatically reduces transcript induction by metabolic poisons. These data strongly suggest that M.grisea requires the up-regulation of specific ABC transporters for pathogenesis; most likely to protect itself against plant defense mechanisms.[1]


  1. An ATP-driven efflux pump is a novel pathogenicity factor in rice blast disease. Urban, M., Bhargava, T., Hamer, J.E. EMBO J. (1999) [Pubmed]
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